TradeMe warned over unsafe cots
28 November 2005
TradeMe and five of its customers have been warned by the Commerce Commission about offering unsafe cots for sale over the internet-based trading site.
The Commission believes that some of the cots offered for sale on TradeMe contravene the Product Safety Standards (Household Cots) Regulations 2005. The cot safety standard is designed to prevent children being suffocated or strangled.
The Commerce Commission has previously worked with TradeMe to try and prevent advertising of products in breach of mandatory safety standards, particularly unsafe cots and baby walkers. As a result, TradeMe created a new loading process that required all vendors of the relevant products to confirm they had read the safety standards before listing on the site. While this stopped the majority of people from advertising unsafe items, some simply made false declarations that their items were compliant.
The Commission has now required TradeMe to take stronger action, and TradeMe has begun proactively monitoring the site and removing any non-compliant products posted for sale. TradeMe is also issuing warnings and banning those who persist in advertising products that breach safety standards.
"Mandatory safety standards for cots have been developed to save children's lives," said the Commission's Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell. "The Commerce Commission will take action against anyone who sells or advertises products that don't meet these safety standards."
"It doesn't matter if these products are new or second hand, or whether the advertiser is a private individual or in business," Ms Battell said. "If you sell products that don't meet these safety standards you can face a fine of up to $60,000 for an individual or $200,000 for a company."
The regulations concerning household cots are Product Safety Standards (Household Cots) Regulations 2005. These regulations require compliance with specified parts of the national standard Cots for Household Use - Safety Requirements AS/NZS 2172:2003.
Under the Fair Trading Act, the Commerce Commission enforces six Product Safety Standards Regulations. They are for:
- Baby walkers;
- Pedal bicycles;
- Flammability of children's night clothes;
- Cigarette lighters;
- Household cots; and
- Toys for children aged up to three years.
Guides to the enforcement of the safety standards are available on www.comcom.govt.nz. The latest safety standards are available to purchase from Standards New Zealand by calling 0800 782 632, or from its website: www.standards.co.nz