16 August 2016
How to Use Labels Like Australian Made, and Meeting Australian Safety Standards
Even if you made it sitting in your workroom somewhere in Australia, you can only claim the product is Australian Made if it complies with the rules set out in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL is the same law that sets out the rules around misleading and deceptive conduct and your requirements to comply with certain consumer guarantees.
The ACL actually speaks about country of origin representations, it is not only about what is made in Australia.
To claim that something is Australia Made you must be able to show:
• the goods have been substantially transformed in Australia (eg. fabric ordered overseas turned into a clutch purse in Australia); AND
• 50% of the cost of manufacture or production (being the total cost of materials, labour and overheads necessary for production) occurred in Australia.
Product of Australia
You can’t claim that something is a product of Australia unless Australia was the country of origin of each significant component of the good and all or virtually all processes involved in production or manufacture occurred in Australia.
Using the Green and Gold Kangaroo Logo
Would you like to use the wonderful green and gold kangaroo symbol to promote that your products are Australian made? If you meet the requirements of the ACL for Product of Australia or Australian Made then you can apply for a licence to use the kangaroo logo. Australian Made Campaign Limited is the company that manages licences. Check out their website at australianmade.com.au
You can’t just use the label. It is a registered certification trade mark. What this means is that you can only use the kangaroo symbol to show your products are Australian Made if you purchase an annual licence to use it, and you comply with the rules for use. The licences are not expensive. For a small business with an annual turnover under $300,000 it is only $300 to get a licence to use the logo with your products.
Safety Standards Australia
Australia is one of the most highly regulated countries in the world, so it probably doesn’t surprise you that there are some mandatory safety standards that could affect what you are making.
Areas that are probably of most interest to Made It users are the following:
• bean bags
• care labelling for clothing and textiles
• cosmetics – ingredient labelling
• nightwear for children
• toys (projectile)
• toys and finger paints containing lead and other elements
• toys containing magnets
• toys for children up to and including 36 months of age
Mandatory safety standards can be found on the ACCC’s product safety website
. Selling products that don’t comply with mandatory safety standards can expose you to fines of up to $220,000 for individuals and more for companies. They ACCC can also ban the sale of those products, remove them from the marketplace and destroy them. It is unlikely that you’d get the chance to fix a product and sell it. A seller can also be required to issue corrective notices to distributors and consumers.
There are also voluntary standards affecting some products, although compliance is not mandatory and you won’t be prosecuted for non-compliance.
On the product safety website there are also a long list of banned products. If you are buying a component to put into your craft, you might like to check some of the products on the banned lists before importing parts from overseas. Check out productsafety.gov.au
for more information.
Founder and Principal of Onyx Online Law
Jeanette Jifkins is the founder and Principal of Onyx Online Law, an Australian based law firm with the focus of supporting businesses with an online presence. She has extensive experience with a broad variety of corporate and commercial issues including contracts, mergers and acquisitions, business structures, employment and governance.
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