Compulsory product recalls

A compulsory product recall is what can happen if you don't take satisfactory action to voluntarily recall an unsafe product.

When a compulsory recall is required

If businesses don't take satisfactory action to mitigate the risks posed by unsafe goods, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs can issue a compulsory recall order under section 32 of the Fair Trading Act 1986.

Fair Trading Act 1986 — Section 32(external link)

The Minister can order a compulsory product recall where:

  • the goods:
    • are likely to cause injury to any person, or
    • don't comply with a prescribed product safety standard, or
    • are subject to an unsafe goods notice, and
  • the supplier has not recalled the goods or taken satisfactory action to recall the goods.

The Minister can order businesses to do any or all of the following:

  • recall the goods
  • publish specified information to the public — and how this must be done
  • provide a specified remedy, and
  • complete the required actions by a specified date.

Costs of a compulsory recall

All of the costs involved with complying with a compulsory product recall are borne by the business or businesses specified in the order.

What happens if I don't comply?

If you don't comply with a compulsory product recall order — or continue to supply the recalled goods —you are breaching the Fair Trading Act and could be prosecuted and fined up to $600,000.