What's required in a recall notice

For a recall notice you need details of the defective product, clear photographs of the product and a freephone number in New Zealand.

Language

The recall notice should be in plain English, using language that is clear and easy to understand. Avoid using formal legal language and jargon, which will disguise the message and make the recall less effective.

Format

The notice should be in colour, although black and white is acceptable. The notice should have an eye-catching border with bold, diagonal lines and a hazard triangle in the top left hand corner. The border should be black, black and yellow, red, or black and red.

Size

The size of a recall notice will depend on what medium it is being used in. Several versions may be required. Our recommended minimum sizes are:

  • newspapers and magazines — 11cm x 14cm (approximately A6 size)
  • in-store point-of-sale notices between — A5 and A4 size
  • in-store consumer noticeboards — A3 size.

Template

We've prepared a recall notice template that you can use to prepare your recall notice.

Product recall notice template [DOCX, 1.1 MB]

Information to include

Recall notices should carry the following information in clear print.

Product identifiers

Give the brand and model of the product as it was marketed.

Use a clear photograph or line drawing of the product. Make it easily identifiable to attract the reader’s attention. Ensure you show the product as it would be used. Use insets to show where to find the product's identifying markings such as serial number.

If a particular batch or production date is affected, tell consumers how to establish whether their product is part of the affected batch — for example, the serial number, date code, bar code, labelling or product feature.

State where and when the product may have been purchased, or whether it was available nationwide through named suppliers.

Defect

Give the reason for the recall — for example, because the product failed to meet a safety standard, or caused injuries. Be clear and concise with this information — don't try to avoid mentioning injuries if these have occurred, and don't over-explain the issue. If too much information is given, consumers may try to fix the fault themselves. If too little information is given, consumers may not take the hazard seriously and risk injury to themselves or others using the product.

Hazard

Give a clear, brief description of the hazard and what could happen — for example, a child may be strangled, you could get cut etc.

What to do

Provide clear instructions on what affected consumers should do. Tell them whether they need to contact you for further instructions, send the product back, take it to the retailer they bought it from, or register a claim on a website. If they should stop using the product immediately, state this clearly.

Contact details

At a minimum, you should provide a New Zealand freephone number and email address for enquiries. The name and address of the New Zealand manufacturer or importer/distributor should also be given.

Example recall notice

View an Example of a product recall notice [PDF, 465 KB]