Cot for household use

The Product Safety Standards (Household Cots) Regulations 2005

Purpose of the regulations

Cots are a sleeping environment for children where they can be expected to be left unattended for long periods of time. They must therefore be safe. Poor design features in cots can pose risks, for example corner posts, decorative cut-outs and gaps from inappropriate spacing of cot rails have been implicated in child deaths. Poor design can also introduce non-fatal hazards, such as finger or limb entrapment.

The Household Cots regulations were put in place to help reduce the potential for injury or death associated with cot use in New Zealand.

It was considered necessary to introduce regulatory measures to mitigate the risks associated with:

  • new cots entering the market and
  • second-hand cots to prevent the risks associated with older design cots from being passed on to others.

We recommend that any time an infant or young child need to sleep that they be put in a safe sleep environment, for example of a cot or bassinette as per the Ministry of Health safe sleep guidelines.

Safe sleep — Ministry of Health(external link)

Regulations information

The regulations requires that both new and second-hand household cots must comply with specific sections of the Standard AS/NZS 2172:2003 Cots for household use – Safety requirements.

Product Safety Standards (Household Cots) Regulations 2005(external link)

Guidance on application of the household cots regulations has been developed by the in-market enforcement agency – the Commerce Commission.

Household cots — Commerce Commission(external link)

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The standard, AS/NZS 2172:2003, should to be read in conjunction with the regulations, because the regulations modify the standard.

Purchasing the standard

You can purchase AS/NZS 2172:2013 Cots for household use — Safety requirements from Standards New Zealand.

Standards New Zealand website — AS/NZS 2172:2013 Cots for household use — Safety requirements(external link)

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Only the version of the standard that's specifically cited in the Regulations applies — revisions after the date the law is made don't form part of the requirements. The cited standard will remain available through Standards New Zealand — check to make sure you have the correct version.

Who enforces the regulations?

The Commerce Commission enforces the regulations in-market, and has prepared guidance material to help traders understand and comply with the requirements.

Household cots — Commerce Commission(external link)

The New Zealand Customs Service enforces the regulations at the border — under the Fair Trading Act and the Customs and Excise Act. They may request evidence of compliance and/or inspect goods before they're permitted to enter New Zealand. Under the Fair Trading Act non-compliant cots are deemed prohibited imports under Customs and Excise Act and therefore forfeit and could be subject to seizure by Customs.

Prohibitions and restrictions — New Zealand Customs Service(external link)