Household cot standard

The Product Safety Standards (Household Cots) Regulations 2005

Purpose of the standard

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. Older cots with knobbed corner posts and decorative cut-outs have been implicated in child fatalities.

The Household Cots regulations were put in place to help reduce an unacceptably high incidence of injury associated with cot use in New Zealand. A number of these injuries could be directly attributed to hazardous design features.

It was considered necessary to introduce regulatory measures both to ensure that only new cot designs that were safe could enter the market, and also to protect consumers from older unsafe designs in the substantial second-hand market for this product.

However, some new products — such as baby hammocks — fall outside the scope of the current standards. We recommend that when a baby will be left unsupervised, especially overnight, they should be in a cot or other sleeping environment that complies with an Australian/New Zealand Standard.

Standard information

Household cots must comply with specific sections of the Standard AS/NZS 2172:2003 Cots for household use – Safety requirements under the Product Safety Standards (Household Cots) Regulations.

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

The cot standard applies to new and second-hand free-standing cots designed for normal household use. This includes those cots of similar design that may be used in day-care centres or crèches.

It doesn't apply to:

  • baby hammocks
  • institutional cots or purpose built cots such as space-savers
  • portable cots or play-yards
  • antique or collectible cots — as long as these are labelled: 'WARNING: THIS COT MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR USE AS A SLEEPING FACILITY FOR INFANTS OR CHILDREN'.

Features addressed

The standard sets out measurements for gaps and projections. It addresses such features as:

  • the depth of the cot
  • allowable base heights
  • safe sizes for holes and openings in the cot
  • protrusions
  • the integrity of the fastening device.

It also includes durability, information labelling and packaging requirements for new cots.

Purchasing the standard

You can purchase AS/NZS 2172:2003 Cots for household use — Safety requirements from Standards New Zealand.

Standards New Zealand website — AS/NZS 2172:2003 Cots for household use — Safety requirements(external link)

Note: 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.

Commerce Commission website — Household cots(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 documentary evidence of compliance and/or inspect goods before they're permitted to enter New Zealand. Non-compliant goods are deemed prohibited imports under the Fair Trading Act.

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