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Traders must comply with Unsafe Goods Notices

Media Release

Issued 7 April 2003-04/109

Traders must comply with Unsafe Goods Notices: Glitter Bangles recalled

The Commerce Commission is highlighting to retailers and importers the importance of complying with current Unsafe Goods Notices, following a nationwide recall of glitter bangles by Farmers Trading Company Limited last week.

Under the Fair Trading Act, the Commission enforces a number of bans relating to unsafe products. Businesses in breach of an Unsafe Goods Notice can be fined up to $200,000.

Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said that there were currently Unsafe Goods Notices for:

- Glitter bangles http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/productsafety/currentbans.html#bangles ;

- Pistol crossbows http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/productsafety/currentbans.html#pistol without safety catches;

- Toy pistol liquids http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/productsafety/currentbans.html#toy with pH factors less than pH3 or greater than pH10;

- Disappearing ink http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/productsafety/currentbans.html#ink with pH factors less than pH3 or greater than pH10; and

- Candles http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/productsafety/currentbans.html#candles with lead in the wicks and candlewicks containing lead.


"The Minister of Consumer Affairs has the power to ban products where it appears that they will or may cause injury to any person," Ms Battell said. "It is the Commerce Commission's role to enforce those bans."

"In this recent case, the Commission became aware that Farmers was selling glitter bangles, a product that has been banned since 1989 because of possible health risks associated with the liquid content of the bangles.

"The Commission acknowledges Farmers responsiveness when the issue was brought to its attention, immediately withdrawing all stock from sale, and publishing recall notices in daily newspapers nationwide," Ms Battell said.

"However, this case is a timely reminder to importers and retailers, of the need to ensure they keep abreast of current Unsafe Goods Notices and comply with those notices," she said.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact the Commission on 0800 943 600 if they come across glitter bangles or other banned products on sale.

Background

An Unsafe Goods Notice is the legal instrument by which a good or class of good is banned from supply under the Fair Trading Act 1986.

Section 31 of the Fair Trading Act gives the Minister of Consumer Affairs the power to ban products by declaring them to be 'unsafe goods' by a notice published in the New Zealand Gazette.

This action can be taken 'where it appears to the Minister that goods of any description or any class or classes of goods will or may cause injury to any person'.

Unsafe Goods (Glitter Bangles) Notice 1989

Prohibits supply of tubular plastic arm bangles, containing silver-coloured metallic flakes or glitter suspended in liquid, intended for use as jewellery for children, and commonly known as 'Glitter Bangles'.

First banned March 1989, and supply prohibited indefinitely in September 1990.

For more information on Unsafe Goods Notices, visit the Ministry of Consumer Affairs website: http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/productsafety/bans.html


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