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Clothing importer fined for labelling failures

Media release

Issued 26 November 2018
Release no. 78

Clothing importer fined for labelling failures

Clothing importer Goodwear Limited has been fined $50,000 for supplying children’s clothing which didn’t meet product safety or consumer information standards, following a Commerce Commission investigation.

Goodwear had earlier pleaded guilty to 16 charges under the Fair Trading Act, relating to hundreds of units of 25 children’s garments it supplied between July 2016 and October 2017.

“Labelling requirements are there to protect and inform consumers. Businesses which supply children’s clothing must be aware of their obligations to label relevant children’s clothing with fire risk warnings and they need to have systems in place to make sure this happens. They should also make sure that they understand other labelling requirements which are intended to inform consumers about the country of origin and fibre content of their clothing and how to best look after it,” said Commissioner Anna Rawlings.

Between November 2016 and September 2017, Commission staff purchased 27 garments which had been supplied by Goodwear to two south Auckland retailers. The garments were sent for testing by the New Zealand Wool Testing Authority.

Eleven garment types sold by Goodwear failed to comply with the Product Safety Standard because:
• eight required fire warning labels but had none
• three had fire warning labels with incorrect wording.

22 garment types failed to comply with at least one of the Consumer Information Standards, which include care labelling, fibre content labelling, and country of origin labelling requirements

The Commission enforces six mandatory product safety standards, including for children’s nightwear. The standards are intended to prevent or reduce the risk of injury.

Relevant garments will breach the Product Safety Standard if they do not have a warning label in the correct format, or if they do not have any label at all.

We also enforce five consumer information standards including for care, country of origin and fibre content. These ensure that consumers are provided with information that helps them make informed decisions when purchasing and caring for a product.

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