The main requirements for the safety of toys are contained in the AS/NZS 8124 series of Standards published jointly by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand. Compliance with these Standards is voluntary, but Governments may make specific requirements mandatory by referencing them in Law if considered necessary. The Australian Toy Association represents the toy industry on the committee responsible for developing and maintaining these Standards.
There are several regulations and regulators governing the safety of toys in Australia, but the Australian Consumer Law managed by the ACCC is the most important of these. The ACCC may make specific safety or information requirements mandatory under the ACL and these requirements may reflect those in voluntary Standards or be different depending on the findings from a Regulatory Impact Statement. Examples of these regulations are:
- The requirements for shape, size and strength of toys for children under 36 months
- The requirements for toys with projectiles
- The requirements for migrateable amounts of certain elements such as lead in toys.
Regulations made by the ACCC may be enforced by them directly or by any of the State or Territory Fair Trading or Consumer Affair Departments.
The Australian Toy Association (ATA) is one of the strongest supporters of the Standards for the safety of toys and it is a primary obligation of ATA membership to adhere to all applicable mandatory and voluntary requirements.
Consumers can report a product that they believe to be unsafe product to the ACCC directly (https://www.productsafety.gov.au/contact-us/for-consumers/report-an-unsafe-product) or to their local State or Territory Authority.