In celebration of the first day of summer, we thought we would tell you some important news about sunglasses: The ACCC has released a reminder to consumers to select safe sunglasses to wear this summer. Perhaps in issuing this release, the ACCC intends to focus its compliance efforts on ensuring retailers have correct labelling and compliance for sunglasses being sold.
In Australia, the manufacture and sale of sunglasses is covered by Mandatory Standards. The purpose of Mandatory Standards is to ensure that certain safety features apply to what the ACCC deems to be high risk products – for example, baby clothing, toys and sunglasses.
Sunglasses are subject to mandatory standards so that consumers can be fully informed about the product they are buying and whether they are appropriate for the intended use.
A consumer could select a pair of sunglasses based on the category of protection rating on the label which are unsuitable for such use – for example, if a pair of sunglasses are labelled category 1 but are actually category 4 and the customer buys them as driving glasses, there is potential to impair vision while driving.
Retailers selling mislabelled sunglasses could be subject to fines by the ACCC or mandatory undertakings. The ACCC can send mystery shoppers in store to review your labels or can act in response to a complaint. In the event that an error or oversight occurs, it can assist in defending an ACCC investigation if you have an appropriate compliance plan and procedures in place to deal with incorrect labels and other compliance issues with merchandise.