Product Safety Standards regulate particular products in order to prevent or reduce the risk of injury.

Preventing or reducing risk of injury

Product Safety Standards (PSS) are created in accordance with the Fair Trading Act. They don’t cover property damage. The Product Safety Standards relate to a number of factors. This includes how goods:

  • perform
  • are made up and what they are made of
  • are designed, constructed and finished
  • are packaged.

Product Safety Standards also relate to the:

  • testing of goods both during and after they are made and
  • form and content of markings, warnings or instructions that come with goods.

There are six current Product Safety Standards in place :

For more information on Product Safety Standards, including their purpose, see Trading Standards – Product safety.


Who must comply?

Any person who supplies, or offers or advertises to supply, goods that a PSS applies to must comply with that standard. Where there are two or more Product Safety Standards in relation to goods any person who supplies, or offers or advertises, to supply those goods must comply with one of those standards.

These requirements don’t apply to goods that are intended for use outside NZ if information is applied to state that:

  • the goods are for export only or
  • the goods are intended to be used outside NZ.

‘Applied’ includes woven in, worked into or fixed to goods as well as applied to a covering or a label.


Compliance and enforcement

The Commerce Commission is responsible for enforcing PSS within New Zealand. For compliance information go to the Commerce Commission website(external link).

PSS are also enforced by the New Zealand Customs Service at the border. Products that do not meet a PSS are deemed prohibited imports under the Customs and Excise Act 1996. For more information go to the NZ Customs(external link) website.


How are they made?

Before introducing a PSS, the Minister must:

  • must consult with all parties that the Minister believes will be substantially affected by the PSS and
  • must consider those parties’ comments.

Product safety policy statements

The Minister can issue a product safety policy statement that:

  • relates to goods of any description or any class of goods
  • provides guidance on the safety of those goods to consumers, retailers and manufacturers.

Before issuing a product safety policy statement the Minister must:

  • consult with all parties that the Minister believes will be substantially affected by the PSS and must
  • consider those parties’ comments.

To date the Minister's powers to introduce a product safety policy statement have not been used.


 

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