The Product Safety Standards (Children's Nightwear & Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations 2016
On 16 March 2016 the Product Safety Standards (Children's Nightwear & Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations 2016 (2016 Regulations) were notified in the New Zealand Gazette. The 2016 Regulations come into force 28 days later - on 13 April 2016 - replacing the 2008 regulations.
The new regulations can be viewed on the legistation website(external link).
Why new regulations?
Trading Standards – part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) – is reviewing and updating the suite of Product Safety Standards made under Part 3 of the Fair Trading Act 1986. The children’s nightwear labelling regulations are part of this review process and were one of the first to be reviewed because the underpinning standard had recently been revised and a new version published.
The new 2016 Regulations:
- Bring the legal requirements up to date by citing the official standard AS/NZS 1249:2014 Children’s nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard(external link) (2014 Standard).
- Reduces number of different labels from 3 down to 2 to help improve consumer understanding and reduce compliance complications for business.
- Extends and clarifies what garments which they apply to, reflecting the definition of children’s nightwear in the 2014 standard.
- Sets the groundwork for harmonising and aligning the requirements with Australia.
What do the new labels looks like?
(applies to garment categories
1 through 3)
(applies to category 4 garments)
How do the 2016 regulations affect current stock and stock already on order?
The 2016 Regulations provide a 12 month transition period to enable suppliers to sell current stock and stock that is on order that complies with the 2008 regulations.
During the transition period stock can comply with either the 2008 or 2016 regulations.
When the transition period lapses any previously legal remainder stock cannot legally be sold. Remainder stock would have to be reworked to make it complaint with the 2016 Regulations.
View the 2008 Regulations(external link).
Are second-hand garments covered by the new regulations?
There has been no change in this area. The 2016 Regulations also apply to the sale or supply of second-hand children’s nightwear.
What do the new regulations apply to?
Children’s nightwear and limited daywear are defined in the regulations based on size of the garment. It includes pyjamas and pyjama sets; all-in-ones, nightdresses and nighties; nightshirts; dressing gowns; bathrobes; boxer shorts of a loose style commonly used as nightwear; infant sleepbags with sleeves or arm openings; and blankets and towels that incorporate a sleeve or arm opening
There are also explicit exemptions set out in the regulations.
Who enforces the regulations?
The New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) enforces the regulations at the border under the Fair Trading Act and Customs and Excise Act. They may request documentary evidence of compliance and/or inspect goods before they are permitted to enter New Zealand. Non-compliant goods are deemed prohibited imports under the Fair Trading Act.
For more information on how Customs enforces the regulations go to the “unsafe goods” on the Customs website(external link).
The Commerce Commission enforce the regulations in-market and have prepared guidance material(external link) to help traders understand and comply with the requirements.
Policy rationale & background
Requirements for fire hazard warning labelling on children’s nightwear were first introduced in New Zealand in 2005 with the introduction of the Product Safety Standards (Children's Nightwear and Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations 2005(external link). The regulations were introduced help reduce the number of burn injuries suffered by children in the home every year, and directly in response to injuries and fatalities involving the ignition of children’s nightwear in the home.
The regulations provide information to parents and carers on the flammability hazards associated with different styles/designs, fitments and materials used in children’s nightwear. This information is intended to enable parents and carers to make informed decisions when purchasing children’s nightwear and enable them to choose garments that are appropriate for the circumstances in which they live.
History of the standard and regulations for children’s nightwear
The first standard setting specifications for children’s nightwear in New Zealand was introduced in the late 90’s - NZS 8705:1989 Children's night clothes having low fire danger(external link). This standard was superseded a decade later by the joint Australian and New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1249:1999 Children's nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard(external link).
AS/NZS 1249:1999(external link) was revised and republished in 2003 as AS/NZS 1249:2003(external link) which was used as the backbone of the Product Safety Standards (Children's Nightwear and Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations 2005.(external link)
The regulations were revised in 2008 to address issues related to interpretation and consumer understanding of the 4 labels. The review process included the development and publication of a New Zealand only amendment(external link) to AS/NZS 1249:2003, which also became part of the regulatory requirements set out in the Product Safety Standards (Children's Nightwear and Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations 2008(external link).
AS/NZS 1249:2003 was reviewed and republished in 2014 as AS/NZS 1249:2014(external link). To keep pace with the changes in the standard the 2008 regulations were subsequently reviewed. The review process resulted in the introduction of the Product Safety Standards (Children's Nightwear and Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations 2016(external link).