Australia:NZ disparity on children’s nightwear – Compliance ‘chaos’
New Zealand has moved on children’s nightwear regulations – leaving Australia behind. Any business that supplies children’s nightwear in both Australia and New Zealand is facing some logistical challenges now that the NZ government has made the change from AS/NZS 1249-2003 to AS/NZS 1249-2014.
On 17 March 2016 the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced that from 18 April this year compliance with the revised standard is acceptable in New Zealand, with a 12 month lead time for full compliance.
As of 18 April 2017 all children’s nightwear sold in NZ will need to comply with the 2014 standard. The new NZ regulations are provided on the government website.
To date, Australia is yet to take action toward adopting the 2014 standard.
On hearing the news one leading industry practitioner declared this would mean ‘compliance chaos’.
It’s not surprising that NZ gave up waiting for Australia but it is unfortunate to have a disparity. This standard is challenging enough without suppliers that trade in both countries having two very different versions to work with for the next 1-2 years.
What’s different between the 2003 and 2014 versions?
The main changes are summarised in my blog article Changes to the children’s nightwear standard – Advice for suppliers
For more detail, Product Safety Solutions has published an e-book that explores and explains the changes in AS/NZS1249-2014. The e-book provides practical guidance and tips on each of the key changes.
You can access the e-book in the downloadable resources section of this website.
Those suppliers implementing the new regulations in NZ will be well placed to assess the changes and provide feedback on any aspects that might cause difficulties. While the standard has been carefully written, there is always a chance of unforeseen practical issues arising when significant revisions are done on standards. This feedback can help inform the ACCC’s Australian regulations.
I encourage any suppliers that encounter practical difficulties in applying the new standard to alert Standards Australia, NZ MBIE and the ACCC.
ACCC action for Australia
Hopefully the ACCC will be able to get its regulatory processes moving very soon. You can register for alerts on the Product Safety Australia website.
You can access the e-book: Key changes in AS/NZS1249 Children’s Nightwear Standard for guidance and tips