Throughout the years many novelty products that have appeared on Australian shelves have ended up being blacklisted from being supplied due to the risks they pose to the public. Some of these products range from conventional products that have inherent risks, to unconventional products that have an obvious risk to the safety of the consumer.

When a certain product has the potential to injure someone, the Australian Government has the statutory authority to ban the product from being sold. They can either issue an interim ban for 60 days or a permanent ban which is applied nationally. Once a ban is declared, it is an offence for anyone to:

  • Supply;
  • Offer to supply;
  • Manufacture;
  • Possess; or
  • Have control of this product.

Below are five products that have been banned within Australia, which can be found on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s website. If you run a business that intends to manufactures and distributes novelty or unusual products within Australia, contact a business lawyer to ensure that your products are safe and do not make the list of banned consumer products in Australia.

Banned Consumer Products in Australia

Novelty Cigarettes & Lighters

It is an offence to supply a novelty cigarette or a toy-like novelty cigarette lighter in Australia. The reasons behind this include the dangerous chemicals in fake cigarettes if one was to light it and inhale, and that children are susceptible to mistake the lighter for a toy and burn themselves.

Glucomannan in tablet form

Glucomannan is a substance that is considered a dietary fibre, as once consumes swells in your stomach to create a sensation that you are full so you refrain from eating as much. This substance is legal in capsule and powder form, however not in the form of a tablet. This is because of the high likelihood of the tablet prematurely swelling in your throat, as a result the Australian Government permanently banned the substance in tablet from.

Fire footbags

‘Fire footbags’ refer to balls made out of fire resistant material with the purpose of dousing it in flammable liquid to then set alight and kick or throw. For obvious reasons, this has been permanently banned nationally in Australia for the risk that is poses to consumers as the ball may ignite other flammable items and/or cause burns.

Sky lanterns

Lanterns that act like miniature unmanned hot air balloons that rise into the air due to an open flame inside have been prohibited from being sold in Australia. They have been permanently banned due to the inherent risk they pose of landing and igniting flammable material, especially bushland.

Yo-Yo water balls

Yo-Yo water balls are a toy with a small synthetic object on the end of an elastic string that loops onto one’s finger with the purpose of being thrown and returned to the hand. They may be able to be filled up with water or some other substance and can contain a novelty feature such as flashing lights. They have been banned due to the high chance of the string wrapping around a consumer’s neck when thrown, as the string can stretch to around one meter in length.

When making your own product to sell in your business or importing a novelty item from overseas, it is important consider risks that it may pose to your customer’s safety, as you don’t want your product blacklisted and waste all capital spent in research and development, marketing and production. To make sure your product is acceptable, contact a business lawyer.

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Logan Tennyson

Logan is a Paralegal working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a passion for commercial and media law, his research explores how the law is adapting to emerging technologies and how this affects consumers and businesses alike.