The Australian Product Safety Pledge launched on Monday, is a voluntary initiative that commits its signatories to a range of safety related responsibilities that go beyond what is legally required of them.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) - which runs the Product Safety Australia website - said the AliExpress, Amazon Australia, Catch.com.au and eBay Australia, who together account for a significant share of online sales in Australia, are the first businesses to sign the pledge, “signifying their commitment to consumers’ safety through a range of commitments such as removing unsafe product listings within two days of being notified by the ACCC”.
“This new initiative is an important step forward in ensuring businesses provide consumers with a safe and trusted online shopping experience,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The already fast growing e-commerce market in Australia has accelerated even more this year, as the pandemic meant people have had to do more of their shopping from home. With the boom in online shopping, it is more important than ever for businesses to prioritise product safety.”
The pledge consists of 12 product safety commitments and three measurable performance indicators, as well as guidance to assist signatories in fulfilling their commitments - and signatories are required to report on their product safety performance at the end of each financial year to inform an annual public report by the ACCC.
“Improving product safety online is critical to building consumer confidence and trust,” Rickard said.
“E-commerce giants like the four pledge signatories can help keep Australian consumers safe by preventing the sale of unsafe goods across their businesses.
“We applaud these signatories for signing up to the pledge and for confirming their commitment to protecting Australian consumers. We encourage them to continue to innovate to improve product safety,” Ms Rickard added.
Rickard said the ACCC will be inviting other online businesses - particularly those facilitating marketplace services - to sign the pledge and expects more signatories to join in subsequent years.
The ACCC says that online businesses that are interested in taking the pledge to strengthen their product safety policies are encouraged to visit the Product Safety Australia website for more information.