Importers are deemed to be manufacturers

Importers are deemed to be the manufacturer in Product liability claims

Generally the manufacturers or importers of products are liable under Parts 3 – 5 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (which forms Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010).

But also if other suppliers, such as retailers, cannot identify the manufacturer or importer, they may also be deemed liable for the damages.

Parts 3 – 5 of the ACL contain provisions on product liability.  Under these provisions, consumers can seek compensation or damages for personal injury or other loss caused by a safety defect in products supplied by a manufacturer.

Goods with a safety defect are those that are not as safe as what people are generally entitled to expect.

Suppliers may reduce their exposure to product liability action by using these responsible and sensible business practices:

  • conducting regular reviews of product designs and production
  • implementing and reviewing quality assurance procedures
  • testing products regularly to relevant standards, including batch testing
  • conducting appropriate marketing
  • providing clear and thorough user instructions 
  •  where necessary, conducting a quick voluntary recall of any products that are defective or unsafe.

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