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Australia: New mandatory safety standard for swimming and floating aids

January 2018- Relevant for: Hardlines, Toys & children's products

On 19 December 2017, a new mandatory safety standard for swimming and floating aids1 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation of Australia.

According to the safety standard, a flotation aid means an article:

  • designed for children under 14 years of age; and
  • to be worn on or attached to the user’s body, or sat in by the user, for the purpose of enabling them to gain confidence through water familiarisation, or to
  • assist them in acquiring unaided buoyancy through swimming tuition; and
  • that is NOT any of the following:
    • a flotation toy;
    • an unattached flotation device;
    • an article designed only for therapeutic use;
    • an article designed for use by disabled persons;
    • a personal flotation device for use in boating or other recreational water activities.
    • The safety standard is based on requirements of the voluntary Australian standard AS/NZS 1900:2014 Flotation aids for water familiarization and swimming tuition2, with minor modifications of scope, definitions and omitted the requirement of security of fit in 2.1.1 and 2.8.

The safety standard will be enforced starting from 19 December 2019. During the 2-year transitional period, suppliers can choose to continue supplying swimming and floating aids that meet the previous safety standards (Consumer Product Safety Standard for Swimming Aids for Water Familiarisation and Swimming Tuition - Consumer Protection Notice No.3 of 20093) or the new safety standard.

[1] Consumer Goods (Swimming and Flotation Aids) Safety Standard 2017
[2] AS/NZS 1900:2014
[3] Consumer Protection Notice No 3 of 2009


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