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ACCC removes 15,000 unsafe products from online marketplaces

Shopping cart and laptop computer with marketplace website.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Australian Product Safety Pledge saw retailers delist more than 15,000 unsafe products from online marketplaces.

The pledge was introduced in November 2020 as a voluntary initiative to encourage major online retailers, such as eBay, AliExpress, Catch, Kogan, and Amazon, to commit to removing unsafe products from their platforms. The pledge is modelled on a similar program in the European Union on improving product safety. Through the use of artificial intelligence, image recognition, and automated scanning, items such as children’s toys, electrical goods, and cosmetics, were deleted from Australian online marketplaces. Moreover, the ACCC saw 98% of take-down requests being executed within two days of filing.

The success of the pledge is a positive development for Australian consumers, who have increasingly turned to online marketplaces to purchase goods in recent years. While these platforms offer convenience and competitive pricing, they also present risks, as it can be difficult to ensure the safety and quality of products sold by third-party sellers. Furthermore, the ACCC released the Australian Product Safety Pledge annual report for 2022 and observed significant improvements in the use of technology, education, communication, and collaboration between online retailers and regulators to ensure that consumers are protected from unsafe products. It also serves as a reminder that all businesses have a responsibility to prioritise product safety, regardless of whether they operate online or in physical stores.

Consumers should always be familiar with tips for shopping safely online and be alert for product recalls by the ACCC.

For a full reading of the media release, see here.

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