Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Crackerjack sentencing a red flag for parents warns ComCom

The Commerce Commission says the sentencing of a New Zealand retailer for breaching fire hazard labelling requirements should be a red flag for parents buying children’s nightwear this winter. 

In an inspection of a Crackerjack store in Napier, Commission investigators identified a number of garments being supplied that were missing or had non-compliant fire hazard labels.

Crackerjack has now been fined $174,250 for supplying children’s nightwear that breached fire hazard and fibre content labelling requirements, under the Fair Trading Act.  

Commerce Commission’s Product Safety Manager, Grant McIntosh says fire hazard labels are there to inform consumers about the risk of the clothing catching fire, so it is vital businesses comply with labelling obligations. 

“As we head into winter and parents are trying to keep kids warm in pyjamas and dressing gowns in front of the heater or fire, it is important they know of the risk and suitability of the nightwear they’re buying,” he said.

“Businesses have a responsibility to ensure the products they sell are safe and comply with all relevant standards particularly when the safety of children is concerned. They should have rigorous compliance processes in place to ensure this.

“All children’s nightwear and certain daywear sold must comply with the safety requirements and have a fire hazard label permanently attached in an obvious place. Not complying with these obligations creates a serious safety risk.

“The requirements also apply to wearable towels and blankets, which are often used by parents to keep kids warm after a bath. The Commission recently warned Davie Clothing, the company behind Oodie, for selling wearable towels which did not comply with the compulsory requirement,” Mr McIntosh says.

Crackerjack was sentenced in relation to 18 charges under the FTA in North Shore District Court.

After opening an investigation into Crackerjack, the Commission found 10 nightwear garments with incorrect fire hazard labels, and a further six – including some made from fabrics with a higher fire risk – with no label at all.

In total, 2,880 units of nightwear across Crackerjack’s full range were imported by the business in April 2022, including non-compliant garments. The Commission understands that up to 266 items were sold to consumers.

Crackerjack was unable to confirm how many non-compliant garments were sold and a general recall of all children’s nightwear was carried out in May 2022.

Davie Clothing Pty Ltd has been warned by the Commission after it supplied six different styles of ‘Kids Beach Oodies’ that did not have any fire hazard labels attached, and for not providing hazard information online. Davie clothing recalled these hooded towels in August 2023.

The Commission says fire hazard labels should be easy to see. They must:

  • be on the inside back neck of a top or one-piece garment or, in pants, at the waist, waistband or top of the back seam (all pieces of a set should be labelled);
  • have fire hazard and size information clearly visible on the face side of the label;
  • be permanently fixed on the nightwear, so it is unlikely to come off.

If the nightwear is sold in packaging which makes it difficult to see and read the label, the packaging must also be clearly marked with the correct fire hazard information.

If nightwear is sold online, clear and legible fire hazard information must be provided as part of the image and description. 

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