27 portable pool retailers fined

In October, NSW Fair Trading and ACCC inspectors visited 436 retailers and found 41 were not complying with the new portable pool regulations.

Since 30 March, a new mandatory safety standard under the Australian Consumer Law has applied to all suppliers of portable pools. This includes sellers on ebay.

“The new Consumer Goods (Portable Swimming Pools) Safety Standard 2013 now requires all portable pools and their packaging to carry warning labels about the active supervision of children and the pools’ appropriate storage when not in use,” says NSW Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox .

“For portable pools 300mm or more in height, pool fencing laws apply and consumers should consult with their local council before purchasing this product.”

Mason-Cox said the mandatory standard was introduced to address the drowning risk portable pools posed to young children.

Over the past nine months, NSW Fair Trading conducted a series of education and compliance programs to ensure businesses are aware of and complying with the mandatory standards. The first phase of the program saw inspectors visit nearly 350 retail outlets in February. In April, they visited 104 retailers and eight importers/distributors. As a result of those checks, five traders were each issued with $550 penalty notices and 24 traders received formal warnings due to non-compliance.’

In October , NSW Fair Trading and ACCC inspectors visited a further 118 retailers with portable pools in stock, plus another 318 retailers considered likely to be stocking portable pools.

Of those , 41 traders were non-compliant, 27 traders were issued with 32 $550 penalty notices, 10 traders received formal warnings and one trader remains under investigation.

Mason-Cox says that going forward retailers, importers and distributors could expect fewer warnings and more penalties if they were caught not carry the correct warnings.

Professor Danny Cass, Director of Trauma at the Westmead Children’s Hospital says portable swimming pools provided a source of enjoyment especially in the warm summer months and were increasing in popularity due to low cost and easy set-up.

“Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have seen too many cases of children drowning or near-drowning in a portable pool due to inadequate supervision or lack of a fence,” he says.

“Thankfully, in 2013, fewer children were brought to the hospital due to these incidents. We encourage the community to continue to be vigilant about safety in and around portable pools to continue this downward trend.”

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