Decathlon has been fined A$1.5m for inaccurate Warning Labels by Australian Federal Court
The French-owned sporting goods store Decathlon has been fined in Australia for selling products without sufficient safety warnings. The store discovered to its cost (it was fined A$1.5m) that using European regulations to assure compliance with a different continent did not work. This isn't the first time a corporation has gone down this path. Companies from Europe frequently believe that if their product meets EU requirements, it must also meet US or Australian requirements.
Decathlon has outlets in Sydney and Melbourne. Between 2016 and 2019 it supplied multiple versions of basketball rings and pools that lacked the necessary safety labeling, consumer warnings, and instructions. Last July, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), a federal watchdog, began looking into the situation.
Decathlon has admitted to supplying 432 basketball rings and backboards. It also sold 307 portable swimming pools that do not meet safety regulations.
Portable Swimming Pools
There were 66 portable pools that lacked essential warnings. For example "Children have drowned in portable swimming pools" and "Ensure active adult supervision at all times" should have been used.
Basketball Rings And Backboards
Decathlon also sold 341 basketball rings and backboards without warnings that they should not be attached to brick walls.
“Mandatory safety standards exist to reduce the risk of death and serious injury to consumers, especially children, when using these types of products", ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard declared.
Furthermore she said: “By not including these important warnings, Decathlon put consumers at risk of serious harm when they were using the Decathlon swimming pools, basketball rings and backboards. It is illegal to sell products in Australia that do not comply with mandatory safety standards, and consumers have a right to expect that products they purchase will not endanger their safety or the safety of their family and others.”
Decathlon must also post a remedial notice on its website. Furthermore it must create an Australian Consumer Law (ACL) compliance program in addition to the penalties. The merchant has agreed to abide by all court orders and pay the ACCC's expenses.
Decathlon maintains five locations in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as a digital portal. Over 1,500 stores are currently open in over 55 countries. Its headquarters are in France.
Source: The Retail Insight Network