Compulsory product recalls

A compulsory product recall can be issued if a business does not take satisfactory action to voluntarily recall an unsafe product.

Compulsory product recall orders

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has the power to issue compulsory product recall orders under section 32 of the Fair Trading Act.

Fair Trading Act 1986 — Section 32 — New Zealand Legislation Te Tari Tohutohu Pāremata(external link)

The Minister can issue a compulsory product recall order to a supplier if the supplier has not recalled goods or taken satisfactory action to recall goods, and the goods:

  • are likely to cause injury to any person
  • do not comply with a prescribed product safety standard, or
  • are subject to an unsafe goods notice.

What the order includes

The Minister can order the supplier to:

  • recall the goods
  • publish specified information to the public (including how this must be done)
  • provide a specified remedy, and/or
  • complete the required actions by a specified date.

Costs of a compulsory recall

The business specified in the order is responsible for all of the costs involved with complying with the product recall.

Compliance and enforcement

The Commerce Commission New Zealand enforces compulsory recalls.

If a supplier does not comply with a compulsory product recall order — or continues to supply the recalled goods — they will be breaching the Fair Trading Act and can be prosecuted and fined up to $600,000.

Import prohibition

A compulsory recall order automatically makes the goods named in the order a prohibited import under the Customs and Excise Act 1996.

Prohibited imports are forfeit and can be seized by the New Zealand Customs Service.

Prohibitions and restrictions — New Zealand Customs Service Te Mana Ārai o Aoteroa(external link)