Product recalls explained

A product recall is any corrective action taken to remedy a product safety issue that's identified after a product has been manufactured.

What a recall is

As a business importing, manufacturing and selling products, you are responsible for ensuring that your products are safe for the people who buy and use them.

You may need to undertake a product recall if a product you sell:

  • has safety concerns
  • falls short of a safety standard, or
  • has caused reported injuries or near misses.

When to recall a product

What a product recall involves

A 'product recall' describes any actions taken after a product has been produced to:

  • remove the potential for harm, and
  • reduce risk to consumers or end-users.

A product recall can include:

  • advising consumers that there is a problem with the product, and letting them know what they need to do
  • recovery of the product
  • repairing or upgrading the product
  • sending out additional parts or information to consumers.

It's important to get the process right, and to be able to monitor how much of the original product has been returned. Depending on the product this may be easy or very difficult.

Recalls we don't deal with

Depending on the type of product, there are different government agencies to notify and work with to undertake the recall.

Recalls involving:

For all other types of recalls, use the information on this website.

Types of product recall

There are 2 types of product recall — voluntary recalls and compulsory recalls.

Voluntary recall

A business may choose to recall a product if they find out that goods they have supplied pose unacceptable risks to the user or the public.

This information can come from:

  • customer feedback
  • product surveillance testing, or
  • advice from a regulator.

They may also choose to recall goods in New Zealand because they have been recalled overseas.

Compulsory recall

A compulsory recall occurs when a business or individual is ordered to recall unsafe goods by the Minister because they've failed to take appropriate action to mitigate the risks posed by unsafe goods.

Compulsory product recalls