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Australian standards set out specifications and design procedures to ensure products and services consistently perform safely, reliably, and the way they're intended to. There are 2 types of standards, mandatory and voluntary.

Mandatory standards

Mandatory standards are law, and there are penalties for supplying products that don't comply with them. They are developed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in conjunction with public and industry consultation. There are 2 types of mandatory product standards:

  • Safety standards – requiring goods to comply with particular performance, composition, contents, methods of manufacture or processing, design, construction, finish or packaging rules.
  • Information standards – requiring prescribed information such as labelling, clear instructions and warnings against possible misuse.

Voluntary standards

Voluntary standards are published documents and generally represent best practice. They're not automatic legal requirements and are developed by non-government bodies such as Standards Australia, and the international body ISO (International Organization for Standardization). You can search and purchase voluntary standards online.

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