Consumer Affairs Victoria has seized a record haul of more than 34,000 banned and unsafe cigarette lighters, valued at around $100,000, from a Dandenong South-based importer and wholesaler.
The seizure is one of the largest removal-from-sale operations we have conducted.
MRK Distributor Pty Ltd (ACN: 094 156 813) and its managing director Mounir Kassabian acknowledged the company breached Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) by supplying or offering to supply items that are either banned or do not meet mandatory safety requirements.
We inspected MRK Distributor in September of 2016, discovering more than 600 toy-like novelty lighters that were subject to a permanent ban, being offered for sale.
Further inspections of the company’s premises uncovered 34,575 disposable and refillable cigarette lighters that did not meet the mandatory safety standards.
Mr Kassabian and MRK Distributor have undertaken to:
- initiate a product recall notice to be published on the Product Safety Australia website, the company’s website and at points of sale
- provide refunds on all recalled items
- pay $1000 to us for the costs of destroying the seized products
- contribute $3000 to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund
- implement a compliance program.
Businesses must take all necessary steps to ensure their products meet mandatory safety standards.
We conducted more than 1,400 inspections in 2016-17, which resulted in more than 74,000 unsafe items being removed from Victorian shelves.