A Melbourne retailer in possession of thousands of unsafe products has been ordered to pay $355,000 by the Federal Court of Australia.
Origo & Co Pty Ltd (Origo)(ACN: 140 019 656), the operator of six Daiso franchise stores in Victoria, was found to have supplied, offered to supply or possessed goods that did not comply with mandatory product safety and information standards, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and ACL(Vic).
Further, Origo were also found to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct for offering to supply sunscreen that did not comply with the labelling and advertising requirements.
A Consumer Affairs Victoria investigation into Origo uncovered non-compliance with Australian mandatory consumer safety standards and information standards, leading to the identification of more than 15,295 non-compliant items.
These items included projectile toys posing a risk of eye and face injuries; toys for children under three years of age posing a potential choking hazard; and elastic luggage straps, sunglasses and cosmetic products with incorrect or insufficient labelling.
Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Simon Cohen said this outcome sent a clear message to traders that they must not shirk their safety and compliance responsibilities.
“The onus is on traders to ensure the products they are selling or supplying meet mandatory requirements, ensuring consumers can buy products with confidence,” Mr Cohen said.
“Those who don’t comply can expect a visit from Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors who will be out in force as part of the statewide compliance program.”
In addition to the $355,000 penalty, the Federal Court of Australia handed down several significant injunctions and orders, including that Origo must:
- pay for all costs associated with the destruction and disposal of seized and identified non-complaint goods
- pay a contribution to costs associated with the proceedings, fixed at $15,000
- publish notices in each store, all Origo-related websites, and on the “daisoau” Instagram page.
This outcome follows the Federal Court’s December 2017 decision to penalise Daiso Industries (Australia) Pty Ltd $1 million for selling unsafe products to Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland consumers. Origo is not related to Daiso Industries (Australia) Pty Ltd.