Flood-damaged products – disaster advice

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Businesses should be cautious when selling products damaged by floods.

If you decide to sell a flood-damaged product, you must not mislead consumers about its history. You should tell consumers if the product has been in flood water.

Contact your insurance company to find out if you can claim for damaged or destroyed products.

Products that should not be sold

Some flood-affected products may pose a health risk. Avoid selling:

  • any products used in or around the mouth, such as a toothbrush 
  • wooden or cloth toys that could absorb hazardous materials 
  • products for babies such as cots, cribs, mattresses and toys.

Your legal obligations

Under the Australian Consumer Law, a business automatically guarantees that products are of ‘acceptable quality’ when sold to a consumer.

Acceptable quality means a product is:

  • fit for common purposes 
  • acceptable in appearance and finish 
  • free from defects 
  • safe 
  • durable.

Businesses may have to fix the problem if they have sold products that fail to meet this guarantee.

You should also be aware of any safety standards that apply to the products you sell, and ensure your products meet those standards. 

For more information on the Australian Consumer Law, including product safety laws, contact us.

Get more information 

Food safety

For advice on food safety after a flood or power cut, contact the Department of Health on 1300 364 352 or visit the Victorian Government Food Safety website.

Electrical and gas safety

For information on flood damage to electrical and gas appliances and equipment, contact Energy Safe Victoria on 03 9203 9700 or visit the Energy Safe Victoria website.