Customs and Border Protection ACCC joint media release
Dangerous children’s toys stopped at border - Friday 27 November
Children’s toys containing dangerous levels of lead have been intercepted and seized in Melbourne as part of a joint agency operation.
In a pre-Christmas strike, Customs and Border Protection and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) tested targeted shipments of imported toys.
More than 500 tests were conducted on 165 samples and thousands of toys have been seized. Excessive lead levels were discovered in counterfeit Ben 10 figures, camouflage tommy guns, boxing gloves and a ride-on motorcycle.
Toys with levels of migratable lead of more than 90mg/kg are prohibited under import and supply laws in Australia. Migratable lead is what children can swallow or absorb through the skin and cause illness and developmental delays.
“In total, 4918 toys were seized and will be destroyed – demonstrating the effectiveness of cooperation between agencies to protect the Australian community,” Customs and Border Protection Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Neil Mann, said today.
The ACCC’s deputy chairman, Peter Kell, said: “A total of 480 packages of counterfeit Ben 10 toys were seized, with each package containing some figures with lead levels up to double the legal limit.
“This was the importer’s first attempt to bring the Ben 10 counterfeits into Australia and they were going to the weekend market sector and discount stores,” Mr Kell said.
“The ACCC has confirmed that genuine Ben 10 toys sold through major department stores comply with the law and are safe.
“Evidence indicates that well-known toy brands are now making sure their toys are safe, after major recalls in 2007-2008.
“However, since then, unsafe levels of lead in toys have been detected in Australia and overseas at the discount end of the market.”
Customs and Border Protection Communication and Media (02) 6275 6793
ACCC - Ms Lin Enright, media director, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520. General inquiries Infocentre 1300 302 502.