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Mandatory helmet standard review

October 3, 2016

 

In 2015, the ACCC removed the 'mandatory' element of the Australian motorcycle helmet standard.

Following from this action, the ACCC has released a consultation paper on the review of the Australian mandatory bicycle helmet standard.

The ACCC has released the following statement - 

"This paper is part of a stakeholder consultation about the mandatory safety standard for the supply of bicycle helmets in Australia.
The ACCC is interested in any information that could help us assess the options, particularly the potential impacts and benefits of revoking the standard."

A copy of the consultation paper is on the BIA website and can be found here -members will require their password to access the document

The ACCC has requested formal submissions or the competition of a survey which can be linked to from the BIA website - click here.

* Please note - the ACCC's preferred position is to remove the 'mandatory' element of the Australian standard.

Submission close on Nov 18 2016.

The BIA will be completing a submission - if you would like to provide information to the BIA submission, please forward it to the BIA by the 30th of October.


From the ACCC website - Why We Are Consulting

 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reviewing the  mandatory safety standard for bicycle helmets because:

  • there is potential for future conflict between commonwealth and state/territory regulation

  • overlapping regulations create increased compliance costs for governments, businesses and consumers

  • regulatory good practice and government policy encourages the use of trusted standards

  • the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) includes a number of consumer protections and guarantees which may be used by the ACCC with state and territory road use laws to ensure the safe supply of bicycle helmets.

The purpose of this review is to assess whether the mandatory safety standard remains effective and whether there are more efficient ways of achieving the same level of safety. This review considers the adoption of international standards. The ACCC has assessed the EN and CPSC standards against its published criteria for acceptance.

 

Background

 

Bicycle helmets are currently regulated by a mandatory safety standard that prescribes the general design features, helmet retention system, projections, materials, ventilation, testing and performance requirements, instructions and safety markings.

 

The mandatory safety standard specifies which bicycle helmets can be supplied to consumers, whereas state and territory road authorities regulate what helmets can be used on the road.

The mandatory safety standard is based on the voluntary Australian/ New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2063:2008 – Bicycle Helmets. As at September 2016, every state and territory references AS/NZS 2063 in their respective road use laws.

 

Policy options

The ACCC is considering the following policy options for dealing with the current mandatory safety standard:

Option 1a - Revoke the standard
Option 1b - 'Use' laws to reference the mandatory safety standard
Option 2 - Maintain the status quo
Option 3 - Accept other trusted standards

The ACCC’s preliminary position is to revoke the mandatory safety standard to remove potential for a future conflict between commonwealth and state/ territory regulation. A detailed discussion of the options is in the consultation paper.

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