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The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published their regulatory assessment and recommendation for button battery safety.

Button battery safety is a key part of the ACCC’s Product Safety Priorities for 2020, which show how the ACCC will focus its efforts to ensure consumers are not exposed to potentially unsafe products.

ACCC proposes the following recommendation to ensure safe use and sale of button battery:

  • Option 1: Mandatory safety standard that includes secure battery compartment requirements
  • Option 2: Mandatory safety standard that adopts requirements in Option 1 and includes child-resistant packaging requirements
  • Option 3: Make a mandatory safety and information standard that adopts requirements in Options 2 and 3 and includes warnings and information requirements

Specifically, ACCC recommends the following:

  • All button batteries available for sale or provided with consumer goods (i.e. where the battery is not pre-installed in a secure battery compartment) would be required: 
    • to be supplied in child-resistant packaging
    • to include warnings and information on packaging and instructions
  • Consumer goods that use button batteries would be required: 
    • to have a battery compartment that is secured by screw or similar fasteners so batteries can only be accessed by using a tool (where batteries are intended to be replaced)
    • to fully secure batteries inside the product by the use of soldering, fasteners such as rivets, or similar (where batteries are not intended for removal or replacement)
    • to meet compliance tests focused on the security and durability of the product when subjected to normal use and foreseeable abuse, including any battery compartment and fasteners
    • to include warnings and information on the product (where practicable), packaging and instructions
  • Warnings and information would be made available to consumers at the point of sale and prior to purchase in circumstances when: 
    • button batteries and consumer goods that use button batteries are sold online
    • unpackaged consumer goods containing button batteries are supplied to consumers.

The assessment is open for public consultation until April 30th, 2020.