Low-cost retailer The 123 Mart Limited has been accused by the Commerce Commission for failing to have mandatory safety warnings on children’s toys and clothing.
Earlier this year in April, new standards were issued by Standards NZ and enforced by the Commission which updated the fire hazard labels Now stating that it will be illegal to sell product carrying old fire-hazard labels. However, 123 Mart had no labeling on their products at all.
The Commission has undertaken three investigations into 123 Mart. It was given compliance advice by the Commission in 2012, and warned by the Commission in 2013. Charges were laid in May 2016 and additional charges were laid in August 2016, following the third investigation.
The 123 Mart has approximately 60 retail stores throughout New Zealand and has been found guilty in the Auckland District Court on 17 charges under the Fair-Trading Act.
The 17 charges on which 123 Mart was found guilty all related to toys which did not comply with the mandatory product safety standard for toys, because of potential choking hazard.
Judge Ronayne found that 123 Mart sold seven types of toys with small parts that presented choking hazards for young children. It sold approximately 9,000 units of the non-compliant toys.
The 123 Mart Limited started operating in New Zealand in 1995 and has shops under four different brands: The 123 Mart, Dollar Store 123, King Dollar Store and Max!Out.
It has withdrawn the toys from its 60 locations but is still going through court proceedings. Sentencing will be 13 October.
The recalled toys are as follows:
‘My Baby Concert’ trumpet
‘My Baby Concert’ rattle
‘Toys’ wind-up snake set
‘The World of toys’ house set
Small ‘Magnetic letter and number’ sets
Toys and clothing to be recalled:
Dream house set
Butterfly on a walking stick
Fairy Doll toy
Beaut Surprised girls dolls
Musical band set
Children’s sleeping pants
Clothing with alleged labelling breaches:
Beanie, knitted hat, and winter hat