French sports retailer Decathlon is going to be fined for violating requirements around safety warnings and labelling.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Decathlon and is seeking penalties, costs and other orders.
According to the consumer watchdog, warnings such as “improper installation or swinging on the ring may cause serious injury or death” were missing from many of the retailer’s basketball products.
The ACCC also alleges Decathlon made a false or misleading representation that some of the basketball rings and backboards were safe to attach to brickwork when that was not the case.
Decathlon offered 14 models of basketball rings and blackboards and five models of portable swimming pools for sale in between October 2016 and December 2019 that failed to carry the safety labelling, consumer warnings or installation and use instructions required under applicable product safety standards.
In that period, the ACCC said Decathlon sold more than 400 basketball rings and backboards, and nearly 300 portable pools online or at its physical stores. The pools included small inflatable and non-inflatable pools, which were intended for use by small children.
The ACCC said the 66 portable swimming pools which Decathlon allegedly supplied were 30 centimetres deep without required warnings including “children have drowned in portable swimming pools”, “ensure active adult supervision at all times” and “pool fencing laws apply to this pool”.
“Safety standards exist to protect consumers when using certain products,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard. “It is essential that businesses comply with safety warning and labelling requirements to protect consumers from the risk of serious injury or even death from the use of these products.”
Rickard said the ACCC is very concerned that consumers were not warned about the potential dangers of these products and could have been seriously hurt when they used the pools or basketball hoops.
“Products which do not comply with safety standards cannot be legally sold in Australia.”