Button/Coin Battery NEW Safety Standards

11
Apr 2022

Important Information: Button/Coin Battery NEW Safety Standards

*UPDATE - Compliant Products List below

The below information is to provide you, our valued customers, with the relevant facts about the Australian Government’s (via the ACCC) mandated changes to Coin and Button battery safety standards, including new mandatory packaging and labelling requirements for relevant products. 

In short, From 22 June 2022 manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers of button/coin batteries or consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries sold in Australia, must comply with the applicable Australian mandatory Safety Standard and Information Standard
Supplying or selling noncompliant products to consumers after this date in Australia is illegal and large fines apply.  

Whilst concentrating on the packaging standards, it’s important to note that these new standards are the most stringent in the world, stricter that the global IEC standards used by most global manufacturers.  

Master Instruments is wholly committed to coin and button battery safety and we are working with our vendors to ensure we have compliant stock available in advance of the effective date. During this transition period, availability of some brands, packaging types and model numbers may be affected and we ask for your patience.

SAFETY STANDARD Summary:  The standard requires:-
•    Child-resistant packaging for lithium button batteries (OF ALL SIZES) and other types of button batteries with a diameter of 16mm and above.
•    Compliance testing to demonstrate the packaging of an applicable button battery is child-resistant.
•    Where multiple button batteries are supplied, packaging must be designed to release only one battery at a time.

Button/coin batteries as spare batteries inside the packaging of a consumer good and any spare button/coin batteries that are supplied with a consumer good, where the battery is not pre-installed in a secure battery compartment, must be enclosed in child-resistant packaging.

Cell Marking:
Certain lithium button/coin batteries must be marked with the internationally recognised “keep out of reach of children” symbol. This section only applies if a button/coin battery is a lithium button/coin battery with a diameter of 20mm or more. The “keep out of reach of children” symbol must have a diameter of at least 6mm.

INFORMATION STANDARD (Blister Pack) Marking summary:
The packaging of a button/coin battery must be marked with a warning that is clearly visible, prominent and legible.
The warning must include the substance of all of the following: (See image

  1. Compulsory Front Panel: an alert word (such as DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION) with the letters of the alert word in upper case.
  2. Compulsory Front Panel: a combination of an internationally recognised safety alert symbol and an internationally recognised “keep out of reach of children” symbol,
  3. Compulsory Front Panel: a statement to the effect that the battery is hazardous and is to be kept away from children.
  4. Front or Back Panel: if the battery is a lithium button/coin battery—a statement to the effect that the battery can cause severe or fatal injuries in 2 hours or less if it is swallowed or placed inside any part of the body.
  5. Front or Back Panel: if the battery is a non lithium button/coin battery—a statement to the effect that the battery can cause serious injuries if it is swallowed or placed inside any part of the body.
  6. Front or Back Panel: advice to the effect that medical attention should be sought immediately if it is suspected the battery has been swallowed or placed inside any part of the body.

Without limiting where the warning is marked on the packaging, the warning may be marked on the packaging by:

  1. if there is sufficient space, marking all the matters specified in Packaging (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) on the front of the packaging;
  2. or if there is insufficient space, marking the packaging as follows:
    1. marking the front with the matters specified in (a) to (c).
    2. marking the other matters specified in Packaging elsewhere on the packaging.

Web Sales Warnings:
Button/coin batteries supplied via electronic platforms should include warnings: If a person conducts a business with an electronic platform to supply button/coin batteries, the person should cause a warning as specified in Packaging (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f)  to be included in the batteries’ description provided by the platform that is clearly visible, prominent and legible. 
*All Relevant products on the Master Instruments website have these warnings applied.

What Products are we talking about?
The new mandated packaging standards are specific to products sold in retail packaging.
This mandatory safety standard does not apply to:

  • zinc-air button batteries intended for hearing aids
  • button/coin batteries supplied in bulk intended to be used in trades, professions or industries and which are not intended for sale to the general public.
  • button/coin batteries that have been installed in consumer goods before the consumer goods are supplied.

Master Instruments will only supply retail packaged lithium coin cells to customers who are retailers. Supply of bulk lithium coin cells will not be available to retailers. 

Penalties?
It’s important to understand that this directive is going to be policed by the ACCC’s Product Safety branch who are very active with enforcement. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is $500,000 for individuals or the greater of $10 million, three times the value of the financial benefit received or 10% of annual turnover in the preceding 12 months for companies. Civil penalties for the same amounts also apply. We strongly urge you to familiarise yourselves with your responsibilities in delivering the objectives outlined in this program.

What compliant Retail packaged items will be available?
Energizer, Ansmann and Panasonic have committed to supporting this Australian directive and will have a range of products that meet the mandated Safety & Information (packaging) standards. We anticipate these being available prior to the effective dates and will communicate this as they become available.

Our current non-compliant retail packaged product will be phased out over the coming months and replace with compliant product. 
Again during this transition period, some brands and packaging types may not be available and we will endeavour to provide alternative options.

MI Summary Document

MI ACCC Button Safty Summary Icon  

Master Instruments has produced a summary documents to give you the overview of the required safety standards. Click to view this document

 

Compliant Stock Cross Reference Document

Compliant Stock List  

To assist with identifying compliant stock, please Click to view cross-reference chart

 

For more information, please click the links below:

 

I’m sure you’ll agree that  the Australian Government’s mandated changes to Coin and Button battery safety standards is a good initiative and will reduce the instances of children ingesting these batteries and subsequent injuries. If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact your Master Instruments representative.

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