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News

Australian standards chaos

Australia's new standard for bike helmets has been delayed for six months after the government was lobbied by the bike industry, which was concerned that a number of wholesalers and retailers had been caught overstocked in helmets of the previous standard.

Helmets labelled with the old standard can now be sold until 30 June 2011, provided they also comply with the new AS/NZS 2063:2008 standard, which was to have been introduced on 12 December, 2010.

This paradoxical situation has arisen because some helmets meet both the old and new standards. It seems that some suppliers of such helmets failed to obtain proper compliance with the 2008 standard.

Consumers will face uncertainty. It appears that some consumers will purchase helmets in the next six months with nothing more than the the good faith of the retailer to re-assure them that their new helmet meets the new standard.

Bicycle Victoria has confirmed that one distributor has been urging retailers to mislead customers in regard to the provenance of their company's helmets. In one case, only the colour of the helmet box can help the customer differentiate between a compliant and non-compliant version of a helmet.

Bicycle Victoria says it is a poor reflection on some sectors of the industry that they were ignorant of the coming regulation change.

Thu 9 Dec 2010

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