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News, Lenses, Frames

Sunglasses, fashion specs safety standard under review

Public submissions are being invited on changes to the safety standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched a review of mandatory rules for sellers of the eyewear following a recent update to the voluntary sunglasses and fashion spectacles standard known as AS/NZS 1067.

According to the ACCC, the Australian standard (AS 1067) was developed in 1971 and was generally accepted as being the first voluntary standard for general-use sunglasses in the world, becoming a joint Australian/New Zealand standard in 2003.

The mandatory standard, which was last reviewed in 2005, is based on the 2003 AS/NZS 1067 revision and covers one-piece visors, clip-on and children's sunglasses. It excludes prescription lenses, toy glasses, ski goggles, and personal protective equipment for occupational or medical use.

This year, AS/NZS 1067 was revised again.

"The revised AS/NZS 1067 clarifies and simplifies requirements and makes editorial changes to harmonise more closely with the relevant International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard," the ACCC's consultation paper explained.

"The ACCC proposes to amend the mandatory standard to reference the latest voluntary standard, AS/NZS 1067:2016, in order to keep the regulation relevant, avoid confusion and facilitate compliance."

The paper noted that minimising the differences with international requirements would make testing easier and cheaper for suppliers. However, existing differences to the ISO standard on UVR protection, the filtration of blue light, and labelling will be retained.

"The ISO requirements for UVR and blue light filtration result in a lower level of safety, and its labelling requirements [the ISO standard permits the use of symbols only, without category descriptions and usage information], may be insufficient for Australian conditions," the paper explained.

The ACCC is now inviting submissions to gauge support for its proposed changes, identify any unexplored options, and ascertain the appropriate duration for a transition period.

The consultation will be open until 4 November.

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