11 May 2017
Media Release - #2017064, 2017

Interim ban extended on unsafe ethanol burners

SMALL Business Minister Michael McCormack has today extended the interim ban on the supply of certain types of decorative alcohol fuelled devices, also known as ethanol burners.

“As the Minister responsible for consumer affairs, the safety of Australians when they purchase products is always top of my mind,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack has today agreed to an extension, following advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that further consultation is required with stakeholders to determine the most appropriate long-term regulatory solution.

Today’s extension follows an initial interim ban imposed by Mr McCormack on 17 March 2017, which applies to all tabletop and certain freestanding devices that do not have specified safety features and warnings. 

The extension will last for 30 days, while the ACCC continues to investigate longer-term options to address the risks associated with these products.

“It is important the most effective long-term option is put in place.  These products can be quite harmful to consumers,” Mr McCormack said.

“Decorative burners filled with methylated spirits, ethanol or bio fuel have caused more than 100 injuries and at least 36 house fires across Australia.”

Retailers and suppliers can go to the ACCC’s product safety website to get further information to help them understand the product range covered by the national interim ban.

Consumers seeking to purchase decorative alcohol fuelled devices should check with suppliers that any product offered is not subject to the ban.  

Those concerned about products they have previously purchased should visit the Product Safety Australia website for information about the current ban, consumer rights and how to use burners safely.

For a detailed briefing please contact ACCC Media on (03) 9290 1836.