Do you buy or sell cigarette lighters on Trade Me? If so, there’s some important product safety information you need to be aware of to help keep yourself and your family safe. Unsafe lighters can result in people and property getting harmed, so we take non-compliance very seriously at Trade Me HQ.
A good chunk of cigarette lighters are subject to a mandatory product safety standard in New Zealand. Sellers need to ensure they’re clued up on this, and buyers should educate themselves to ensure they’re buying products that are safe. This safety standard comes under the Fair Trading Act 1986 and is enforced by the Commerce Commission, so the consequences are steep if you’re snapped selling non-compliant products. It definitely pays to do your homework and get it right.
As with everything you list on Trade Me, if you have any concerns about a product’s safety or compliance with the standard it’s best not to list it until you’ve done your research. Many of the tests done on cigarette lighters are designed to ensure little kiddies can’t ignite them easily – so the consequences can be extremely grim if products don’t meet these standards. Don’t be “that guy” that didn’t take his obligations seriously, nobody wants that kind of guilt weighing on their conscience.
The Commerce Commission has a handy help page on this product safety standard, with a downloadable (printer-friendly) PDF Fact Sheet at the bottom. It contains detailed information to help you identify whether the standard applies to your products or not, and contact details for the Commerce Commission should you want to seek further advice.
The regulations apply to “any person who supplies, offers to supply or advertises the supply of new disposable or low-price refillable lighters”. If your lighters come under the standard, you must be able to supply a certificate of compliance showing they’ve been tested and meet the regulations.
It’s illegal to sell these products if you can’t front up with the paperwork, so it’s a good idea to hit up suppliers about this before you buy or import lighters from them. If they can’t or won’t provide this to you, steer clear, as that’s a definite warning sign. If you’re importing the lighters from overseas you must provide a certificate of compliance to NZ Customs when the shipment enters NZ.
If the Commerce Commission requests evidence of compliance from you, you must be able to provide a certificate to them within ten days of being asked. Trade Me might also request a certificate from you at random, and will whip your listings off the site if we have reason to doubt their compliance. Safety comes first.
The Commerce Commission’s help page is a good read for buyers too, as it helps you to identify products on the site that are subject to the mandatory product safety standard, and whether they comply or not.
If a cigarette lighter seller doesn’t expressly mention the product’s compliance within the listing description, you can use the Q&A to clarify this with them – and if you have any concerns you should hit the Community Watch button and our compliance team will take a look. If you aren’t confident a lighter is safe and compliant, it’s best you don’t bid or hit Buy Now until you’ve done some research.
If you use re-fillable cigarette lighters, always take great care to ensure you re-fill them safely, and follow the instructions closely. Never re-fill lighters around children, and make sure you’re in a well-ventilated space away from highly flammable objects. There are some great online tutorials demonstrating how to do this safely, like this wikiHow step-by-step guide.