Importer fined $45,000 over unsafe Peppa Pig toy

The Commerce Commission said First Mart announced a recall, and 61 units of the toy were brought back. - Photo: www.recalls.govt.nz

Toy importer and wholesaler First Mart has been fined $45,000 for supplying toys which were found to be unsafe.

First Mart pleaded guilty to one representative charge under the Fair Trading Act that between December 2015 and January 2018 it imported 800 toy pig figures and supplied 540 to various retailers.

The Commerce Commission, which brought the action, said the toys resembled Peppa Pig products but it understood they were not a licensed Peppa Pig product.

When the toys were sent for testing at the end of 2017 small parts broke away, including the pig figure, its ears, wheels, and axles, and were deemed a choking hazard to young children.

In sentencing in the Manukau District Court earlier this month, Judge Denys Barry noted that because First Mart was a small company it could not do in-house testing, but said that heightened the need for vigilance in assessing product safety.

Commerce Commission chair Anna Rawlings said prosecuting these cases continued to be a priority because they were about the safety of small children.

"Toy suppliers need to understand and meet their legal obligations when supplying toys for children 36 months and under. If they don't, they put those children at risk of serious harm."

First Mart initiated a recall when it learned of the commission's concerns and contacted all retailers who supplied the toy. Sixty-one units were recalled.

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