Australian mandatory safety requirements for button/coin batteries and consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries
In December 2020, the Australian Government made mandatory safety and information standards for button/coin batteries and consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries (the Standards). The standards include an 18-month transition period and have been mandatory from 22 June 2022.
What are button/coin batteries?
Button/coin batteries are small, single-cell batteries with a diameter greater than their height. Button/coin batteries are available in different sizes, shapes and electrical charges. Button/coin batteries generally operate using one of 4 chemistries: lithium, alkaline, silver oxide and zinc‑air.
What are consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries?
The mandatory safety and information standards for consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries apply to consumer goods and their accessories that use, are powered by, or are intended to operate with button/coin batteries, as well as consumer goods designed or intended to store button/coin batteries, such as storage containers and organisers.
Consumer goods are defined in the ACL as goods that are intended to be used, or are of a kind likely to be used, for personal, domestic or household use or consumption. The broad definition of ‘consumer good’ under the ACL concerns not only the intended use of a product (i.e. the purpose for which a good was originally sold and/or the location it is intended to be used), but also the likely use of that kind of product. For example, if consumers are likely to use a product personally or in or around a household (even if this is not the primary intended use of the product), the product will likely be subject to the Standards.
There is a broad range of consumer and household products that contain button/coin batteries including, but not limited to, remote controls (television remotes, car keys, garage door openers), watches, computers, cameras, calculators, torches, flameless candles, fitness devices, digital kitchen and bathroom scales, toys, games, novelty items, musical greeting cards and home medical devices (digital thermometers, glucometers, heart rate monitors and hearing aids).
Where there is any doubt around your product’s classification as a consumer good, it is recommended you assume the product may be subject to the Standards unless you have received specific legal advice to the contrary.
What are the requirements from the standards?
Consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries
Consumer goods containing button/coin batteries that are intended to be replaced by the consumer must have a secure battery compartment that is resistant to being opened by young children.
Consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries, whether the batteries are intended to be replaced, must be secure and not release the batteries during reasonably foreseeable use or misuse conditions.
Compliance testing must be undertaken to demonstrate that safety requirements have been met.
For consumer goods that contain button/coin batteries, warnings are required on any packaging and accompanying instructions.
If the consumer good is supplied unpackaged, warnings must be attached to the consumer goods, to alert consumers that a button/coin battery is included with the product and the hazard button/coin batteries pose to children.
If the consumer good is supplied without instructions, warnings must be attached or included with the consumer goods, to alert consumers that a button/coin battery is included with the product and the hazard button/coin batteries pose to children.
Hearing aids (and any related accessories) are exempt from secure battery requirements but are subject to warning requirements.
Other exemptions from secure battery and warning requirements are provided for:
– second-hand goods first supplied to a consumer before the Standards become mandatory
– professional equipment, subject to certain criteria
– audio visual and information communications technology equipment containing button/coin batteries that are soldered in place.
Packaging is required to be child-resistant for coin batteries of lithium chemistry of all sizes, and button/coin batteries of chemistry other than lithium with a diameter of 16 mm or above.
Compliance testing must be undertaken to demonstrate that child-resistant packaging requirements have been met.
Where the Standards require child-resistant packaging, and more than one button/coin battery is supplied, blister packaging must be designed to release only one battery at a time.
Any button/coin batteries that are supplied with a consumer good, where the battery is not pre-installed in a secure battery compartment, must be enclosed in child-resistant packaging.
Coin batteries of lithium chemistry with a diameter of 20 mm and above are required to be marked with an internationally recognised “Keep Out of Reach of Children” symbol.
Warnings and information are required on the packaging of button/coin batteries to alert consumers to the hazard button/coin batteries pose to children and provide clear directions on what to do in the event a child is suspected to have swallowed or placed a battery inside any part of their body.
Exemptions apply to button/coin batteries supplied in bulk for professional use (subject to certain criteria). Button/coin batteries of zinc-air chemistry intended for hearing aids are exempt from child-resistant packaging requirements but are subject to warning requirements.
Industry standards with acceptable button/coin battery security and compliance testing requirements
Product specific standard
IEC 62368-1: 2018 Audio/video, information and communication technology equipment – Part 1: Safety requirements
Clauses 4.8.3, 4.8.4, 4.8.5
The tests outlined in each of these standards are near identical and are designed to test the security and durability of products that contain button/coin batteries, including certain tests which are focused on testing battery compartments.
Tests include pre-conditioning tests (stress relief test and battery replacement test), abuse tests (drop test, impact test, crush test) and compliance tests (force test applying a rigid test finger).
AS/NZS 62368.1:2018 Audio/video, information and communication technology equipment – Part 1: Safety requirements
Clauses 4.8.3, 4.8.4, 4.8.5
AS/NZS 60065:2018 Audio, video and similar electronic apparatus – Safety requirements
Clauses 12.7.2, 12.7.3, 12.7.4
IEC 62115:2017 Electric toys – Safety and ISO 8124- 1:2018 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
Clause 13.4.1 or 13.4.2, whichever is applicable (IEC 62115:2017)
Clause 5.24 (ISO 8124-1:2018)
AS/NZS 62115:2018 Electric toys – Safety and AS/ NZS 8124.1:2019 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
Clause 13.4.1 or 13.4.2, whichever is applicable (AS/NZS 62115:2018)
Clause 5.24 (AS/NZS 8124.1:2019)
AS/NZS 60598.1:2017 Luminaires Part 1: General requirements and tests
Non-product specific standard
UL 4200A UL Standard for Safety for Products Incorporating Button or Coin Cell Batteries of Lithium Technologies
Sections 5 and 6
Note: UL4200A is an industry standard that applies to products incorporating lithium button/coin batteries. For the purposes of the Australian standard, products that contain both lithium and non-lithium button/coin batteries shall be tested in line with the applicable clauses.
Compliance Engineering offers product safety testing services for products containing button/coin batteries compliant with a variety of international standards. To learn more, please get in touch with our team of experts!