Australian Venue Operators beware. Are you buying furniture direct from China? Then you are considered the manufacturer in the eyes of the Australian Consumer Law. The Australian Furniture Association has been made aware of the serious financial and insurance risks to hospitality, conferencing and gaming venues across Australia. Many Venue Operators are importing furniture, including gaming stools and fixed height bar stools, direct from overseas manufacturers. The implications,however, are that once operators import their own furniture products they are considered the manufacturer in the eyes of the Australian Consumer Law. The practice of Venue Managers travelling overseas to purchase these products directly, in order to save money, is resulting in substandard products entering the country and being used in these public spaces. This practice is placing Patrons at RSL Clubs, Pubs and Gaming venues at high risk of serious injury or worse. In a recent case, the failure of a chair in a gaming venue has resulted in the serious injury of a patron. The club and its Directors are now facing a legal compensation claim which will be difficult to defend. The AFA recommends that all Operators of public access venues only purchase products that meet the Australian Standards that can be verified with testing reports, certificates and are supplied by reputable Australian manufacturers. Specifying these requirements at the point of purchase is the key to reducing the risk to the Operator, but more importantly, ensures the safety of Patrons. Directors who sign off on capital expenditure need to be aware of the risk of signing off on inferior products that could be a safety hazard. For more information and advice on how to make these important purchasing decisions and minimise organisational risk contact the AFA on membership@australianfurniture.org.au