Compliance and Quality Assurance

The Australasian Furnishing Association places a strong emphasis on supporting and advising Members about their obligations around safety, standards, compliance and regulatory requirements.

We actively support our Members’ with the delivery of programs and services whilst promoting action across the industry to improve the professional reputation and integrity of the furnishing industry.

AFA Members receive support and advice to assist them to be streets ahead of the competition and be responsible, compliant suppliers to minimise risk to their businesses and their clients.

Lodge your enquiry below. For more information contact the AFA via our Contact Us page.

Not a Member? Visit our Become a Member and Sign Up today!

AFA Compliance Services

The AFA has a team of specialists to call on when you need advice and support in understanding your legal and corporate obligations. Don’t hesitate to contact us HERE for more information.

AFA Furnishing Standards

Standards are applied to protect buyers, consumers and users. They are used to demonstrate a commitment to  the community’s expectation of a safe and sustainable Australia  and are recognised as a value-add to Australia’s economic efficiency, trade and international competitiveness.

Furnishing Products are found in Public and Private spaces and each environment will have unique Standards requirements and may also share Standards requirements.

The AFA can assist you with identifying the Standards required for your needs. Enquire HERE

CONSUMERS:

Consumers have the RIGHT to BUY SAFE Products. They also have the right to a refund if a furnishing product is unsafe, and can seek compensation for damages and loss caused by a safety defect in products supplied by a supplier, manufacturer, or the importer of the product.

If you need help reporting your faulty, unsafe or non-compliant product contact us HERE.

DESIGNERS: 

Consumers, Suppliers, Architects, Specifiers, Manufacturers and Distributors will have varying degrees of adherence to Standards in their briefs to Designers. Value-adding to your design by embedding Standards, testing and certification requirements and referencing regulatory compliance in your design will increase your design’s relevance, market reach and desirability. Buyers will select designs that reduce or minimise risk. Need help with selecting the right Standards for your design project? Contact the AFA HERE.

SUPPLIERS:

Government Procurement: The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPR’s) underpin the Government’s legal obligations and procurement policy framework. This framework set out officials’ responsibilities, and the processes required for the procurement of products and services under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
Changes to the Act outlines Australia’s Government Procurement obligations, and factors that must be considered in meeting the core rules, including adherence to procuring products that must meet Standards and Compliance requirements.

Rules that must be complied with in undertaking procurement are denoted by the term ‘must’. Non-corporate Commonwealth entities must report non-compliance with the rules of the CPRs through the Commonwealth’s compliance reporting process. The AFA has made it easy for you by summarising the Rules for the purpose of simplifying the Act for procurement officers, specifiers, designers, architects, manufacturers and suppliers across the Furnishing sector. READ MORE

Need more information on how to interpret the new CPR’s? Contact the AFA HERE

Commercial Use: Architects, Designers, Specifiers and Procurement personnel will insist on adherence to any Mandatory Standards required for the supply or installation of Furnishing related products. They also often apply other Non-Mandatory Standards prescribed by the client in order to mininise any risk.

Suppliers of Commercial Furniture must also comply with Standards related to Product Safety, OH&S, Warranty and After Care of Furnishing products. Need help? Contact the AFA HERE

For Domestic Use: Consumers have the RIGHT to BUY SAFE Products. They also have the right to a refund if a furniture product is unsafe, and can seek compensation for damages and loss caused by a safety defect in products supplied by a supplier, manufacturer, or the importer of the product.

Need help mediating a consumer complaint against your business? Contact us HERE.

The Australian Consumer Law contains a range of protections to help ensure that the furniture products purchased by consumers are safe.

Want to know your obligations? READ MORE HERE

WHOLESALERS/IMPORTERS:

You Are Legally Responsible for the Goods YOU Import or Distribute.

Are you aware that your business is responsible for any product that you import, sell, supply or distribute? This means that you can be held liable for any defect or other condition that renders the product unsafe and results in injury, death or damage. Importers carry a significant liability risk. Under the Trade Practices Act, Australian law deems importers to be the manufacturer of the goods they import therefore, if you IMPORT a product you are legally liable for any breaches in Product Safety and the Australian Consumer Law.

Consumers have the RIGHT to BUY SAFE Products. They also have the right to a refund if a furniture product is unsafe, and can seek compensation for damages and loss caused by a safety defect in products supplied by the importer of the product. The Australian Consumer Law contains a range of protections to help ensure that the furniture products purchased by consumers are safe.

Want to know your obligations? READ MORE HERE

Need help navigating your obligations? Contact us HERE.

RETAILERS:

Consumers have the RIGHT to BUY SAFE Products. They also have the right to a refund if a furniture product is unsafe, and can seek compensation for damages and loss from the seller caused by a safety defect in products sold. This includes products sold online or in store. The Australian Consumer Law contains a range of protections to help ensure that the furnishing products purchased by consumers are safe, including an claims of misrepresentation or false warranty claims. It is recommended that Retailers source products from reputable, qualified suppliers of Furnishing Products that comply with Standards, and the regulatory requirements prescribed by the ACCC. Find an AFA Supplier Member HERE

Federal Parliament has increased maximum financial penalties under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Penalties for a breach of the ACL have been raised from $1.1 million for companies to the greater of $10 million, three times the value of the benefit received, or where the benefit cannot be calculated, 10 per cent of annual turnover in the preceding 12 months.

Penalties against individuals under the ACL have increased from $220,000 to $500,000 per breach. Companies will now face more serious financial consequences for breaching consumer law that align with competition law breaches. 

Want to know your obligations? READ MORE HERE

Find an AFA Retailer Member HERE

AFA Quality Assurance Services

Want to review your Quality Assurance policies and procedures? The AFA has a team of specialists to call on when you need advice and support in understanding your obligations and developing best practice models to improve your business. Don’t hesitate to contact us HERE for more information.

AFA Regulatory Committee (AFARC)

The AFA Regulatory Committee brings together likeminded member representatives, with specialist technical expertise and insights into compliance across the entire supply chain including designers, individuals, training providers, designers, suppliers of components, services and materials, manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, testing and certification providers and international groups.

The committee supports the AFA’s involvement in various standards and compliance roles in education and training, Australian standards, regulations, quality assurance and policy advice or government submissions.

The AFA has appointed Parveen Akther, as Chair of the AFA Regulatory Committee (AFARC).  

Ms Akther brings a high level of expertise and experience in the area of testing and certification that will ensure the committee’s direction is focussed on the things that matter to our Members and protect the community.

If you would like to join the AFARC SUBMIT YOUR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST HERE

Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme

LATEST NEWS

Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme

The Australasian Furnishing Association (AFA) is the Project Lead in the development of the Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme.

Recent announcements by the Australian Government to boost product stewardship outcomes is an important step to increase new business opportunities while also addressing environmental issues.

The AFA’s commitment is to accelerate work to develop a national industry-led product stewardship scheme to improve the rates of recycling for furniture and reduce waste generation throughout the life-cycle of these products.

The Furnishing Industry Stewardship Scheme is managed by the Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Council and adheres to Australian Standards, policies and regulations to help reduce waste and prevent harmful materials from ending up in landfill by increasing recycling and the recovery of valuable materials from products.

The focus on product design, cleaner production and smart logistics, together with effective end-of-life management options help to further strengthen the sustainability of the Scheme. This work includes detailed assessments such as cost benefit analysis, technical feasibility studies, market analyses and consumer research.

The Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme features initiatives that improve product stewardship for mattresses, (estimated 1.5 million currently being dumped to landfill per annum), as well as commercial and household furniture typically used in the health and hospitality sectors.

Our approach will consider how to better manage materials and resources contained in these products including PFAS, illegally harvested timber or contaminants, therefore highlighting the importance of good design in achieving important product stewardship outcomes.

The environmental, health and safety impacts of the products, and the impact on the overall waste management system in Australia on landfill and material recovery rates, is addressed against national waste priorities outlined in the 2019 National Waste Policy Action Plan.

We stand with the partners of the Scheme including manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, consumers and other relevant organisations and agencies to support the ongoing sustainability of the Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme by maximising awareness, engagement and collaboration with industries, businesses, households and other scheme administrators.

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