Product recall checklist
A checklist for you to use if you need to carry out a product recall.
In order to assist manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, Trading Standards (part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) has compiled this checklist to help conduct an effective product safety recall. This acts as a guide to the process and not all items will apply to all products.
- Identify defect or safety issue.
- Stop production and distribution.
- Identify the affected batch numbers or production dates.
- Locate the affected products.
- Identify appropriate remedy – e.g. complete replacement, repair by dealers, providing consumers with new part etc.
- Test replacement or repair, if these options are used.
- If repair is to be carried out by consumer, develop and test instructions.
- Repair or dispose of stock items and recalled items.
- Redesign future product to eliminate the hazard.
- Change the model or serial number for redesigned product.
- Where changes are made to existing stock, distinguish from recalled products by labelling.
- Nominate one person to coordinate and monitor progress of the recall.
- Notify distributors, wholesalers, importers, agents and retailers immediately and in writing. Copy this to Trading Standards for information by email or telephone 0508 627 774.
- Notify any other relevant agencies* (see below).
- Publicise the recall.
- Arrange for disposal, replacement or repair of recalled products.
- Provide evidence of disposal to Trading Standards.
- Prepare for media interest.
- Advise retailers of the recall before the public announcement
- Provide retailers with notices to display in store and at point of sale
- Inform retailers of the remedy – repair / replace / refund
- Give retailers information to identify the recalled product – serial numbers, barcodes, identifying details and advise retailers to fully brief all staff likely to encounter the product
- Advise retailers of any in-transit shipments which may contain the recalled product
- Ask retailers to stop sales of the recalled product and monitor inventory
- Ensure that the recalled products are quarantined from other stock
- Advise retailers how to return or dispose of the products so that they are not released for sale
- If the product is bulky and impractical for return, make arrangements for transport / collection – consumers should not be put to any additional expense
- Work with retailers to handle returns – return to manufacturer, repair, disposal
- Ask retailers to review customer records and identify likely purchasers using warranties, credit card records, parts sales etc.
- Work with retailer to establish credit / refund process for recalled products
- Provide contact details for retailer enquiries
- Contact Trading Standards to advise of proposed recall by email or by telephone: 0508 627 774.
- Identify product clearly using photo and description.
- Include model / serial numbers or identifying details.
- Include date of production and sale Identify where the product was sold.
- Identify the defect and the hazard.
- Provide a freephone number in New Zealand.
- Describe how to obtain the remedy – call manufacturer, return to retailer etc.
- Include website and email address.
- Issue recall notice to newspapers, magazines, specialty press.
- Advise Consumer NZ, recalls section on their website.
- Provide details of numbers and distribution to Trading Standards
- Provide Trading Standards with regular progress updates
- Provide Trading Standards with evidence of disposal or reworking
- Make sure that the recall is in a prominent place on your website.
- Make sure that the site is operational when the recall is published.
- Maintain the site during the recall.
Other forms of notification
- Include recall in accessory parts.
- Include recall in bills, mailers and statements.
- Direct mail to known customers.
- Contact Trading Standards for help and to advise them of the recall.
- Make sure you have adequate supplies of additional components.
- Make sure your freephone number can handle the calls.
- Provide incentives to return products – free gift, discount voucher, etc.
- Make it easy for the consumer to encourage a response.
- Arrange transport with couriers for bulky items.
- Prepare answers to awkward questions – you may be contacted by the media.
- Avoid the issue if you’re aware of a problem.
- Try to minimise the issue or explain the circumstances and don’t try and mask the issues.
- Use overseas recall notices – they are not appropriate for NZ.
- Shut down your website or phone lines to avoid contact.
- Make the recall notice too wordy. Keep it simple, state the facts including the specific issue e.g. ‘This toy is being recalled because of lead in paint presenting toxic risk’.