From 1 July 2019, sunglass and fashion spectacle suppliers must comply with mandatory requirements set out in the Consumer Goods (Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles) Safety Standard 2017. The mandatory standard is based on sections of the voluntary Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1067.1:2016 eye and face protection – sunglasses and fashion spectacles (available from SAI Global).
The mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles applies to non-prescription sunglasses mounted in a spectacle frame; rimless sunshields and one piece visors; clip-on and slipon type sunglasses; children’s sunglasses, and fashion spectacles and light tint sunglasses.
It does not apply to prescription and readymade spectacles; safety glasses and safety goggles intended to provide protection against optical radiation other than from the sun; eyewear for protection against radiation in solaria; eye protectors for sport, and glasses for use as toys and clearly and legibly labelled as toys.
Following is an overview of the safety standards requirements, this is intended as a guide only. The legislation should be consulted for detailed information.
The mandatory standard requires that sunglasses must protect users from ultraviolet radiation (UV) from 280 and 400 nanometres.
The mandatory standard specifies marking and labelling requirements as well as testing procedures to ensure sunglasses and fashion spectacles meet specific performance, construction, and labelling requirements. Suppliers need to arrange this testing through specialist laboratories.
MARKING AND LABELING
Marking or labelling must not be obscured by other important information, eg. price labels. All assembled sunglasses must be labelled with the identity of the manufacturer or supplier; the lens category number; the lens category description and usage information; and if applicable, the symbol ‘Not suitable for driving and road use’. Category symbols are optional, if used they must comply with Table 5 AS/ NZS 1067.1:2016.
Sunglasses and fashion spectacles are classified into five categories by their performance suitability for use in certain conditions as follows:
- Lens category 0: Fashion spectacles – these are not sunglasses as they have a very low ability to reduce sun glare. They provide limited or no UV protection.
- Lens category 1: Fashion spectacles – like category 0 lenses, these are not sunglasses, however they do provide limited sun glare reduction and some UV protection. Fashion spectacles with category 1 lenses are not suitable for driving at night.
- Lens category 2: Sunglasses – these sunglasses provide a medium level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
- Lens category 3: Sunglasses – these sunglasses provide a high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
- Lens category 4: Sunglasses – these are special purpose sunglasses that provide a very high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. Lens category 4 sunglasses must not be used when driving at any time.
Finola Carey is the CEO of Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association.