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Business and the ACL

One law for all Australian businesses

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) commenced on 1 January 2011. The ACL harmonised the consumer protection provisions in the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) and in State and Territory fair trading laws, and replaced consumer protection provisions in at least 20 different Commonwealth, state and territory laws with this one law.

The ACL is a national, generic law which applies in the same way to all sectors and in all Australian jurisdictions. This means that all consumers in Australia enjoy the same rights and all businesses have the same obligations, irrespective of which state or territory they engaged in transactions.

The ACL coves general standards of business conduct, prohibits unfair trading practices, regulates specific types of business-to-consumer transactions, provides basic consumer guarantees for goods and services , and regulates the safety of consumer products and product-related services.

The ACL is located in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

Where can I find the ACL?

For information about the ACL and its provisions, refer to The Australian Consumer Law – Legislation page.

Where can I get guidance on the ACL?

National guidance on aspects of the ACL has been developed and is updated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the State and Territory consumer protection agencies, and, in relation to financial services, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). For more information about guidance on the ACL, refer to The Australian Consumer Law — Guidance page.

Who will enforce the ACL?

The ACL is administered and enforced jointly by the ACCC and the State and Territory consumer protection agencies, with the involvement of ASIC on financial services matters. If you need to talk to someone about the enforcement of the ACL, contact the ACCC , ASIC  or your State or Territory consumer protection agency for further information and assistance.

For information about consultation on the ACL, refer to Public consultations

For other information about consumer policy development, including access to resources, refer to Consumer policy.