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The Australian Consumer Law

On 1 January 2011 the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) commenced.

The ACL includes:

  • a national unfair contract terms law covering standard form consumer contracts;
  • a national law guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services;
  • a national product safety law and enforcement system;
  • a national law for unsolicited consumer agreements covering door-to-door sales and telephone sales;
  • simple national rules for lay-by agreements; and
  • new penalties, enforcement powers and consumer redress options.
The ACL applies nationally and in all States and Territories, and to all Australian businesses. For transactions that occurred prior to 1 January 2011, the previous national, State and Territory consumer laws continue to apply.

The ACL is a cooperative reform of the Australian Government and the States and Territories, through Council of Australian Governments (COAG).¬†An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) [PDF 217KB] [RTF 236KB] signed by the Council of Australian Governments¬†underpins the establishment of the ACL.