The Australian Consumer Law
The full text of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is set out in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 which is the new name of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA).
The ACL includes:
- Chapter 1 – Introduction: a single set of definitions and interpretive provisions about consumer law concepts.
- Chapter 2 – General protections: general protections, which create standards of business conduct in the market, including:
- a general ban on misleading and deceptive conduct in trade or commerce;
- a general ban on unconscionable conduct in trade or commerce and specific bans on unconscionable conduct in consumer and some business transactions; and
- a provision that makes unfair contract terms in consumer contracts void.
- Chapter 3 – Specific protections: specific protections which address identified forms of business conduct, including provisions:
- banning specific unfair practices in trade or commerce;
- dealing with consumer transactions for goods or services;
- on the safety of consumer goods and product related services;
- on the making and enforcement of information standards; and
- on the liability of manufacturers for goods with safety defects.
- Chapter 4 – Offences: criminal offences relating to certain matters covered in Chapter 3.
- Chapter 5 – Enforcement and remedies: national enforcement powers and remedies relating to consumer law.
Further information about the ACL is set out in the Explanatory Memorandum and the Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum .
To assist in understanding the ACL and its provisions the Treasury has prepared:
- The Australian Consumer Law: An Introduction [PDF 635KB][RTF 922KB], which briefly explains the content and context of the ACL; and
- The Australian Consumer Law: A Guide to Provisions [PDF 939KB][RTF 1.8MB], which contains a detailed explanation of the provisions of the ACL.
Regulations made under the ACL are set out in Parts 6 and 7 of the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010.
The ACL Regulations give practical effect to the ACL provisions dealing with:
- prescribed requirements for asserting a right to payment;
- agreements that are not unsolicited consumer agreements;
- requirements for warranties against defects and repair notices; and
- reporting requirements for goods or product-related services associated with death, serious injury or serious illness.
Further information about the ACL Regulations is set out in the Explanatory Statement