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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:

ACL Regulations

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