Published on Dec 20, 2016

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Australian businesses are invited to participate in the review of Australian Consumer Laws, and share their views on red tape.

 

The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a study of the enforcement and administration arrangements underpinning the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

 

The law covers misleading advertising, door-to-door sales, refunds, and the safety and durability of everyday goods.

 

Consumer Law in Australia has been governed under a single law, with multiple regulators since 2011.

 

Under this model there is one overarching national law for fair trading and consumer protection, yet the administration and enforcement is overseen by 10 regulators!

 

At a federal level both the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are responsible for consumer law. Both the state and territories support regulation through agencies such as NSW Fair Trading.

The Productivity Commission is undertaking the review in order to gauge whether the cooperative governance system of consumer laws is an efficient means of upholding customer safety and protection, and whether businesses are burdened by red tape.

 

Some of the issues being floated in the draft report include:

consumer-protection-laws-red-tape

  • Higher penalties for breaches in consumer laws
  • Fast-tracked national bans and product recalls
  • State and Territory regulators such as NSW Fair Trading called to relinquish powers of compulsory bans and recalls
  • Greater recognition of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to respond to issues
  • Red tape reforms
  • Confusion, duplication, inconsistency and ineffective enforcement
  • Multiple layers of red tape from specialist regulators in areas like food safety, electrical appliances and building products
What can you do?

Read the draft report on Consumer Law Enforcement and Administration. You are invited to examine the draft report and to make written submissions by Monday 23 January 2017.

Make your submission to the Productivity Commission. The final report is expected to be handed to the Australian Government by March 2017.