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Changes to the Australian Consumer Laws - Part 9 - The ACCC's new range of enforcement power

Business Law: 23 March 2019

A number of changes have been made to the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (TPA) as Australian Consumer Law (ACL) reforms have been progressively implemented, with the final portion commencing on 1 January 2011. In addition to these changes the TPA has been renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA).This is the 9th and final part in a series of blogs summarising the changes and the implications for businesses operating in Australia.The ACCC's new range of enforcement powersThe ACCC now has power to:

  • Issue substantiation notices requiring a person to produce information and documents supporting its claims or representations about their products and services;
  • Issue infringement notices for minor contraventions of the CCA;
  • Seek orders disqualifying a person from managing a corporation;
  • Seek orders to redress loss or require funds to be paid to customers; and
  • Issue public warnings relating to consumer protection.

 Breaches of some provisions of the ACL may result in a pecuniary penalty of up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220,000 for individuals.  The ACL applies nationally and in all States and Territories, and to all Australian businesses. For transactions that occurred up to 31 December 2010, the previous national, State and Territory consumer laws will continue to apply.

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