Clarification, simplification and modernisation of the consumer guarantee framework

Closed 23 Apr 2018

Opened 9 Mar 2018

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In June 2015, the Australian Consumer Affairs Ministers, through the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF), asked Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) to initiate a broad-reaching review of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

In March 2017, CAANZ presented the Final Report of the ACL Review (the Review).

The Review found that the introduction of the ACL had been beneficial for both consumers and traders and the ACL is generally ‘fit for purpose’. In particular, the Review found that the flexible and economy-wide approach taken to consumer guarantees within the ACL has assisted in clarifying the rights and responsibilities of both traders and consumers. However, the Review also identified ongoing difficulties with the operation of the consumer guarantee provisions, and proposed a number of amendments to the ACL, to assist with further clarification, simplification and modernisation of the law.

In August 2017, CAF supported regulatory impact assessment of seven proposals from the Review. Five of those proposals and their implementation options relate to the consumer guarantees regime in the ACL, and are considered in this consultation regulatory impact statement.

The structure and focus of this Consultation Regulation Impact Statement

This Consultation RIS is comprised of four chapters, each of which addresses the proposals which are the subject of this Consultation RIS. All five proposals relate to the consumer guarantees regime. The Consultation RIS is structured as follows:

  1. Chapter 1: Increasing the threshold in the definition of ‘consumer’ from $40,000 to $100,000;
  2. Chapter 2: Clarifying the consumer guarantees remedies (comprised of two proposals – failure within a short period of time and multiple failures);
  3. Chapter 3: Enhanced disclosure for extended warranties; and
  4. Chapter 4: Access to consumer guarantees for goods sold at auctions.

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