When you’re in a new area, you need to get a full lay of the land and familiarize yourself with the laws. In Australia, there are different laws that you need to know about, especially if you’ll be working in the commercial setup. It’s not a free-reign society, and you have to get them before you get started.
When you know nothing about the laws, you will likely get into trouble with the relevant authorities. Below you can find some of the crucial things you need to know about Australian commercial law. They are more of an intro to Australian commercial law.
Who is A Consumer
According to this law, the consumer is the goods and services – and they shouldn’t exceed $40,000. This should be the total amount paid for the service or the goods you have been in the transaction. This is according to the new ACL that was introduced in 2010.
The law is under new dimensions as they try to define the terms consumer and consumer contracts. As such, the new provisions will also affect consumer guarantees. They don’t stop there as they also apply to B2B transactions.
ACL (Australian Consumer Law)
As of 2010 April, 15 the ACL came into effect, ensuring that the ACCC got a new set of enforcement powers. When the law came to development, it replaced the old Trade Practice Act 1974. It had been a long time coming for this new set of rules.
The TPL was then renamed to Competition and Consumer Act 2010. And it now covers a new area of things as opposed to what the now ACL covers. ACL was to be adopted by all the territories in uniformity from 2011.
It means that all the territories during that time had to amend their laws accordingly. You can consult Alvin Legal to get more information on how the laws are distinct from each other. Also, find out how they can affect the kind of service or products you want to sell.
Whatever you are selling, though, must be within the set threshold as seen in the first subtitle.
ACCC and New Enforcement Powers
As stated above, when the ACL came to effect, different powers are given to the ACCC. These are the enforcement powers the institution didn’t have before. Below is what the ACCC now has powers to enforce
- Issuance of an infringement notice
- Seek financial penalties – $1,100000 on the corporate side and $220000 on individuals
- Issue public warnings
- Issue substantiation notices
- Look for orders to disqualify someone as a director
How the Laws Affect Manufacturers
When the law comes into effect, manufacturers will be exposed to a broader liability – the liability is now more direct. That means that the consumers can now bring actions against the manufacturers – directly. These sections also affect importers.
This is far wider than direct liabilities for the manufacturers than it was with the TPA provisions. The manufacturers and the importers, as a requirement, need to indemnify suppliers from immediate harm.
Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts
After the ACL comes into play, the unfair terms in standard form consumer contact are no longer valid. The term is no void under the below circumstances :
- It’s a term of consumer contract
- Terms are unfair
- The warranty offered is a standard form
The contract remains valid beyond the above circumstances when it’s void, as the manufacturer’s side is liable.
There are new obligations, and not only for the manufacturers alone, but for the suppliers too. And the new duties require the supplier to inform the Minister within two days of the following:
- If the supplier is aware of death or illness, or severe injury
- Serious death is suspected of having been caused by use of the good or product-related
Not all suppliers are done over by this law, though; others have distinct separation from the law. For example, in the pharmaceutical sector, there are different sets of guidelines. Here, there’s a requirement to file only under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.
The notification for this section needs to be made to the Minister within two days of the incident. After, the statute of limitation comes into effect, and the supplier isn’t liable.
There are different things you need to know about the ACL as it isn’t quite fully grasped. These are just a few crucial things that you need to know about the law and its main effects. You may need the services of a lawyer for better interpretation of the laws.