Treasury is seeking stakeholder feedback on options aimed at improving the effectiveness of the consumer guarantee and supplier indemnification provisions under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
The Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS) prepared on behalf of Consumer Senior Officials follows endorsement of Australia’s Consumer Affairs Ministers in August 2019 to develop a regulatory impact assessment on options to ensure businesses comply with the consumer guarantee provisions in the ACL and to assist consumers to access the remedies to which they are entitled.
Consumer guarantees are intended to provide consumers, suppliers and manufacturers with an efficient way of addressing problems with goods and services by establishing a minimum level of protection for all consumer goods and services across Australia. The intention of the CRIS is to consider stronger incentives for businesses to comply with their obligations to provide consumers with a repair, replacement, or refund where there is a failure.
Additionally, the supplier indemnification options are intended to provide stronger incentives for manufacturers to reimburse sellers for the cost of providing a remedy where the manufacturer is at fault for the failure.
Written submissions are sought from stakeholders on the options contained in the CRIS.
The CRIS does not consider issues related to COVID‑19 cancellations and the role of the consumer guarantees in these circumstances. Consumer Senior Officials are separately considering how the ACL has operated in response to consumer issues that have arisen during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
Responses to the CRIS will inform the development of a final (or decision-making) RIS and the preferred policy option for each of the problems.