Coming into effect as of 1 July 2021 (yes, that’s not till next year but read on…), the financial threshold to determine whether a person is a ‘consumer’ within the meaning of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) will be increased to $100,000. That’s a whopping 150% increase from the current threshold of $40,000.
The changes are thanks to the Treasury Laws Amendments (Acquisition as Consumer – Financial Thresholds) Regulations 2020 (Cth) approved on 9 July 2020.
The new threshold also applies to ‘consumers’ under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth). The ASIC Act governs consumer protection in relation to financial services provided by businesses such as financiers, financial planners or insurance brokers. However, we will focus on the ACL for the purposes of this Newsflash.
As a refresher, under the ACL, a ‘consumer’ (and thus a person who benefits from the protections afforded by the ACL) is a person who has acquired goods or services that are of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use and paid $40,000 or less for those goods or services.
Protections for consumers under the ACL include:
- Consumer guarantees;
- Rights to refunds, cancellations, and compensation;
- Protection against unfair contract terms.
This change in financial threshold will mean that many businesses who have previously enjoyed operating outside the scope of the ACL, will now fall squarely within it.
For those businesses that have never previously operated within the scope of the ACL, useful guides on the key principles and operation of the ACL are published by the ACCC and can be found here:
You have just a little under a year to ensure compliance. Use that time to review your internal policies and procedures and to have your standard legal contracts or terms & conditions reviewed, particularly around the areas of warranties, refunds and returns.
If you would like us to assist or have any questions regarding your obligations under the ACL, please call Active Law at (07) 3160 0000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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