Strengthening protections for consumers and small businesses

The Morrison Government is consulting on ways to strengthen the consumer guarantee and supplier indemnification provisions under the Australian Consumer Law.

This is a media release from The Hon Michael Sukkar MP. It was originally published on 14th December, 2021.

The consultation paper released today includes options for civil prohibitions and penalties for suppliers that fail to provide a consumer guarantees remedy, and manufacturers that fail to indemnify suppliers or undertake retribution against suppliers who seek indemnification.

The consumer guarantees are automatic statutory warranties that ensure consumers can seek a refund, repair, or replacement when there is a problem with something they buy. For example, the consumer guarantees require products to be of acceptable quality, fit for purpose and match their description.

Consumers often face difficulties in obtaining a refund, repair, or replacement because there is currently no penalty for suppliers who refuse to provide a remedy.

Small business suppliers can face similar challenges when seeking reimbursement from a manufacturer after refunding or replacing a product with a manufacturing fault.

The options being consulted on would provide stronger incentives for businesses to comply with their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law and make it easier for consumers to obtain a remedy.

The consultation paper is available on the Treasury website, with submissions closing on 11 February 2022.

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