Product categories

Glossary


A | B | C | D | E | F | H | I | L | M | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V

A

ACCC
Acronym for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. An independent statutory authority formed to administer the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (formerly the Trade Practices Act 1974), with responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Commonwealth's competition, fair trading and consumer protection laws, including as they apply to the communications industry. More...
Act (as in Trade Practices Act or Fair Trading Act etc.)
Law created by Parliament More...
AS/NZS
Acronym for Australian Standard and New Zealand Standard. More...
Australian Consumer Law (ACL)

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is a single, national consumer law that aims to protect consumers and ensure fair trading in Australia.

It applies from 1 January 2011 and includes unfair contract terms legislation introduced on 1 July 2010.

The ACL replaces previous Commonwealth, state and territory consumer protection legislation. It is contained in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

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Australian standard
A standard applicable to products, services and systems which sets out specifications and procedures designed to ensure safety, reliability and consistency. There is no legal obligation to comply with these standards (unless the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs has declared a standard or parts of it to be a mandatory standard). More...
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B

Banned goods
Goods that are the subject of an interim ban or a permanent ban. More...
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C

Civil penalty
A pecuniary penalty (sum of money) ordered to be paid by a court where a person has been found to contravene product safety laws. More...
Commonwealth Gazette
A weekly publication produced by the Attorney-General.s Department. It contains information about legislation and notices of other Government activities. More...
Compliance
To comply with relevant laws and regulations. More...
Compliance program
A series of established instructions designed to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. More...
Compliant
To comply with relevant laws and regulations. More...
Component
A part of a finished product. More...
Compulsory safety requirement
A compulsory order by law, usually found in a regulation or standard, that achieves a safe outcome. More...
Consent Order
A direction given by a court in accordance with the terms of settlement agreed to by the parties. More...
Consumer
A person who uses or purchases goods and/or services. More...
Consumer product
A product for personal use in and/or around the home. More...
Consumer Protection Notice
A notice that is issued by the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs under the Trade Practices Act 1974 that declares a particular standard prepared by Standards Australia (or other approved body), with any additions or variations specified in the notice, to be a prescribed standard. More...
Conviction
When a person has been found guilty of an offence. More...
Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
COAG is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia, comprising the Prime Minister, State Premiers, Territory Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). More...
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D

Declaration (as in 'the court made declarations that Business X breached the Act')
A statement by the court of fact or law or both, pronouncing upon the existence or non-existence of a legal state of affairs. More...
Defective
Not functioning as the design intended. More...
Disqualification Order
An order made by a court prohibiting a person from managing corporations for a specified period. More...
Draft Regulation / Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)
A draft RIS (see definition for Regulation/Regulatory Impact Statement) is circulated to interested parties (industry bodies, manufacturers, suppliers, community representatives) for feedback prior to passing as law. More...
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E

Enforcement (of regulations)
Ensuring observance of / or obedience to a regulation More...
Entrapment
The act of a law enforcement agent luring a person into performing an illegal action which the person would not have, or was unlikely to have otherwise committed. More...
Exchanging
The act of changing one product or service for another. More...
Exemption
Immunity from an obligation or duty. More...
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F

Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI)
An electronic repository of Commonwealth legal instruments, explanatory statements and compilations of legislative instruments. More...
Flammable
Easily ignited and capable of burning rapidly. More...
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H

Hazard
A thing or state of affairs dangerous to the safety of, or with the potential to injure people, property or the environment. More...
Hire purchase
A method of acquiring goods by instalment payments. Ownership remains with the lender until the hirer makes the final payment, at which time the hirer owns the goods. More...
Hiring out
Grant the services of / or the temporary use of goods or services for a fee. More...
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I

Importer
An individual or corporation that supplies consumers or other suppliers with products that have been sourced and transported from overseas. More...
Information standard
An information standard is introduced if harm to consumers is possible in the absence of information about the product. It requires prescribed information to be given to consumers when they buy certain goods. These standards are often introduced because: as in the case of cosmetics, people using the products have developed an allergic reaction, or;products have not performed in the way the consumer expected. More...
Injunction order
An order made by a Court Judge requiring a person or business to stop doing or not do a certain activity. More...
Interim ban
A temporary prohibition on the supply of a product which may be imposed by relevant Commonwealth, state and territory ministers. An interim ban lasts for 60 days and can be extended for up to another 60 days. See also banned goods and permanent ban. More...
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L

Leasing
Supplying products to an individual or business under an agreement that allows them possession of the products for a specified period in return for payment. Leases usually involve a contract that states the terms of the lease. More...
Legislation
A law or body of laws formally made or enacted by Parliament. More...
Litigation
The conduct of legal proceedings by parties before a court. More...
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M

Mandatory safety standards
A mandatory standard that is declared when products are likely to be especially hazardous. They require that goods comply with particular performance, composition, contents, design, construction, finish, labelling or packaging rules. More...
Manufacturer
An individual or corporation who produces a product. In some cases, this includes suppliers and importers who repackage a product. More...
Market
In trade and commerce, a market is an area where individuals and businesses can buy and sell goods and services in a competitive environment. This includes buying, selling, leasing and exchanging. More...
Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs
The Australian Government Minister responsible for formulating, implementing and administering competition and consumer policy. More...
Misrepresentation
Conduct giving incomplete, false, or misleading information. More...
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P

Product Liability

Parts 3–5 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (which forms Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) contain provisions on product liability. Under these provisions, consumers can seek compensation or damages for personal injury or other loss caused by a safety defect in products supplied by a manufacturer.

Goods with a safety defect are those that are not as safe as what people are generally entitled to expect.

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Product-related services

A service for or relating to the:

  • installation
  • maintenance, repair or cleaning
  • assembly
  • delivery

of consumer goods of a particular kind.

Without limiting any of the above, the definition also includes any other service that relates to the supply of consumer goods of that kind.

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Punitive
Serving as or inflicting a punishment. More...
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Q

Quality assurance
The process of ensuring products are made to a satisfactory standard and will meet customers. needs. More...
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R

Reasonably foreseeable use

Includes using consumer goods for their primary, normal or intended purpose, using the goods for an unintended purpose, or misusing the goods.

This reminds suppliers that they need to take into account the way a consumer good might be used - rather than just whether it is free from defects - when considering their responsibilities to consumers.

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Recall

A recall is:

  • the permanent removal of a good or a component of a good from supply or use, by return to the supplier; or
  • the temporary removal of a good, or a component of a good, from supply or use for the purpose of bringing the good or component into conformance with a relevant safety standard or to otherwise make it safe.

This can be achieved voluntarily by the supplier, or in response to an order by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer responsible for competition and consumer policy.

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Regulation
A regulation is a form of delegated legislation made pursuant to an Act of Parliament. Regulations can be issued by a government minister under the authority of primary legislation. Regulations are used to make the detailed arrangements, which give effect to the intent and purpose of primary legislation. More...
Regulation/Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)
The ACCC usually creates a RIS when the Australian Government decides to make or remake a consumer product safety regulation. A RIS describes the safety issue that the proposed regulation intends to resolve and compares possible options for dealing with that issue. It includes an assessment of the costs and benefits of each option, followed by a recommendation supporting option with the most benefitcialist regimes to look after the safety of these products and their use. More...
Regulator
In Australia, a regulator is an agency established by the State or Federal governments of Australia for the control of or intervention in the operation of markets, according to public interest principles and criteria. More...
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S

Serious injury or illness

an acute physical injury or illness that requires medical or surgical treatment by, or under the supervision of, a medical practitioner or a nurse (whether or not in a hospital, clinic or similar place).

It does not include:

  • an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition (whether of sudden onset or gradual development) or
  • the recurrence, or aggravation, of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition.
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Services

includes duties, work, facilities, rights or benefits provided in the course of business, for example:

  • dry cleaning
  • installing or repairing consumer goods
  • providing swimming lessons
  • lawyers' services.
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Standard
A published document, which sets out specifications and procedures to ensure that a material, product, method or service is fit for its purpose and consistently performs the way it was intended. More...
Statutory authority
A body, such as the ACCC, which has been set up by an act of law in order to perform certain public functions. More...
Supplier

someone who, in trade or commerce, sells goods or services and is commonly referred to as a 'trader', 'retailer' or 'service provider'.

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Supply

Includes:

  • in relation to goods - supply (including re-supply) by way of sale, exchange, lease, hire or hire-purchase, and
  • in relation to services - provide, grant or confer. 
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T

Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA)

The Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) has been renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).

The CCA deals with almost all aspects of market place relationships between suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, competitors and customers. It covers anti-competitive conduct, unfair market practices, industry codes, mergers and acquisitions of companies, product safety, product labelling, price monitoring, and the regulation of industries such as telecommunications, gas, electricity and airports.

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Trade practices compliance program
A trade practices compliance program consists of procedures to identify and reduce the risk of breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (formerly the Trade Practices Act 1974) and to rapidly and effectively remedy any breach that may occur. More...
Trade Practices Regulations
Trade Practices Regulations are regulations (see definition above) made under the Trade Practices Act. These often make standards mandatory. More...
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U

Undertakings
see Section 87B undertakings More...
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V

Voluntary standard
A standard with which there is no obligation to comply. More...
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