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National reforms to consumer laws 

A range of national reform projects agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) affect the laws administered by NSW Fair Trading. The changes take effect between 1 July 2010 and 1 July 2013.

How to keep up-to-date

Information will be updated here as the projects progress and include reference to websites and resources, when and where available. You may also wish to subscribe to Fair Trading's free What's new alerts to receive automatic updates.

Projects implemented
Discontinued projects

Projects implemented 

Australian Business Licence and Information Service 

The new Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) replaces individual State and Territory BLIS services. In NSW this service supercedes the previous service provided through the BLIS website.

Commencement date

16 October 2012

More information

ABLIS website 

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Business Name/Australian Business Number (ABN) 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for the registration of business names including a national registration service for business names. Existing registered business names have been transferred to the national system and have attained a national registration status.

New businesses will need to obtain an ABN before they can register a national business name. Businesses will be able to use an online service to register national business names. The online application service will include a link to a trademarks search.

Commencement date

28 May 2012

More information

ASIC website 

To renew an existing business name that was due for renewal before 28 May 2012, find out more information on our Business names page.

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Personal Property Securities Register (includes REVS) 

The Australian Government’s Personal Property Security (PPS) reform brings the different Commonwealth, State and Territory laws and registers regarding security interests in personal property under one national system. PPS reform introduces the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) and a single national online PPS Register, replacing REVS in NSW. The Personal Property Securities Register is administered by the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia.

Commencement date

30 January 2012

More information

PPSR website

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Australian Consumer Law 

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) replaced Commonwealth, State and Territory consumer protection legislation in fair trading acts and the Trade Practices Act 1974 on 1 January 2011. The ACL is contained in a schedule to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

In NSW the Australian Consumer Law (NSW) replaced parts of the NSW Fair Trading Act 1987.

Aspects of the ACL are also reflected in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Act 2001 to protect consumers of financial products and services.

The key changes in NSW apply to:

  • consumer guarantees
  • product safety
  • acceptable business practices
  • unfair contract terms
  • sales practices
  • penalties.

There is joint enforcement of the law by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and State and Territory consumer protection agencies.

Commencement date

1 January 2011 – the remaining provisions as listed above.

More information

Consumer law changes in NSW
Australian Consumer Law Update
Industry guides - ACCC website 
Unfair contract terms
Australian Consumer Law website
Product Safety Australia website

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Trade measurement system 

A national system of trade measurement administered by the Commonwealth by the National Measurement Institute (NMI), a division of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research commenced on 1 July 2010.

Commencement date

1 July 2010

More information

National Measurement Institute website

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Financial services and consumer credit 

Responsibility for regulating consumer credit and finance broking transferred to the Commonwealth on 1 July 2010. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will administer the legislation.

Products that will be regulated under the national credit regime include home loans, personal loans, credit cards, consumer leases, overdrafts and line of credit accounts, among other products and services.

More information

ASIC credit reform update
ASIC consumer credit regulation 
ASIC MoneySmart website 
Consumer credit website

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Discontinued projects 

National Occupational Licensing System 

During the 36th meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) it was noted that the proposed National Occupational Licensing Scheme reform will not be pursued.

Most jurisdictions identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model and potential costs. Approaches will be investigated to increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.

To this end, States agreed to work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority from early 2014.

For more information, see the COAG communique.

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