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. These changes took effect between 1 July 2010 and 1 July 2013.

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 supersedes the previous service provided through the BLIS website.

Commencement date: 16 October 2012

More information: ABLIS website

Business name/Australian Business Number (ABN)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for registering 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.

Commencement date: 28 May 2012

More information: ASIC website

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.

Commencement date: 30 January 2012

More information: PPSR website

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

More information

Consumer law changes in NSW

Industry guides - ACCC website

Australian Consumer Law website

Product Safety Australia website

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.

Commencement date: 1 July 2010

More information: National Measurement Institute website

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

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 continue.

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