The Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Bill (No. 1) 2010 (Cth) (Bill) received royal assent yesterday, 14 April 2010.

Significantly, this means the enhanced enforcement powers and remedies under the Bill come into effect today. These powers will be enforced by the ACCC and ASIC.

The increased enforcement powers include the power to:

  • issue maximum penalties of up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220,000 for individuals for breaches of certain provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (TPA)
  • issue infringement notices for suspected breaches of various provisions of the TPA  
  • issue substantiation notices relating to consumer protection in certain circumstances  
  • apply to courts for an order (other than an award of damages) to redress loss or damage suffered by a non-party consumer, and  
  • issue a public warning notice if the ACCC or ASIC have reasonable grounds to suspect that conduct which may constitute a contravention of the TPA or the ASIC Act is occurring.