In DIBP Notice No. 2017/06, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) announced that on 1 April 2017, the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Regulation 2016 (the CTD Regulation) will commence and replace the sunsetting Commerce (Imports) Regulations 1940 (the CI Regulations). The Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905 (the CTD Act) and, from 1 April 2017, the CTD Regulation together set out which goods or classes of goods require labelling, what labelling is required and where the label must be applied, before goods can be imported into Australia.

The CTD Regulation retains most of the existing trade description requirements in the CI Regulations that apply to specified goods. The CTD Regulation contains modifications to simplify expressions, and to remove redundant provisions. Some goods will no longer require a trade description (such as medicines and medicinal preparations) while others are no longer exempt from requiring a trade description (such as packages containing less than 15 grams of tobacco).

The CTD Regulation aligns with the Australian Government’s country of origin labelling for food reforms. Mandatory changes to food labelling will take effect from 1 July 2018.

The CTD Regulation was developed to ensure that the Australian Border Force (ABF) can continue to enforce labelling requirements for the importation of certain of goods, including food, at the Australian border. The CTD Act and the CTD Regulation give ABF officers the power to inspect and examine imported goods to determine whether accurate trade descriptions, including the country of origin, have been applied.