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1 January deadline for warranties in Australia

By Melissa Higham - 21 Dec 2011

If you sell 'consumer products' in Australia you need to be sure that as from 1 January 2012 any warranties against defects in those consumer products comply with the mandatory requirements of Australia's new consumer law.

The new law is extremely strict.  It will in all likelihood require you to change your packaging to ensure you comply.

The warranty must be in a document that is "transparent", meaning it is expressed in reasonably plain language, is legible and is presented clearly.  The warranty must state:

  • what the person who gives the warranty must do so that the warranty may be honoured - for example, the supplier will repair the goods or replace the goods within a certain time period
  • what the consumer must do to entitle the consumer to claim the warranty - for example, contact the supplier or manufacturer and point to the defect
  • the following details in relation to the person giving the warranty: the person's name, business address, telephone number and email address (if any)
  • the period within which a defect in the goods or services to which the warranty relates must appear if the consumer is entitled to claim the warranty
  • the procedure for the consumer to claim the warranty including the address to which a claim may be sent
  • who will bear the expense of claiming the warranty and if the expense is to be borne by the person who gives the warranty - how the consumer can claim expenses incurred in making the claim
  • a warranty against defects must state that the benefits to the consumer given by the warranty are in addition to other rights and remedies of the consumer under a law in relation to the goods or services to which the warranty relates, and
  • the document must also contain the following mandatory statement:

Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and for compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage. You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure.

If you would like further information on how this law may affect your business, please contact Melissa Higham.


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