The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 3) Bill 2018 was passed by both houses of Parliament on 23 August 2018 and Royal Assent is expected soon. The changes will come into effect the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent.
UPDATE: Royal assent was given on 31 August 2018 and the changes therefore commenced on 1 September 2018.
The Act amends the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to align the maximum penalties under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) with the maximum penalties under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act.
The amended penalty regime will apply in relation to acts, omissions or offences that occur on or after the commencement date.
The new maximum penalty for a body corporate is the greater of:
• $10 million; or
• if the court can determine the value of the benefit obtained from the offence, or act or omission, by the body corporate and any related bodies corporate – three times the value of the benefit; or
• if the court cannot determine the value of the benefit – 10 percent of the annual turnover of the body corporate.
Previously the maximum penalty for a body corporate under the ACL was $1.1 million.
The maximum penalty for a person other than a body corporate will be $500,000. Previously the maximum penalty for a person other than a body corporate was $220,000.