Information standards regulate the type and amount of information provided to consumers about goods and services.
An information standard can:
- require particular information to be provided or not
- set out the form or manner of this information
- give a meaning to certain information.
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) recognises the following mandatory information standards:
- care labelling for clothing and textile products
- ingredient labelling of cosmetics
- tobacco labelling – health labels.
Suppliers, manufacturers, importers, distributors, hirers and retailers must ensure goods and services comply with standards and be familiar with the information standards relating to those goods and services.
Supplying goods or services that do not comply with an information standard is an offence. The maximum penalties are $1.1 million for a body corporate and $220,000 for an individual. Civil penalties for the same amount apply. Breaching information standards can also lead to injunctions, personal damages, compensatory orders, corrective advertising orders and adverse publicity orders.