Welcome to the latest edition of the Addisons Direct
Selling Legal Update.
2014 has got off to a busy start with many local changes of
relevance to the direct selling sector.
In this update, we consider the following matters and
ACCC releases Compliance and Enforcement Policy for 2014 - What
does this mean for the direct selling sector?
Each year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(the ACCC) releases a Compliance and Enforcement Policy, which sets
out the priority areas for the year and the key factors that the
ACCC will consider when determining whether to take enforcement
On 21 February 2014, the ACCC published its Compliance and
Enforcement Policy for 2014. The 2014 Policy provides insight into
the ACCC's focus areas for 2014, particularly those areas that
the ACCC will be considering when exercising their investigative
and enforcement powers.
Australia's New Privacy Laws Take Effect – when will
the OAIC take enforcement action and what does this mean for your
On 12 March 2014, significant changes to the Privacy Act 1988
took effect. The changes included the introduction of a set of
Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), which set out the standards,
rights and obligations in relation to the collecting, handling,
holding, access and correction of personal information.
Given the Privacy Commissioner's new powers, it is
unsurprising that the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner (OAIC) has been busy, recently announcing its
enforcement approach to the new privacy laws. We take a look at
what the OAIC will consider when deciding whether to take
enforcement action against a business.
Transfer Pricing Reforms - International Transaction
Documentation - Time for a refresh?
In July 2013, new Australian transfer pricing rules came into
effect. One of the features of the rules was that cross-border
transactions are to be undertaken on an arms-length basis. The
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) may disregard actual transactions
and "reconstruct" them on a hypothetical arm's length
basis. The rules not only apply to entities within the same group,
but can apply to transactions between unrelated parties if they
have not dealt with each other on an arm's length basis.
Parallel Imported Products and Counterfeit Goods - Direct
Selling Companies Protect Your Brands - Lodge a Notice of Objection
Direct selling companies may either have trade marks registered
in Australia or be an authorised user of an Australian trade mark.
Often, the business may have international operations which involve
the production and sale of goods in various countries throughout
the world. Issues relating to the importation of products from one
country to another (which may not be authorised) or counterfeit
products often arise. These issues can cause significant problems
for the business. One step which direct selling companies can take
is to lodge a Customs Notice. We outline details about this
ACCC Succeeds in False Testimonials Case: ACCC v P & N Pty
Ltd (2014) - Guidance for Using Testimonials
Businesses that publish testimonials to promote their products
or services should ensure that their testimonials are not false or
misleading. This is demonstrated by the recent case of ACCC v P
& N Pty Ltd (2014), which provides some guidance on
Reforms to the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth)
Recent reforms to the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth)
(the Act) change the classification of therapeutic goods, the way
regulatory decisions are published and the advertising requirements
in respect of therapeutic goods to reduce potential risks to the
public. New criminal offences and civil penalties are also
ACCC v Lux: the Federal Court provides clarity on
unconscionable conduct provisions under the ACL
The Full Federal Court judgment in ACCC v Lux (2013)
marks a significant decision on the application of the prohibition
against unconscionable conduct contained in the Australian
Consumer Law (ACL). Notably, the case provides greater clarity
on the statutory concept of unconscionable conduct. Relevantly for
direct selling businesses, this decision examines, in detail,
unconscionable conduct that was engaged in by direct
We explore the factors that make up "unconscionable
conduct" and provide take home points designed to help
businesses avoid engaging in unconscionable conduct.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Federal Court decision is likely to encourage the ACCC to maintain unconscionable conduct as an enforcement priority.
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