Fines are monetary fines (criminal penalty) imposed by courts in criminal proceedings. Criminal standard of proof is required.

The maximum penalties per breach of the ACL including unconscionable conduct, making false or misleading representations, and supplying consumer goods or certain services that do not comply with safety standards or which are banned:

For corporations, will be the greater of:

  • $10 000 000
  • three times the value of the benefit received, or
  • 10% of annual turnover in preceding 12 months, if court cannot determine benefit obtained from the offence.

For individuals:

  • $500 000.

Infringement Notices

Where the ACCC has reasonable grounds to believe a person has breached the provisions of the ACL it can issue an Infringement Notice in respect of the following:

  • unconscionable conduct
  • false or misleading conduct
  • pyramid selling
  • certain product safety and product information provisions
  • failure to respond to a substantiation notice
  • false or misleading information in response to a substantiation notice.

The penalty amount in each infringement notice will vary, depending on the alleged contravention, but in most cases is fixed at:

  • $12 600 for a corporation (or $126 000 for a listed corporation) and
  • $2 520 for an individual

for each alleged contravention.

In connection with substantiation notices, the infringement notice penalty amount for failure to comply with a substantiation notice is:

  • $5400 for a corporation and
  • $1080 for an individual.

The infringement notice penalty amount for providing false or misleading information, under a substantiation notice, is $10 500 for a corporation and $2 100 for an individual.