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November 16, 2011

ACCC Carbon price claims – Guide for business

The ACCC has published Carbon price claims - Guide for business.

The guide reminds businesses that under the Australian Consumer Law a claim about the impact of a carbon price must be accurate and not mislead consumers (whether individuals or other businesses), must be able to be substantiated and be based on reasonable grounds if it contains a prediction about price increases connected to the impact of a carbon price.

Some examples of claims that will mislead customers are if:
• you represent that the whole amount of a price increase is due to a carbon price, when in fact only a proportion of the total price increase is attributable to a carbon price, or
• you overstate the impact of a carbon price.

Claims about the impact of a carbon price prior to 1 July 2012 (when the new scheme starts), should not wrongly suggest that a carbon price will affect the price of goods or services before that date.

The ACCC also advises caution about more general statements before 1 July 2012 such as:
• ‘Beat the Carbon Tax - Buy Now’
• ‘Our prices will be hit hard when the carbon price comes in’
• ‘Buy now before the carbon tax bites’.

Businesses should also take care not to breach anti-cartel laws if they engage in any discussions with competitors about the effects of a carbon price.

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Posted 16th November 2011 by David Jacobson in Environment, Tax