Do you sell gift cards? New Australia-wide laws may soon apply

Do you sell gift cards? New Australia-wide laws may soon apply

The Australian Government recently released an exposure draft of the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Gift Cards) Bill 2018 (the Bill) for public consultation.

If the Bill is passed, retailers and business will be required to place a minimum expiry of 3 years on their gift cards, display expiry dates on the gift cards and prohibit post-purchase fees on gift cards.  The new laws would apply Australia-wide.

There are heavy penalties for breaching these new laws, with companies being penalised $30,000 per breach and individuals being penalised $6,000.

The new bill comes a few months after New South Wales (NSW) gift card laws came into effect, which similarly set a minimum 3 year expiry date and prohibited post-purchase fees that reduce the gift cards value.

However, it is interesting to note that the NSW legislation specifically excluded store credit from the application of the laws (e.g. where a store issues credit for the return of a purchase), whereas the new Bill does not specifically exclude store credit.

In the current draft of the Bill, it would seem that store credit is included, as it would be “an article that is redeemable for goods or services” under the definition of ‘gift card’.  However, the Bill allows for regulations to be made to exclude particular items from the application of the Bill and it may be the case that store credit is excluded.

It is important to ensure that you have your gift card terms and conditions, including the full terms and conditions and any short form terms and conditions set out at the back of a gift card reviewed for compliance, particularly with the news laws coming into place.

I have assisted a large number of businesses in drafting and reviewing their gift card terms and conditions.  If you need assistance in drafting terms or ensuring compliance for your gift cards, do not hesitate to contact me at or give me a call on 1300 033 934 for a no-obligation quote.

Source: Australian Government Treasury website