Surcharges are almost back on menu

Published On 12/07/2013 | By William Osborn | Reform

Further to our previous blog post, the Competition and Consumer Amendment Bill 2013 (Cwlth) received assent on 29 June 2013.

The Act now provides the Commonwealth Minister with a power to make regulations to exempt a prescribed class of representations from the single pricing provision in the ACL.  The single pricing provision in the ACL prohibits businesses from stating a price that is only part of the cost, unless they also prominently advertise the single price for the goods or services.

The Second Reading Speech to the Bill states that the purpose of providing for this regulation making power is to allow an exemption to be made for restaurant and café menu surcharges on specific days, including Sundays and public holidays. However, there has not yet been any amendment the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010 (Cwlth) to reflect this stated purpose.

It was envisaged that the Regulations would be amended to incorporate this exception following the assent of the Bill.  We anticipate that the Regulations will include an exemption to the component pricing provisions for surcharges on restaurant and café menus in the not too distant future.

By William Osborn and Samantha Barrett

Photo credit: Besopha / Flickr / CC-BY

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About The Author

is a solicitor in the Melbourne office at King & Wood Mallesons.

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