Labels are a key feature of most products. They help to market the product, allow customers to tell it apart from the competition, and give important messages including ingredients, instructions and uses. Manufacturers and retailers need to be aware of their obligations under various legislation affecting product labelling.
What you must include in your label
When you design a label, make sure it complies with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA), which says you can’t give false, deceptive or misleading information to customers.
The Act also requires that labels are used to give information to consumers, such as:
- the mandatory consumer product information standards under the CCA
- industry specific regulations, such as the Food Standards Code
- labels required by customs for some imported products under the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act.
Specific labelling laws
Pre-packaged goods labelling
Label designs for pre-packaged goods must also comply with the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009, which include requirements for:
- the position, size and format of measurement information
- for articles packed in Australia, the name and address of the packer.
For more information, read the Guide to the Sale of Pre-Packaged Goods on the National Measurement Institute website.
- Use by and best before dates
- Allergen labelling
- Kilojoule labelling (also applies to menu labelling in some areas)
Country of origin labelling
Country of origin labelling is a notice or label on products to let your customers know what country a product came from.
- misleading country of origin labelling is prohibited
- certain products must have country of origin labelling, such as food.
Country of origin food labels
If you sell food in retail stores in Australia, new country of origin food labelling laws apply to your products from 1 July 2016. Read more >
Australian made claims
If you claim your products originated from Australia, you need to be aware of your obligations under Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Incorrect Australian made claims can lead to penalties, so it’s important to get it right
To help ensure you’re making these claims correctly, download the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCCs) Country of origin claims and the Australian Consumer Law guide.
Chemical products labelling
If your business is in the chemicals or plastics industry, read the Chemicals Business Checklist on our Personal protection and chemicals page for labelling and packaging requirements that apply to your products.
What to do…
- Read about trade descriptions and Labelling for imports/exports on the Australian Border Force website
- See our Country of origin food labelling page for more information on the new food labels
- Download the Country of origin claims and the Australian Consumer Law guide from the ACCC website
- Read our Trade measurement page if the price of your goods is based on measurement of quantity or quality
- Contact the ACCC small business helpline on 1300 302 021.