Businesses are compliant with consumer laws

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Highlights

 

The key to achieving a fair and competitive marketplace is ensuring that businesses comply with consumer laws. We focus on achieving high levels of business compliance by working with industry and our partners. We continue to support businesses to be compliant and provide them with tools that support them to meet their obligations.

Under our integrated, risk-based approach to compliance, we act quickly against those causing most harm, protecting consumers earlier, more efficiently and more effectively.

In 2016-17 we used a range of regulatory tools to address poor conduct by businesses and significant breaches of consumer protection laws. The following table - Compliance, registrations and licensing activities undertaken in 2016-17 - provides an overview of our actions in meeting this goal.

As part of our state-wide inspection program, we inspected more than 5,700 Victorian businesses across a range of industries, to promote and test compliance with key consumer protection laws.

We undertook a range of enforcement actions against businesses for unfair and illegal practices, achieving significant outcomes to better protect Victorians.

We responded quickly to emerging product safety issues, seizing more than 65,000 non-compliant products. Over 6,000 were destroyed including children’s toys, household cots, portable swimming pools and monkey bikes.

Compliance, registrations and licensing activities undertaken in 2016-17

Note: Data in this table varies between years based on our regulatory risk priorities, government policy, the nature of our compliance program and the cyclical nature of our integrated compliance approach.

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Compliance
Inspections 3,470 5,796 5,769

Investigations

161 152 105
Market monitoring activity 802 960 411
Businesses engage through the Better Business Initiative 80 68 121
Parties to criminal proceedings, appeals and rehearings 21 18 18
Parties to civil proceedings 66 57 41
Parties signed to enforceable undertakings 17 11 22
Registrations and licensing‚Äč
Annual returns, updates or cancellations processed for incorporated associations, fundraisers and co-operatives
36,243 55,826 51,157
Total registration and licensing transactions
70,679 88,221 84,154

Notes

The increased complexity of investigations in 2016-17, largely influenced by underquoting matters, resulted in lower volumes.

Market monitoring activity reduced in 2016-17 as a result of sufficient information being obtained to assure major investigations.

Registration transactions have increased since 2014-15 due to the introduction of the online portal myCAV, making it easier for incorporated associations to maintain their details.

Registers administered by Consumer Affairs Victoria

Register type

New applications lodged 2014-15

New applications lodged 2015-16

New applications lodged 2016-17

Total on register 2014-15

Total on register 2015-16

Total on register 2016-17

Estate agents 1,216 1,582 1,581 11,679 12,458 13,230
Motor car traders 149 154 158 2,127 2,111 2,056
Incorporated associations 1,980 2,126 1,837 39,665 40,577 41,212
Co-operatives 25 23 25 602 573 540
Fundraisers 938 980 631 2,265 2,091 2,029
Second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers 350 331 348 4,120 3,865 3,723
Patriotic funds 6 6 0 600 591 563
Limited partnerships 16
 55 38 286 342 366
Conveyancers 92 99 92 768 820 877
Owners corporations managers 74 80 79 621 638 659
Retirement villages 12 14 13 426 439 447
Funeral service providers 10 10 14 424 434 448
Sex work service providers (licensed) 10 13 15 133 125 125
Sex work brothel managers 178 179 167 710 702 675