Chinese 'Aussie Beer' gets $10k fine

31 Mar, 2015 04:58 AM
Consumers are entitled to expect that prominent representations made on packaging are accurate

A CHINESE-MADE product labelled as Aussie Beer has caused its manufacturer to be slapped with a $10,200 fine from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

From March to August 2014, the Independent Liquor Group (ILG) supplied a green and gold-branded product named Aussie Beer, with labelling that incorporated the statement "100 per cent owned" within a map of Australia and the statement "Australia’s finest malt".

According to a statement issued by the ACCC, ILG's packaging represented its Aussie Beer product as product made in Australia, when in fact it was made in China.

"The infringement notice was issued because the ACCC had reasonable grounds to believe that ILG had made false or misleading representations about the country of origin of the Aussie Beer product, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)," the ACCC statement said.

"Country of origin representations, particularly those designed to grab the eye of the consumer by using well known symbols, colours, or slogans, must be truthful," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

"Consumers will often place a premium on the provenance of a product, but are unable to check the accuracy of those claims. This is particularly the case with Australian made products which encourage consumers to support local industries. Consumers are entitled to expect that prominent representations made on packaging are accurate without having to check for disclosures in the fine print."

According to the ACCC, the payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the ACL, although an infringement notice may be issued where there are reasonable grounds to believe certain consumer protections of the ACL have been contravened.

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31/03/2015 6:47:28 AM

Is that all? Even $100k fine would be a slap on the wrist.
31/03/2015 6:59:04 AM

This is appalling, $10,200 is a pittance. There should be more scrutiny here and overseas for anyone misleading and the fine should be designed to put them out of business. The cost to Australian reputation is more than the fine even if it was millions. PLEASE WAKE UP AUSTRALIA. I wonder how a strong farming industry would handle this such as USA or Sweden?
31/03/2015 11:01:47 AM

Ban the company for life and $1 mill fine.
31/03/2015 12:47:38 PM

We can't offend out Chinese mates too much or they might give up digging up Aussie farms and exporting them to China. What a pathetic fine.
Old Crow
31/03/2015 4:08:14 PM

Nothing more than that will ever happen. Australia hasn't got the balls to offend the Chinese.
Buy Australian Logo
31/03/2015 5:01:11 PM

Had they used the Buy Australian Logo they would have put their Australian credentials onopen display for all to see. Its the Logo that the Government wishes they could give us but are forbidden from doing so. An Australian Authenticity Logo and Truth in Labelling all in one since 2012.
Bushfire Blonde
31/03/2015 5:48:33 PM

I wonder what nationality the proprietors of this business are?
Buy Australian Logo
1/04/2015 7:01:06 AM

Membership to the Buy Australian Logo would have saved them $9870 and put their true Australian credentials on display including ownership. The problem that led to this fine has been solved with out Government interference since 2012. Clear, truthful and honest display of the level of Australian inputs for content, owned, made and packed.
3/04/2015 2:08:32 PM

Very, very obvious that they are trying to portray a product as Australian when it is not. This company should have any import licences immediately cancelled for a period of ten years. We have the weakest import restrictions and labelling laws of most any country you might like to name and local manufacturers are being decimated. More teeth should be given to the ACCC to make sure we are not being duped by shoddy manufacturers. As a point of interest; what penalty was imposed for selling Hepatitis contaminated food? I am sure any Australian supplier would have faced severe penalties.


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