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.