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What Are the Legal Requirements for Made in Australia Product Labels?

What Are the Legal Requirements for Made in Australia Product Labels?

Having a 'Made in Australia' label on products can significantly influence purchase decisions. Find out what the legal requirements are in this article.

12th August 2020
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Made in Australia product labels can significantly influence purchasers. As a result, the use of these product labels must be accurate and truthful.

‘Australian Made, Australian Grown’

The kangaroo logo with the slogan ‘Australian Made, Australian Grown’ (AMAG) is a registered trade mark. The Australian Made Campaign Limited (AMCL) regulates the use of the logo. The AMCL is a not-for-profit organisation and is not a government body. The AMCL licenses the logo for free which means you or your business can use the logo without cost. But, you must register the product with AMCL and become a licensee for the logo.

Your products must comply also with AMCL’s Code of Practice for the logo. As per the rules for the use of the logo, you cannot alter or change the logo in any form. This includes the colours (green and yellow) that are used in the logo. It includes the design of the logo and also includes the image of the kangaroo in the logo. The size can be changed based on your needs. A business might reduce the size of the logo based on the product. If you use the logo, you also cannot challenge the AMCL’s ownership of the logo. The logo can only be used on goods approved by the AMCL. The AMCL has certain categories of goods that may have the logo applied on them.

If any issues arise by your use of the logo, the Code sets out how it will be resolved. The Code also sets out the procedure for the complaints.

Food Products and Country of Origin Labels

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) requires that certain food product MUST display their country of origin. This includes expressing by statements such as ‘Made in Australia’ or images that represent Australian produce. Your business is free to choose how it represents the country of origin. However, if you use certain words or images are suggest a particular country when that is not the truth, you risk breaching the ACL. One of Lawpath’s Consumer lawyers can assist you in navigating through the requirements in the ACL. Get a free quote here.

You might also choose to use a bar that shows the percentage of Australian ingredients in your food. The logo might state ‘Made in Australia from at least 50% of Australian ingredients’. This is not compulsory for food products, but if it is used, it must be truthful.

For food products using the Australian Made logos, you must ensure that your products comply with the regulations around food labelling set out here. Following these guidelines is a complete defence for any issues in the ACL.

Other Products

As with claims for food products, claims about the country of origin for non-food products must also be truthful and accurate. Your business can provide details about where the product was made or where the products were manufactured This can lead to different labels such as ‘Product of Australia’, ‘Made in Australia’, or ‘Australian Grown’.

Grown in Australia

On a general basis, when using the ‘Australian Grown’ logo, you must be able to show that the material grew (in size) or changed in Australia. This includes a tree that has grown from a selling. Alternatively, you can show that the material was extracted or derived from an organism that grew or changed in Australia. This includes wool that is taken from Australian sheep.

Product of Australia

To use a “Product of Australia” logo, the good must use all or almost all Australian products. The good must also be manufactured in Australia. All significant ingredients or components must be Australian to satisfy the use of this logo. For example, if a handbag uses Australian leather but imported buttons for decorations, it can still use the “Product of Australia” logo. This is because the buttons are decorative and not a significant component of the good. There can be issues with using this logo if the goods were processed in countries other than Australia. You might find that you receive an infringement notice from the ACCC. To avoid this, claims must be made carefully. It could be more appropriate to use the “Made in Australian” logo in these cases.

Made in Australia

A good is ‘made’ in Australia if the last substantial change to the good occurred in Australia. This basically requires showing that the good is manufactured in Australia. The nature of the components must be changed. This can involve the weaving of fibre into a rug. It can also involve cutting and assembling wood into furniture.the logo should be not be used if only decorative or finishing touches are added on to the good. This could occur where a simple print is added on a t-shirt. For the t-shirt to be ‘made in Australia’, the cloth must be cut and sewed in Australia. If the process simply changed the form or appearance of the good, then it is not ‘made in Australia’.

Meru Sharma

Meru is a legal tech intern at Lawpath and a Bachelor of Laws student at The University of Technology Sydney. He is interested in how technology can help bring the legal industry into the 21st century.