22 October 2018
Media Release - #2018022, 2018

Consultation on exemptions to gift card reforms

The Government is seeking feedback on proposed regulations which will support the gift card reforms currently before the Parliament.

The Government's gift card reforms set a minimum expiry period of three years to ensure consumers have a reasonable period of time in which to use gift cards. The reforms also ban unfair post-purchase fees and require that the expiry date be included where consumers need it: on their cards.

These reforms will look after consumers, and make sure that many essential business activities can continue.

However, it's important to ensure that businesses can undertake effective marketing activities to promote their goods and services and manage their stock levels. The draft regulations outline circumstances where businesses can continue to offer gift cards without providing a three year expiry period. These include:

  • certain temporary marketing activities;
  • where the gift card is for time-limited goods and services such as concerts and festivals; and
  • where the gift card is given under an employee reward scheme.

The draft regulations clarify that charitable organisations and governments can also continue to use cards with shorter expiry periods. This will provide flexibility to ensure that support services can continue to meet the immediate needs of people in the community – for example through the provision of disaster relief or welfare assistance.

While the Government's gift card reforms will ban unfair post-supply fees like administrative fees and charges, the draft regulations specify certain fees that businesses can continue to charge. For example, businesses will be able to continue to charge fees for the costs of currency conversion when consumers buy goods and services from overseas websites.

The draft regulations and an explanatory statement are available to download from the Treasury website, where submissions can also be lodged.

Consultation will run through to 31 October 2018.