Gift card law reform delayed

Concerns for business impact.

The commencement of the new gift card laws has been delayed after the NSW parliament voted down a proposed 1 December, 2017 commencement date following concerns raised about the implementation of the laws and the impact on business over the Christmas period.

Last month, the NSW Government passed the new gift card laws, meaning that NSW businesses will be required to extend the expiry date of gift cards sold in NSW to three years or face penalties of up to $11,000.

In response to the swift implementation of the NSW gift card laws and the lack of industry consultation prior to introducing the new laws, Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) held roundtable consultations on 19 October, 2017 with its members and other industry stakeholders to discuss the impact of the new laws on businesses.

The roundtable highlighted the uncertainty for how business that operate online and nationally will comply with these laws. Consumers will be left confused as some gift cards will have a three-year expiry period and others will not. Furthermore, many businesses may not have the systems in place to comply with the new laws.

Other concerns included the time, resources and investment needed from a systems and logistics perspective; a lack of clarity including transitional arrangement; sufficient time for compliance.

Following the concerns raised by ADMA, the NSW Government has delayed its decision on the commencement date, initially set to be made on 3 November, 2017. Based on its current discussion with the NSW Government, it appears that the laws will likely commence in April 2018.

ADMA continues to advocate for a 12-month transitionary period with the view to reaching industry compliance by Christmas 2018.

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