Regulation Impact Statement Updates

Official website for publishing regulatory impact analysis information for regulatory decisions announced by the Australian Government, COAG and COAG Councils.

Paper Billing

29th November 2018

COAG Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand

On 26 October 2018, Consumer Affairs Ministers discussed options to prevent vulnerable or disadvantaged consumers being charged to receive paper bills. Ministers agreed to encourage businesses to increase the uptake of their existing fee exemption programs.

While many consumers may have the option to transition to digital bills, this is not the case for all consumers. Vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers may pay paper billing fees out of necessity, because they do not have the ability to access digital bills. Potential options canvassed in the RIS range from a ban on paper billing fees through to promoting the uptake of fee exemptions.

Ministers expect the agreed approach will mitigate consumer harm and detriment for vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers while minimising regulatory costs for businesses. Ministers issued an explicit warning to business that if the increase in exemption program uptake is not met within 12 months, Ministers will favourably consider a complete ban on paper billing fees.

The Regulation Impact Statement prepared by the Department of the Treasury has been approved by the Office of Best Practice Regulation under COAG RIS requirements. The regulatory burden has been estimated at $1 million per annum.

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