The Federal Government has directed the ACCC to monitor and report on the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of menstrual products in the feminine hygiene products industry.
The Government has previously agreed with the states and territories that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be removed from menstrual products from 1 January 2019.
The ACCC will monitor the price of menstrual products from 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019, and provide a report to the Treasurer by 31 March 2019.
“This is an important change in the price of essential goods for women and we will be looking at the market to ensure that consumers see immediate price decreases,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The GST is one of a number of factors that affect retail prices but if retailers do not reduce the price of menstrual products by nearly 10 per cent, Australian consumers will expect them to explain why.”
Consumers should note that the GST is a 10 per cent tax added to the price of a product. Removal of the GST would therefore result in a 9.1 per cent reduction in the current retail price. For example, a product that was priced at $5 now, would cost $4.55 after removal of GST.
As part of this role the ACCC will examine prices nationally before and after 1 January 2019. The ACCC will also carefully consider any allegations that price changes are being misrepresented in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
“Our report will shine a very public light on any retailers not passing savings on to consumers or misleading the public. This is a well publicised change that every retailer should already be aware of. There is no room to claim ignorance here,” Ms Rickard said.
The price monitoring direction under section 95ZE of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and other information relating to the ACCC’s role can be found on the ACCC website.