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Exemptions in the Australian Electronic Transactions Act - September 2004

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This article provides an overview of the Commonwealth Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) and the eight State and Territory ETAs in Australia. It focuses on the many exemptions and how to find them.

This is an important area of law for many new technology implementations involving electronic communication. If a particular transaction is exempt from the ETA in one or more jurisdictions, this can present a significant barrier to the use of electronic communication. For example, a wholly electronic process for selling consumer credit products is not viable in many Australian jurisdictions, because consumer credit laws requiring hard copy disclosure documents are exempted from the relevant ETAs.

Identifying and locating the relevant ETA exemption can be a difficult and time-consuming task. This article provides some guidance through the ETA maze, and includes an appendix listing common exemptions and their location.

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