What calls are exempt? | ACMA

What calls are exempt?

What calls can you still receive?

If your number is on the Do Not Call Register (DNCR), you may continue to receive some unsolicited calls or faxes.

This might happen if:

  • your number was placed on the DNCR within the last 30 days
  • the call or fax was exempt from the DNCR rules—as a ‘designated telemarketing call’ or ‘designated marketing fax’
  • the call was not a ‘telemarketing call’ or ‘marketing fax’ as defined by the laws governing the DNCR
  • you consented to receiving the call or fax.

Numbers registered within the past 30 days

Telemarketers and fax marketers have 30 days from the date of registration to stop contacting you.

Designated telemarketing calls and marketing faxes

Calls or faxes made or sent by certain organisations are deemed to be 'designated telemarketing calls' or 'designated marketing faxes' and are exempt from the prohibition on contacting numbers listed on the DNCR. The following organisations are exempt from obligations under the DNCR Act.

Registered charities

Registered charities provide valuable services to the community and rely on various ways to raise funds to support their work, including soliciting donations by telephone and fax.

Educational institutions

Educational institutions may need to contact their students, or former students, to inform them of the needs of the institution and to seek funds.

Government bodies

Government bodies need to use the most effective means, including telephone and fax contact, to provide information to citizens on a range of issues.

Registered political parties, independent MPs and political candidates

This exemption allows for fundraising for state, federal or territory electoral or political purposes.

Rules for exempt organisations

While the above organisations and individuals are exempt from the prohibition on calling numbers on the DNCR, they are still required to comply with the Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017 and the Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011.

For further information on the rules set out in the industry standards, please refer to Overview of the Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard and Overview of the Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011.

Other permissible calls or faxes?

The DNCR only prohibits unsolicited telemarketing calls and marketing faxes. Calls or faxes without a commercial marketing element do not fall within the legal definition of ‘telemarketing calls’ or ‘marketing faxes’, and can be made to numbers listed on the DNCR.

These include:
  • calls or faxes made to conduct opinion polling or carry out standard questionnaire-based research—but these research calls or faxes must still comply with the legal requirements set out in the industry standards
  • product recall calls
  • fault rectification calls
  • appointment rescheduling or reminder calls
  • calls about payments
  • solicited calls

Consent to receive calls or faxes

A person making a telemarketing call or sending a marketing fax may contact a number on the DNCR if the account-holder—or a nominee—has consented to receive the call or fax. Read more about consent .

Further information

Further information about the DNCR, the regulations and the industry standard can be found at www.donotcall.gov.au.

Please note: this document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.

Last updated: 02 April 2017