Fines for federal offences set to increase

People caught breaching federal laws will be slapped with higher fines from next year.

The value of a penalty unit, the basis for determining how much an offence is worth, will rise from $222 to $275 from January 1, following new laws introduced to federal parliament.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the rise will determine the maximum fines that can be imposed for Commonwealth offences.

"(This) will ensure courts can continue to punish breaches of Commonwealth law with financial penalties that reflect the seriousness of the offending or infringing conduct," he told parliament on Wednesday.

"(It) will act as a meaningful deterrent to future offending."

The proposal to increase fine amounts was part of last month's federal budget.

The move is expected to raise $31.6 million for the budget bottom line over the next four years.

The increase to fines will only apply to offences that take place from January 1 onwards.

"It does not alter the obligation on a sentencing judge to impose the most appropriate fine or financial penalty in an individual manner," Mr Dreyfus said.