The ACCC has determined that Commodity Ag is an ‘exempt service provider’ of port terminal services provided via its port terminal facility at Albany, Western Australia.
The determination was made by notifiable instrument and registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. The instrument and Commodity Ag’s exemption commenced on 31 May 2023.
The ACCC has released a final determination document that sets out the reasons why the ACCC decided to grant Commodity Ag an exemption. These included the ACCC’s view that Commodity Ag faces a high level of competitive constraint from Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) at Albany. The ACCC considered that Commodity Ag will continue to have incentives to provide exporters with fair and transparent access to its services following an exemption.
The exemption means that Commodity Ag will not be required to comply with Parts 3 to 6 of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct in the course of providing services at Albany, Western Australia.
The Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct commenced on 30 September 2014 and regulates bulk grain port terminal operators to ensure that exporters have fair and transparent access to port terminal services.
Exempt service providers are not required to comply with obligations in Parts 3 to 6 of the code, including obligations not to discriminate or hinder other exporters when providing access to port terminal services, or to submit port capacity allocation systems for ACCC approval. They are still required to deal with exporters in good faith and publish certain information, including a port loading statement and port loading procedures.