What the ACCC does

  • We receive and assess notifications.
  • We can give businesses general guidance on the notification process.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We can't give advice about whether a planned arrangement would breach the law.

On this page

About notifications

A business may seek an exemption from the ACCC when it's planning an arrangement that will or may breach the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Notification is one way to gain this exemption. The process involves lodging a notification with the ACCC that sets out the likely public benefits and detriments from the arrangement. Once a notification is in place, it provides legal protection for the arrangement.

Notification is usually simpler and faster than the authorisation process. However, notification is only available for certain arrangements.

Businesses are responsible for assessing their own risk and deciding whether to seek an exemption and whether a notification is suitable. They may want to get independent legal advice.

When a notification can be used

A notification can only be lodged to get an exemption for:

A collective bargaining or collective boycott notification can only be lodged if the businesses in the group expect to make transactions less than $3 million (or higher in certain industries) over 12 months with the business they are dealing with. A trade union is not able to lodge a notification.

Before lodging a collective bargaining notification, businesses should check whether their arrangement is covered by the existing collective bargaining class exemption.

How to lodge a notification

1. Discuss the notification with us

Before lodging a notification, we encourage businesses to contact us for a discussion. We can give general guidance on:

  • which exemption processes are suitable for different activities
  • the notification process and who can lodge
  • what information and evidence to include with the notification
  • how we assess notifications.

Contact the ACCC on 02 6243 1368 or at exemptions@accc.gov.au.

2. Lodge the notification

To be valid, a notification must contain the information set out in the  Notification of Collective Bargaining - Exclusive Dealing - Resale Price Maintenance ( PDF 176.36 KB ) .

For detailed guidance on preparing each type of notification, read the relevant notification guidelines:

Notification is a transparent public process. The notification and any submissions received are published on our public registers.

However, businesses can ask to exclude confidential information from the public register. In these cases, they must also provide a public version of the notification with enough information to allow us to consult with stakeholders.

Read the Guidelines for excluding confidential information from the public register for authorisation and notification processes.

Lodge a notification through the authorisations and notifications online form.

Complete the form

Other ways to submit

Or, submit the notification by post or in person at an ACCC office.

3. Pay the lodgement fee

The lodgement fee is:

  • $2500 for exclusive dealing notifications ($500 concessional)
  • $1000 for resale price maintenance, collective bargaining and collective boycott notifications ($0 concessional).

Concessional fees may apply for closely related notifications lodged within 14 days of the first notification.

Pay by electronic funds transfer

We prefer payment to be made by electronic funds transfer to:

Account name: ACCC Administered receipts account
Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
BSB: 032-730
Account number: 146550
Payment narrative: <name of company> <form name e.g. Form G>

Other ways to pay

Payment can also be made:

  • online at ACCC Payments by credit card (Visa or Mastercard)
  • by cheque made out to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and posted to:
    General Manager Competition Exemptions Branch
    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
    GPO Box 3131 CANBERRA ACT 2601

What happens after we receive a notification

We publish the notification on the public register

Once we have received a notification, we first make sure it's valid.

We then begin our assessment and publish the notification on the relevant notifications public register.

Public registers of notifications

Notifications lodged with the ACCC are listed in a public register. We publish a register for each notification process.

These are the:

We assess the notification

To assess a notification, we will review the information provided. We may also ask for more information and consult with interested parties.

The test for assessing notifications differs depending on which type of notification is lodged.

We assess collective bargaining, collective boycott and resale price maintenance notifications to determine whether the arrangement will result in a likely public benefit that will outweigh the likely public detriment.

We assess exclusive dealing notifications to determine whether:

We make a decision

After assessing the notification, we will decide to either:

  • allow the notification to stand, which allows legal protection to start or continue
  • revoke the notification, which removes legal protection.

If we decide to revoke a notification, we will first issue a draft notice objecting to the notification providing written reasons why we propose to revoke the notification. The applicant and other interested parties can respond before we make a final decision on whether to revoke the notification.

When legal protection starts

After lodging a valid notification, legal protection begins:

  • immediately for exclusive dealing
  • after 14 days for collective bargaining with no collective boycott and resale price maintenance
  • after 60 days for collective bargaining with a collective boycott.

This legal protection begins by default, unless we take action within the period to stop it by issuing a draft notice.

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