The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has consented to Viterra Operations Limited’s application to extend and vary its 2011 Port Terminal Services Access Undertaking.
“The ACCC considers that Viterra’s application provides certainty to Viterra and exporters and makes a number of appropriate changes to Viterra’s existing arrangements,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
Viterra’s undertaking was previously due to expire on 30 September 2014 when a mandatory code of conduct is expected to be introduced to govern access to bulk wheat ports. Viterra applied to the ACCC to extend the operation of the undertaking to 30 September 2015 to ensure continuity in regulatory arrangements in the event the code is not in place before the expiration of the undertaking. In the event that the code is in place before 30 September 2015, the undertaking will expire when the code becomes effective.
In addition to the application to extend the undertaking, Viterra also proposed to make a number of variations to its 2011 undertaking, including changes to the first in first served booking process, the suspension of port loading protocols during periods of force majeure and the movement of bookings between Inner Harbour and Outer Harbor facilities in Adelaide.
The ACCC has a role in approving access undertakings for port terminal operators who also have bulk wheat exporting operations. Viterra’s 2011 undertaking provides access for third party exporters to Viterra’s port terminal services for bulk wheat export at six of its port terminals in South Australia.
The ACCC’s final decision is available at www.accc.gov.au/wheat
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