The Australian and Competition Consumer Commission has released an issues paper seeking views on whether to reduce the level of regulation at port terminal facilities owned by GrainCorp Operations Limited and Quattro Ports at Port Kembla.
“The ACCC’s issues paper invites interested parties to comment on a wide range of matters relating to the level of competition faced by GrainCorp and Quattro at Port Kembla, and whether the current level of regulation is appropriate,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
Port terminal service providers such as GrainCorp and Quattro are required to comply with the mandatory Code on bulk wheat terminal access. The ACCC is currently considering whether it is appropriate for either or both of GrainCorp and Quattro to be exempt service providers at Port Kembla.
Exempt providers are not required to comply with the majority of the Code’s obligations, including obligations to not discriminate when providing access to port terminal services, submit port capacity allocation systems for ACCC approval, or publish information on stocks at port.
The Code provides that exempt providers will still be required to deal with exporters in good faith and publish certain information including a port loading statement and port loading procedures. The ACCC is currently undertaking a nationwide exemption assessment process on a region by region basis.
Today the ACCC also separately released draft determinations proposing to exempt two port terminal facilities at Newcastle, following on from previous decisions in 2014.
The ACCC is seeking responses to its issues paper by 29 May 2015.
The issues paper and other relevant documents are available at: Port Kembla wheat ports exemption assessments
The Wheat Code commenced on 30 September 2014 replacing the previous access undertakings regime administered by the ACCC. The Code regulates bulk wheat port terminal operators to ensure that exporters have fair and transparent access to port terminal services.
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