Exemption from parts of the wheat port code

  • An exemption allows a port terminal service provider to not have to comply with Parts 3 to 6 of the Wheat Port Code of Conduct.
  • When deciding whether to grant an exemption, the ACCC must consider certain matters.
  • The ACCC and the Minister can grant exemptions.

What the ACCC does:

  • We can grant port terminal service providers exemption from having to comply with Parts 3 to 6 of the wheat port code for a specified port terminal facility.
  • We can revoke exemptions that we have granted.

What the ACCC can't do:

  • We cannot exempt port terminal service providers from having to comply with Parts 1 and 2 of the wheat port code.

Exemptions by the ACCC

We can grant exemptions from parts of the wheat port code

The Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct, often referred to as the Wheat Port Code of Conduct or wheat port code, allows the ACCC to decide that a port terminal service provider is an exempt service provider for a specified port terminal facility.

Exempt service providers don’t have to comply with the obligations in Parts 3 to 6 of the wheat port code. They must still comply with the obligations in Parts 1 and 2 of the code.

In deciding whether to grant a port terminal service provider an exemption, we must consider 10 matters listed in subclause 5(3) of the wheat port code.

Since introducing the code, the ACCC has granted exemptions relating to more than 15 port terminal facilities. See wheat port code access exemptions for a list of these exemptions.

We can review exemptions we’ve previously granted

Possible reasons for reviewing an exemption that we’ve previously granted include:

  • changes in the market
  • becoming aware of new information that was not considered in making the original decision, or
  • expected market outcomes did not occur following the decision to exempt, such as exporters not being able to gain fair and transparent access to port terminal services at the facility following the original decision.

We can revoke exemptions

We can also revoke an exemption that we’ve previously granted, if, after considering the 10 matters listed in subclause 5(3) of the wheat port code, we are satisfied that the reasons for granting the exemption no longer apply.

To date, the ACCC has not revoked an exemption from the wheat port code.

Applying to the ACCC for an exemption

Port terminal service providers can apply to the ACCC to be an exempt service provider.

We publish guidelines with:

  • instructions on how to apply for an exemption
  • the process we use when deciding to make and revoke exemptions
  • expected timeframes to make a decision.

See Guidelines on the ACCC’s process for making and revoking exemption determinations.

Exemptions by the Minister to cooperatives

The Minister for Agriculture can decide that a port terminal service provider is an exempt service provider.

The Minister must be satisfied that the port terminal service provider is a cooperative that has:

  • grain-producer members who represent at least a two-thirds majority of grain-producers within the grain catchment area for the port concerned
  • sound governance arrangements that ensure the business functions efficiently and allows members influence the management decisions of the cooperative.

To date, the Minister has made one exemption. On 17 November 2014, the Minister found that Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited’s port terminal facilities at Albany, Esperance, Geraldton and Kwinana satisfactorily met the criteria for exemption.

A copy of the Minister’s Notice of Determination of Exemption is available on the Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited website.

Wheat port code exemption applications

See a complete list of wheat export projects.

Title Industry Type Status
Port of Portland wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
3 May 2022

On 3 September 2021, Port of Portland Pty Limited applied to the ACCC to be determined an exempt service provider of port terminal services at its port terminal facility at Portland, Victoria. On 3 May 2022 the ACCC released a final determination document confirming that it has determined Port of Portland Pty Limited to be an exempt service provider of port terminal services at its Portland facility. The exemption was made by notifiable instrument.

ADM Trading Australia wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
24 September 2021

Following pre-lodgement discussions in 2020, on 14 January 2021 ADM Trading Australia provided a written application to the ACCC seeking to be determined an exempt service provider of port terminal services provided by means of a port terminal facility at Port Pirie, South Australia. On 14 July 2021 the ACCC released a draft determination proposing to determine ADM to be an exempt service provider of port terminal services at its Port Pirie facility.

Viterra wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
20 July 2021

On 2 July 2019, Viterra provided a written application to the ACCC seeking to be determined an exempt service provider of port terminal services provided by means of all six of their port terminal facilities located in South Australia.

Cargill Port Adelaide wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
2 July 2020

On 30 October 2019, Cargill provided a written application to the ACCC seeking to be determined an exempt service provider of port terminal services provided by means of its port terminal facility at Port Adelaide, South Australia.

LINX Port Adelaide exemption Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
21 May 2020

On 11 October 2017 the ACCC granted exempt service provider status to LINX Cargo Care Group at its Berth 29, Port Adelaide facility. Exempt service providers do not have to comply with Parts 3 to 6 of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct.

T-Ports Lucky Bay wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
3 April 2020

On 28 March 2019, T-Ports provided a written application to the ACCC seeking to be determined an exempt service provider of port terminal services provided by means of its port terminal facility, which is currently being developed at Lucky Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

Riordan Grain Services Port of Portland wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
31 March 2020

On 26 October 2018 the ACCC released an Issues Paper to commence a public consultation process on the application submitted by Riordan Grain Services. Submissions are due by 16 November 2018.

GrainCorp Port of Portland wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Withdrawn
9 January 2020

On 29 November 2018, GrainCorp provided a written application to the ACCC seeking to be determined an exempt service provider of port terminal services provided by means of its port terminal facility at the Port of Portland in Victoria.

On 20 December 2019 GrainCorp requested to withdraw its application for exemption in relation to its Portland port terminal facility.

Riordan Grain Services Port of Geelong wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
28 July 2017

On 29 May 2017, Riordan Grain Services submitted an application to be exempted from Parts 3 to 6 of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct. The ACCC sought additional information from Riordan Grain Services and a revised application was lodged on 31 May 2017.

Semaphore Port Adelaide wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
28 July 2017

On 28 July 2017, the ACCC released a final determination granting exempt service provider status to Semaphore at its port terminal facility at Osborne Berth 1, Inner Harbour, Port Adelaide . Exempt service providers do not have to comply with Parts 3 to 6 of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct.

Port Kembla wheat ports exemption assessments Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
1 April 2016

A mandatory Code on bulk wheat terminal access commenced on 30 September 2014. The Code regulates bulk wheat port terminal operators to ensure that exporters have fair and transparent access to terminal facilities.The Code allows for regulation to be reduced at ports where appropriate. The ACCC may exempt a port terminal service provider from certain provisions of the Code in relation to a specific port terminal facility.

Patrick Port Adelaide wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
11 October 2017

On 1 April 2016 the ACCC released a final determination granting an exemption to Patrick at its Port Adelaide port terminal facility from Parts 3 to 6 of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct.

Port of Brisbane wheat ports exemption assessments Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
24 September 2015

On 24 September 2015 the ACCC released final determinations granting exemptions to both GrainCorp and Queensland Bulk Terminals at their respective bulk wheat port terminals at the Port of Brisbane.

Bunbury wheat port exemption assessment Wheat export Access exemption Finalised
24 September 2015

On 24 September 2015 the ACCC released a final determination granting an exemption to WAPRES at its Bunbury port terminal facility.

A mandatory Code on bulk wheat terminal access commenced on 30 September 2014. The Code regulates bulk wheat port terminal operators to ensure that exporters have fair and transparent access to terminal facilities. The Code allows for regulation to be reduced at ports where appropriate. The ACCC may exempt a port terminal service provider from certain provisions of the Code in relation to a specific port terminal facility.

See also

Guidelines on the ACCC’s process for making and revoking exemption determinations

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