The development of bulk wheat exports regulation

  • The Wheat Port Code of Conduct began in 2014. It replaced the previous legislation and access undertaking regime.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources reviewed the wheat port code releasing its final report in 2018.
  • The ACCC provided 2 submissions to the review of the wheat port code.

Regulation that was in place before the wheat port code

Wheat Export Marketing Act

Before the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct, often referred to as the Wheat Port Code of Conduct or wheat port code, access to bulk wheat export port terminal services was regulated under the Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008.

Wheat exporters who also owned or operated wheat port terminal facilities needed to pass an 'access test' before they could be accredited to export bulk wheat.

Wheat export access undertakings

One part of the access test that wheat exporters had to pass was having an access undertaking accepted by the ACCC under Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act 1974, renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 on 1 January 2011 and also known as the national access regime.

The ACCC accepted undertakings from four operators – Co-operative Bulk Handling, Emerald, GrainCorp and Viterra. Undertakings were first accepted in 2009, with further undertakings being accepted in 2011 and 2013.

We also considered variations to the undertakings, monitored compliance, and had other roles under the undertakings.

Access undertaking assessments

See a complete list of wheat export projects.

Title Industry Type Status
Co-operative Bulk Handling 2011 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
25 September 2014

On 28 September 2011 the ACCC accepted the 2011 Undertaking provided to the ACCC by CBH on 20 September 2011.

GrainCorp Operations Ltd 2011 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
25 September 2014

GrainCorp provided the ACCC with a revised Proposed 2011 Undertaking on 31 January 2011 which contains technical amendments to the Undertaking lodged on 22 September 2010.

Co-operative Bulk Handling 2014 Wheat export Access undertaking Withdrawn
9 September 2014

Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) is a bulk handling company that operates four bulk wheat port facilities in Western Australia.

On 14 March 2014, CBH lodged a proposed undertaking for its port terminal services with the ACCC for assessment under section 44ZZA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).

Emerald Logistics 2013 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
4 September 2014

Information about the Access undertaking for Emerald Logistics Services Pty Ltd (Emerald)

Viterra 2011 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
30 January 2014

Viterra (AusBulk/ABB Grain Ltd) 2011

Australian Bulk Alliance 2011 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
28 September 2011

ABA submitted an Access Undertaking 2011

GrainCorp Operations Ltd 2009 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
29 September 2009

On 15 April 2009, GrainCorp lodged an Undertaking for assessment.

Viterra 2009 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
29 September 2009

Viterra (AusBulk/ABB Grain Ltd) 2009

Co-operative Bulk Handling 2009 Wheat export Access undertaking Expired
29 September 2009

On 14 April 2009, CBH lodged an Undertaking for assessment

Introduction of the wheat port code

ACCC submission on the draft wheat port code

The ACCC was involved in the consultation process while the wheat port code was being developed.

In June 2014, we provided a submission on a draft version of the wheat port code and associated Regulation Impact Statement.

Submission title Description
ACCC submission to the Department of Agriculture (PDF 124.02 KB | DOCX 350.34 KB) - June 2014

Mandatory code of conduct for bulk wheat port terminal access

In June 2014, the ACCC provided a submission on the draft Competition and Consumer (Industry Code - Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat)) Regulation 2014 and associated early assessment Regulation Impact Statement.

The wheat port code

The wheat port code began on 30 September 2014. 

The code replaced the previous wheat port access rules under the Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008.

See the wheat port code.

Since the wheat port code was introduced

Review of the wheat port code in 2017

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources began a review of the wheat port code in 2017.

The ACCC provided 2 submissions to the review.

Submission title Description
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Wheat Port Code review interim report (PDF 2.34 MB) - 10 May 2018

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources interim report on Wheat Port Code review

On 10 May 2018, the ACCC provided a submission in response to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources' interim report on the review of the Competition and Consumer (Industry Code - Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat)) Regulation 2014.

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Wheat Port Code review issues paper (PDF 297.39 KB) - 12 December 2017

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources issues paper on Wheat Port Code review

On 12 December 2017, the ACCC provided a submission in response to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources' issues paper on the review of the Competition and Consumer (Industry Code - Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat)) Regulation 2014.

The Department published its final report on 18 October 2018. See the Review of the Code of Conduct.

The Australian Government provided a response to the Department’s final report in October 2020. See Australian Government response to the Review of the Wheat Port Access Code of Conduct.

Second code review

The wheat port code is schedule 1 to the Competition and Consumer (Industry Code—Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat)) Regulation 2014.

The regulation originally required that a second review of the wheat port code must start by 30 September 2022.

On 15 September 2022 the regulation was amended to require that a second review must start by 30 September 2025. See details of the amendment on the Federal Register of Legislation website.

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