International Liner Shipping—Part X of the Competition and Consumer ACT 2010
Part X (Ten) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) regulates international liner shipping of cargo travelling either to or from Australia. Liner shipping is generally defined as shipping services operating on a regular trade route, with predetermined and publicly advertised schedules between advertised ports of call.
The main objective of Part X is to ensure that exporters have access to liner cargo shipping services of adequate frequency capacity and reliability at freight rates which are internationally competitive. Importers are also been covered by Part X but to a more limited extent than exporters.
Part X’s key regulatory requirements are:
- All liner shipping companies (ocean carriers) are required to register an Australian agent under Part X and update this information as required.
- Any shipping company proposing to make any form of agreement with another shipping company must apply to register these agreements to obtain exemptions from sections of the Act. Agreements can include verbal agreements, discussion groups as well as joint shipping operations.
- Registered agreements must meet a range of inclusions and exclusions outlined in Part X.
- Shipping companies are required to notify designated peak shipper bodies (representing importers and exporters) of their proposed agreements and in some instances, designated secondary shipper bodies.
- Any shipping company with a major market share of a trade area, whether operating under an agreement or not, must also be registered under Part X.
- Shipper bodies intending to discuss shipping agreements and negotiate with shipping lines are also required to be registered under Part X.
- The Minister can also extend Part X provisions to inland terminals.
Shipping lines involved in international liner shipping should refer directly to the Act and Regulations and preferably seek legal advice, or contact the Registrar of Liner Shipping for guidance. More information on Part X registration processes is available at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/maritime/ports/liner/str_conference_agreements.aspx
Investigations may be held by the initiative of the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport or by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) into a range of issues including unfair pricing practices.
Note that civil or criminal penalties may apply for failure to register correctly under Part X and undertaking anti-competitive behaviour.
Competition and Consumer Act 2010
Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010
Declared Inland Terminals
Register of Declared Shipper Bodies
Register of ACCC investigations under Part X
Contact for Registrar of Liner Shipping:
Ph: +612 6274 7192