The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has confirmed exemptions from the bulk wheat port code to Riordan Grain Services at the Port of Geelong, and Semaphore Container Services at Port Adelaide, after a preliminary assessment in July.
The exemptions mean Riordan and Semaphore do not need to comply with some parts of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct, which applies to all grain handlers, but is designed to stop major players from taking advantage of their significant market power.
“The ACCC considers that both Riordan and Semaphore will face significant competitive constraint, specifically from GrainCorp and Viterra,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said this week.
“GrainCorp and Viterra are the dominant providers of bulk wheat port terminal services at the Port of Geelong and Port Adelaide respectively. In the absence of full regulation under the Code, Riordan and Semaphore will continue to face strong competition.
“The ACCC considers that it is appropriate to reduce the level of regulation that will apply to these relatively smaller scale, new entrant service providers,” Cifuentes said.
The exemptions follow public consultation by the ACCC on its draft determinations, which were announced a month ago.
The ACCC received two submissions; one from Grain Producers Australia supporting both exemptions; and one from Grain Producers SA, specifically supporting Semaphore’s exemption.
The ACCC said it would continue to undertake monitoring of the bulk wheat terminals in Victoria and South Australia, despite the exemptions.