The Commerce Select Committee has released an interim report on the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to announce that the Commerce Minister has asked it to consider additional amendments to specific aspects of the competition regime relating to aviation and shipping and call for further submissions on the proposed amendments. This follows a report from the Productivity Commission in April this year, raising policy issues around the competition regimes which apply to these sectors. These are particularly significant proposals for firms engaged in international shipping or aviation.

Amendments relating to competition regime for aviation

The proposed amendments would remove Part 9 of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 which sets out an alternate regime under which authorisations can be granted for certain provisions of an agreement between two or more persons in respect of international air carriage. The proposal seeks to bring competition in international air carriage within general competition laws.

Amendments relating to competition regime for shipping

In respect of shipping, the proposal suggests the repeal of the alternate competition regime in the Shipping Act 1987 and the repeal of the current Commerce Act exemption applying to shipping freight to and from New Zealand. This exemption currently provides the prohibitions in Part 2 of the Commerce Act (including price fixing) do not apply to international shipping.

The committee's report back date on the Bill has been extended to 11 March 2013.

To view submissions made on the Bill click here.