International shipping in the Commerce Act
The competition regime for international shipping agreements is to be transitioned to the Commerce Act. The new provisions take effect on 17 August 2019.
New competition regime for international shipping
International shipping agreements, such as vessel sharing agreements, are currently exempt from the Commerce Act 1986, and subject to an industry-specific regime under the Shipping Act 1987.
This is to change on 17 August 2019, following the remaining provisions of the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017 coming into force.
Below we outline the steps taken to bring international shipping agreements into the competition regime and subject to oversight by the Commerce Commission.
Block exemption for international shipping
In November 2016, the then Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Jacqui Dean, tabled a supplementary order paper to the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to introduce a block exemption for specified international liner shipping activities.
The supplementary order paper also consolidated previous government supplementary order papers to the Bill.
Transiting international shipping to the Commerce Act
In March 2013 the Government announced that international shipping to and from New Zealand would be regulated under the Commerce Act, improving oversight and delivering competitive outcomes for exporting industries.
The purpose of applying this regime to the shipping sector is to ensure that our importers and exporters benefit from greater competitive outcomes.