The Government has started consultation on regulations for a Fuel Industry Bill.
Following the release of the Commerce Commission’s fuel market study, the Government announced it would introduce changes to the fuel market to promote greater competition at the wholesale and retail level. A Fuel Industry Bill is currently being drafted to implement that response.
The Government says regulations to be included in the Bill will contain important details of the new regime and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is now seeking feedback on a range of issues including:
- The details of new requirements for a transparent wholesale pricing regime, such as the fuel products covered, the obligations on suppliers for setting and posting prices, and for supplying fuel.
- The details of rules to ensure contracts between wholesale fuel suppliers and their customers are fair and support competition such as what the maximum length of contract term between suppliers and wholesale customers should be and how much of a wholesale customer’s fuel requirements can be exclusively tied to one supplier.
- The dispute resolution process arrangements for wholesale market disputes.
- The specific requirements that should be on fuel suppliers to display premium prices on forecourt price boards.
- The types of information industry participants should be required to collect and disclose to monitor the impact of changes.
Feedback is also being sought on a backstop regulatory regime that will be included in legislation at a later stage. Views are welcomed on questions including what the threshold and process for triggering a backstop should be, and how price regulation could apply under a backstop.
Submissions on the content of regulations close on Friday 24 April and submissions specifically relating to a regulatory backstop close on Friday 15 May.