Negotiation with designated shipper body
After provisional registration, the parties to a provisionally registered agreement must negotiate minimum levels of shipping services with a designated shipper body (section 10.29 of the Act). This is to ensure that negotiations between the shipper bodies and parties to an agreement are conducted and resolved on a commercial basis with the minimum of government regulation of, and intervention in, commercial matters.
The peak designated shipper bodies are the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) for outward services and Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF) for inward services.
APSA/AFIF is notified of the provisional registration of an agreement and is provided with the name and address of the applicant/s. Parties to an agreement must provide APSA/AFIF with a copy of the agreement as soon as practicable after an application is made (section 10.27A)
Parties to an agreement are obligated by Part X to make available to the shipper body any information reasonably necessary for the purposes of negotiations and the shipper body is also obligated to provide similar information.
The parties to an agreement shall also provide an authorised officer (an officer of the Department administering Part X) with any information required relating to the negotiations, inform the officer of negotiations, permit the officer to be present at meetings and shall consider any suggestions made by the officer.
If the shipper body chooses not to negotiate, then it must notify the Registrar of Liner Shipping and the parties to the agreement in the prescribed form (a statutory declaration) that they do not wish to have negotiations. This will generally occur in the circumstances of a varying conference agreement.