12-142MR ASIC releases information sheet for licensing of financial services in emissions units
Wednesday 27 June 2012
ASIC has released an information sheet to assist those intending to apply for an Australian financial services (AFS) licence to provide services in emissions units and related derivatives from 1 July.
ASIC’s Information Sheet 156 Applying for a licence for emissions units (INFO 156) coincides with the end of a two-month registration period (1 May – 30 June 2012) that temporarily authorised registrants to provide certain financial services regarding emissions units prior to holding an AFS licence for those activities.
From 1 July, various types of emissions units will be financial products under the Corporations Act 2001. Any individual or entity that provides financial services in those units will therefore require an AFS licence unless an exemption applies. For those who already hold an AFS licence, a variation may be required to cover emissions units.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘Our focus is now on helping providers – particularly those unfamiliar with the AFS licensing process – to better understand the requirements in the transition from registration to licensing. This also applies to those who have not been registered but will be seeking an AFS licence or variation.'
‘We want to ensure people can comply with their responsibilities with as much ease as possible, so our information sheet covers practical issues such as what information needs to be submitted in support of a licence application’, Mr Price said.
Additional support tools
Regulatory Guide 236 Do I need a licence to participate in carbon credits? (RG 236) – developed to help individuals and entities understand whether they require an AFS licence to provide financial product advice and other financial services in relation to carbon markets and emissions units
a dedicated carbon webpage (www.asic.gov.au/carbon) on the ASIC website with further details regarding the registration and licensing process
a call centre for applicants to talk to trained staff: 1300 300 630.
Due to commence on 1 July 2012, the carbon pricing mechanism will require certain entities to incur a charge for their carbon emissions, unless they acquire and surrender the number of emissions units that represents their total annual emissions. The related Carbon Farming Initiative will allow individuals to generate emissions units through domestic emissions offset projects that reduce or sequester carbon emissions.
The Clean Energy Legislative Package includes the Clean Energy Act 2011 which is the main piece of legislation establishing the carbon pricing mechanism and the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011, which covers the Carbon Farming Initiative. More information about the Clean Energy Legislative Package is available at www.climatechange.gov.au. You can also find more information about the role of the new Clean Energy Regulator, which is responsible for administering the carbon pricing mechanism and related schemes at the Clean Energy Regulator website.
Registered providers now have until 31 October to apply for an AFS licence or vary an existing licence. If they don’t apply by 31 October, they must then stop providing their services for emissions units. If they do apply by 31 October, they must not provide their services after 31 December unless they hold an AFS licence for providing financial services that cover emissions units. It will be an offence for registered persons to continue to provide their services for emission units unless they are authorised by a registration or by an AFS licence.
Non-registered persons have no authorisation to provide their services for emission units until they hold an AFS licence. It is an offence for non-registered persons to provide financial services in emissions units without a licence, unless exempt. For those that are yet to register, more information is available at www.asic.gov.au/carbon. Download: