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Latest Accounting Standard Exposure Draft

For immediate release - 28 January 2004

Release of Latest Accounting Standard Exposure Draft

The Financial Reporting Standards Board (FRSB) has released a new Exposure Draft - IASB ED 6 - from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for public comment.

The release continues the New Zealand accounting profession's move to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) framework by 1 January 2007, with voluntary compliance from 1 January 2005. IASB ED 6:

IASB ED 6 Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources was issued by the IASB in January 2004. Comment to the IASB must be made by 16 April 2004. Comments to the FRSB are requested by 15 March 2004 to enable the FRSB to consider New Zealand constituents' comments in making its own submission to the IASB.

Main Features of IASB ED 6:

IASB ED 6 proposes guidance for entities incurring exploration and evaluation expenditures that are expected to comply with IFRS. It permits an entity to continue the accounting policies applied in its most recent annual financial statements for exploration and evaluation expenditures, including the recognition and measurement of exploration and evaluation assets. In addition, IASB ED 6:

* defines exploration for and evaluation of mineral resources;

* exempts entities from some requirements of other IFRSs and the IASB Framework;

* permits those entities the alternative of continuing with their existing accounting policies applied in its most recent annual financial statements for exploration and evaluation expenditures in specified circumstances;

* permits an entity to use an alternative level of aggregation for exploration and evaluation assets when testing such assets for impairment; and

* sets out disclosure requirements.

In New Zealand, except for Technical Practice Aid TPA-6: Accounting for Extractive Industries (issued in 1987 by the Accounting Research and Standards Board of the Society of Accountants), there is no Financial Reporting Standard dealing with accounting for exploration for and evaluation of mineral resources.

As such, adoption of the equivalent of IASB ED 6 in New Zealand will allow entities to continue to account for exploration for and evaluation of mineral resources in accordance with the accounting policies applied for the entity's most recent annual financial statements.

Where an entity elects not to continue to apply its accounting policies for its exploration and evaluation activities, it is required to:

a) apply the criteria set out in [draft] NZ IAS 8 in developing an accounting policy for exploration and evaluation activities; and

b) apply the requirements of [draft] NZ IAS 36 in assessing for impairment any exploration and evaluation assets.

The FRSB proposes to adopt all the requirements of IASB ED 6 for all reporting entities in New Zealand, whether profit-oriented or public benefit entities.

The FRSB seeks comments on the issues raised by the IASB in its Invitation to Comment and on the adoption in New Zealand of the requirements of IASB ED 6.

Background Notes:

* The Financial Reporting Standards Board (FRSB) is implementing the Accounting Standards Review Board's (ASRB) decision to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

* Application of the standards will be to reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2007 (or, in the case of entities choosing to adopt early reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005).

* The ASRB and the FRSB have agreed that New Zealand standards should continue to apply to both profit-oriented and public benefit entities. Standards issued by the IASB apply only to profit-oriented entities. As a consequence, the FRSB intends, where necessary, to introduce additional material to the international standards to ensure that they can be applied in the New Zealand environment by all reporting entities. The resulting standards will be referred to as NZ IFRS or NZ IASs, as appropriate.

* The objectives of the FRSB's exposure of IFRS are:

* to ensure reasonable steps are taken to obtain submissions from persons or organisation or their representatives who will be affected by the adoption of the standard and, in particular, by the proposed New Zealand specific changes to the international standard;

* to identify issues in relation to the international accounting standard that the FRSB should raise with the IASB; and

* to alert constituents to changes in financial reporting as a result of adoption of international standards.


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