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Parts 4 & 5 of Commerce Act to be reviewed

Parts 4 & 5 of Commerce Act to be reviewed

Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel today announced that the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is to review Parts 4 and 5 of the Commerce Act.

Parts 4 and 5 relate to the control of goods and services, and authorisations and clearances respectively.

"Recent developments in regulatory regimes have placed a focus on Parts 4 and 5 of the Commerce Act. It is therefore timely to review these Parts to check that they are working efficiently and effectively," Lianne Dalziel said.

MED, which has an ongoing role in monitoring the effectiveness of the Commerce Act, will start the review later this year.

The review will likely include consideration of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the current thresholds for control and decision making processes, and whether or not a "merits review" would add value to the decision making process.

"I do not wish to raise any particular expectation as to outcome. There are strong arguments on both sides of the merits review debate, but a particularly strong one is the enormous cost and delay associated with the addition of merits reviews to the enforcement process. I will be looking for evidence of significant benefit if I were to recommend to Cabinet that it progress further," said Lianne Dalziel.

Currently, decisions that relate to the control of goods and services under Part 4 can be queried on matters of law only via Judicial Review.

Interested parties will have full opportunity to provide comment once the review begins later this year.


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