Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Statutory Rules 1995 No. 124

Issued by the Authority of the Attorney-General

Corporations Act 1989

Corporations (Fees) Regulations (Amendment)

Section 22 of the Corporations Act 1989 (the Act) empowers the Governor-General to make regulations not inconsistent with the Act or the Corporations Law of the Capital Territory (the Law) prescribing matters required or permitted by the Law to be prescribed by regulations or necessary or convenient to be prescribed by such regulations for carrying out or giving effect to the Law.

Section 25 of the Act provides that the regulations may prescribe fees (including fees that are taxes) for chargeable matters. Chargeable matters are defined in section 9 of the Law as

(a)       the lodgment, restoration or submission for examination of documents under the Law;

(b)       the inspection or search of registers kept by, or documents in the custody of, the Australian Securities Commission (the Commission), the production by the Commission under a subpoena of such registers or documents, and the issuing of documents or copies of documents by the Commission, and

(c)       the making of inquiries of, or applications to, the Minister or the Commission in relation to a matter arising under the Law and the granting of licences, consents or approvals, or the doing of any other act under the Law, by the Minister or the Commission.

Subsection 26(2) of the Act provides that where a fee is prescribed as a stated amount, that amount is not to exceed $5,000 while subsection 26(3) of the Act provides that two or more fees may be prescribed for the same chargeable matter.

Subsection 1352(1) of the Law adds the further provision that the upper limit on the aggregate amount of fees payable for a chargeable matter is $25,000.

The principal purpose of the Regulations is to amend the Corporations (Fees) Regulations (the Fees Regulations) by:

(a)       increasing fees in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index over the last year and to make a supplementary increase in fees which will continue the implementation of the Government's 1994 decision that the costs of the national corporate regulation scheme be borne by all companies and market participants rather than through public funding by taxpayers; and

(b)       prescribing a fee for the new 'Alert' information service introduced by the Commission.

In addition, a number of minor technical amendments have been made to Part 2 of the Schedule to the Fees Regulations.

Details of the accompanying Regulations are as follows.

Regulation 1: Commencement

This regulation provides that the Regulations commence on 1 July 1995.

Regulation 2: Amendment

This regulation provides that the regulations amend the Corporations (Fees) Regulations.

Regulation 3: Schedule (Fees)

Subregulation 3.1 will amends item 2 of Part 2 of the Schedule (the Schedule) by replacing a reference to subsection 791(1) with a reference to section 791. The amendment ensures that both current and former securities industry licensees pay the same fee for lodging their annual statements, thus bringing the fees regime for the the securities industry into line with the fees regime which already operates in respect of the futures industry.

Subregulation 3.2 removes from the regulations the reference to the lower incorporation fee that was available, until 31 March 1995, for companies that were incorporated for the sole purpose of being the trustee of a regulated superannuation fund.

The purpose of subregulation 3.3 is to bring the fee for applications to the Commission under section 111AT into line with the fees for similar applications under subsection 313(1). The amendment, in conjunction with proposed subregulation 3.6, increases the fee for an application under section 111AT from $25 to $105.

The amendment in subregulation 3.4 restores the requirement to pay a late fee on annual returns that are lodged up to one month late. In 1994, the Government granted a one year amnesty on late lodgement fees for annual returns lodged up to one month late. The amnesty was granted in order to allow companies time to make procedural changes in response to the decision to increase late fees from $20 to $50.

Subregulation 3.5 provides for the imposition of a fee where the Commission sends a facsimile message to 2. person under its new 'Alert' program. The Alert program is a new initiative being introduced by the Commission to enable persons to register their interest in being advised, by electronic transmission (eg facsimile message), of particular changes to information on the Commissions National Database regarding nominated companies and other entities. The proposed new fee item ($7 per facsimile message) covers the costs associated with the provision of the service.

Subregulation 3.6 has the effect of increasing the fees in the Schedule by 6.5 percent on the basis of a 2.5 percent increase in line with the movement in the Consumer Price Index between the December quarters of 1993 and 1994, and a further 4 percent increase to recoup the costs of administering the national corporate regulation scheme.

The 6.5 percent increase was applied to last years figures and rounded as follows:

• amounts below $50 were rounded to the nearest dollar;

• amounts from $50 to $200 were rounded to the nearest $5; and

• amount above $200 were rounded to the nearest $10.

The changes in quantum of fees are set out in the following table:

Current Fee (5)

















Proposed Fee ($)

















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