ICCC News

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) hereby announces the new retail fuel prices for this month, which will take effect on Wednesday, 08th May, 2019.                     

According to the ICCC’s calculations, retail prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene will all increase on average throughout PNG as of 08th May. The increase in the retail prices is mainly attributed to the increase in the crude oil prices driven by steady demand and tight supplies, the depreciation of the PNG Kina against the US dollar in April, 2019, plus an increase in international sea freight for the petroleum products in the same month.

The domestic retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene are inclusive of the IPPs, domestic sea and road freight rates for the second quarter of 2019, the 2019 wholesale and retail margins for petrol, diesel and kerosene; including excise duty for petrol and diesel, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

PORT MORESBY

As a result of adding all the various cost components mentioned above, the maximum retail prices for fuel in Port Moresby are as follows:

Port Moresby Retail Prices (toea per litre)

 

Petrol (tpl)

Diesel (tpl)

Kerosene (tpl)

Retail Prices as of 8th May, 2019

371.90

337.97

309.03

Retail Prices as of 8th April, 2019

356.94

331.83

301.95

Price Variance (+/-) toea per litre

+14.96

+6.13

+7.08

 

Retail prices in all other designated centres will change according to their approved in-country shipping and road freight rates (for the second quarter of 2019) that are charged by the fuel wholesalers.

ALL CENTRES

For all centers, the maximum retail fuel prices for each petroleum product in the country will change on average as follows:

  • Petrol prices will increase by 14.96 toea per litre;
  • Diesel prices will increase by 6.13 toea per litre; and
  • Kerosene prices will increase by 7.08 toea per litre.

As part of the ICCC’s enforcement and compliance of fuel prices, its Investigation Officers will conduct inspections at all service stations to ensure prices of petroleum products do not exceed the allowable maximum prices. The following ICCC officers will conduct compliance inspections in Lae, Goroka, Kokopo and Port Moresby. Inspections in other provinces will be supported by our contacts in those provinces. Please note:

  • Mr. Christopher Gabesoa, Mr. Seri Tau Vali, Mr. Dennis Jerry and Mr. Bill Boiu will conduct compliance inspections to all service stations in the National Capital District. They can be reached on telephone number 325 2144;
  • Ms. Pamela Ipambonj and Mr. Timothy Ponau will conduct compliance inspections in Lae. They can be reached on telephone number 472 2859;
  • Mr. Bobby Tei, Roman Rosting and Mrs. Dorcas Baining Julai will conduct compliance inspections in Kokopo, Rabaul, Kerevat, Warangoi and Toma. They can be reached on telephone number 982 9711; and
  • Mr. Kevin Kondo and Mr. Jeffery Khar will conduct compliance inspections in Goroka, Kainantu, Kundiawa and Mt. Hagen. They can be reached on, following mobile numbers 7369 8251/ 7232 4861.

The prices set by the ICCC are the indicative maximum retail prices, for which retailers may choose to sell below the ICCC approved maximum price. The ICCC would like to remind retailers who sell fuel-using pumps to set fuel prices to one decimal place while the ICCC will continue to set the maximum price to 2 decimal places.

No fuel pump operator should charge above the Indicative Retail Price for this month’s price regardless of the number of decimals. This is to ensure compliance with the Prices Regulation Act under which the maximum prices of refined petroleum products are set. Retailers who are displaying prices to 1 decimal place are urged by the ICCC to round the prices down to ensure prices are within the allowable indicative retail prices. The ICCC Inspectors will continue to conduct spot checks after 08th May, 2019, to ensure on-going compliance by fuel operators.

Consumers are advised to report any instances of overcharging by retailers through the ICCC’s Consumer Protection Division on 325 2144, on toll free number: 180 3333 or by contacting our Regional Offices closest to you on the numbers provided above.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) advises that it does not have any competition concerns on the proposed acquisition of Highlands Pacific Limited (“Highlands Pacific”) by Cobalt 27 Capital Corporation (“Cobalt 27”) which was announced in the media at the beginning of the year. 

Following the announcement of the proposed acquisition, the ICCC conducted an independent investigation and sought information from both parties to the acquisition as well as relevant stakeholders within the mining industry.

ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said after considering the main business areas of both Highlands Pacific and Cobalt 27, the ICCC considered the relevant ‘market’ for this proposed acquisition is the market for the supply of mined cobalt and the supply of mined nickel.

“Based on ICCC’s review of the information provided by Cobalt 27 and other market information available made to it, the ICCC found that there are no serious competition concerns and has considered not to intervene at this point in time.”

“The ICCC however advises that it reserves its rights to revisit this matter should new information suggests that the acquisition will give rise to serious anti-competitive effects in a market,” Mr Ain added.

Cobalt 27 is a Canadian-based non-operating mining company that invests mainly in battery metals streaming and royalty offering direct exposure to cobalt, nickel and lithium (integral elements in technologies of electric vehicles and energy storage systems). Highlands Pacific, on the other hand, is an Australian-based, PNG incorporated mining and exploration company listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange as well as the Australian Stock Exchange and currently holds interests in four mining projects/tenements in Papua New Guinea.

Commissioner Ain said the ICCC was thankful for the assistance of the PNG office of Dentons Lawyers and the legal team of the parties to the acquisition in cooperating with the ICCC and ensuring that the ICCC’s concerns and its requests for information were attended to in a timely manner.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) hereby announces the new retail fuel prices for this month, which will take effect on Monday, 08th April, 2019.                     

According to the ICCC’s calculations, retail prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene will all increase on average throughout PNG as of 08th April. The increase in the retail prices is mainly attributed to the increase in the crude oil prices and the depreciation of the PNG Kina against the US dollar both in March 2019, and the increase in domestic sea freight for the petroleum products in the second quarter of 2019. 

The domestic retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene are inclusive of the Import Parity Prices (IPPs), domestic sea and road freight rates for the second quarter of 2019, the 2019 wholesale and retail margins for petrol, diesel and kerosene; including excise duty for petrol and diesel, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

PORT MORESBY

As a result of adding all the various cost components mentioned above, the maximum retail prices for fuel in Port Moresby are as follows:

Port Moresby Retail Prices (toea per litre)

 

Petrol (tpl)

Diesel (tpl)

Kerosene (tpl)

Retail Prices as of 8th April, 2019

356.94

331.83

301.95

Retail Prices as of 8th March, 2019

335.51

324.64

296.08

Price Variance (+/-) toea per litre

+21.43

+7.20

+5.87

 

Retail prices in all other designated centres will change according to their approved in-country shipping and road freight rates (for the second quarter of 2019) that are charged by the fuel wholesalers.

ALL CENTRES

For all centers, the maximum retail fuel prices for each petroleum product in the country will change on average as follows:

  • Petrol prices will increase by 22.55 toea per litre;
  • Diesel prices will increase by 8.28 toea per litre; and
  • Kerosene prices will increase by 7.05 toea per litre.

As part of the ICCC’s enforcement and compliance of fuel prices, its Investigation Officers will conduct inspections at all service stations to ensure prices of petroleum products do not exceed the allowable maximum prices. The following ICCC officers will conduct compliance inspections in Lae, Goroka, Kokopo and Port Moresby. Inspections in other provinces will be supported by our contacts in those provinces. Please note:

  • Mr. Christopher Gabesoa, Mr. Seri Tau Vali, Mr. Dennis Jerry and Mr. Bill Boiu will conduct compliance inspections to all service stations in the National Capital District. They can be reached on telephone number 325 2144;
  • Ms. Pamela Ipambonj and Mr. Timothy Ponau will conduct compliance inspections in Lae. They can be reached on telephone number 472 2859;
  • Mr. Bobby Tei, Roman Rosting and Mrs. Dorcas Baining Julai will conduct compliance inspections in Kokopo, Rabaul, Kerevat, Warangoi and Toma. They can be reached on telephone number 982 9711; and
  • Mr. Kevin Kondo and Mr. Jeffery Khar will conduct compliance inspections in Goroka, Kainantu, Kundiawa and Mt. Hagen. They can be reached on, following mobile numbers 7369 8251/ 7232 4861.

The prices set by the ICCC are the indicative maximum retail prices. Retailers may choose to sell below the ICCC approved maximum price. The ICCC would like to remind retailers who sell fuel-using pumps to set fuel prices to 1 decimal place while the ICCC will continue to set the maximum price to 2 decimal places.

No fuel pump operator should charge above the Indicative Retail Price for this month’s price regardless of the number of decimals. This is to ensure compliance with the Prices Regulation Act under which the maximum prices of refined petroleum products are set. Retailers who are displaying prices to 2 decimal place are urged by the ICCC to round the prices down to ensure prices are within the allowable indicative retail prices. The ICCC Inspectors will continue to conduct spot checks after 08th April, 2019, to ensure on-going compliance by fuel operators.

Consumers are advised to report any instances of overcharging by retailers through the ICCC’s Consumer Protection Division on telephone 325 2144, or via our toll free number: 180 3333 or by contacting our Regional Offices closest to you on the numbers provided above.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”), on 1st April 2019, granted Clearance for Kumul Consolidated Holdings Limited (“KCHL”) to transfer all of its shares in Bemobile Limited (“Bemobile”) to Kumul Telikom Holdings Limited (“KTH”).

ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said KCHL submitted an application to the ICCC seeking clearance to transfer all of its shares in Bemobile to KTH in November last year.

“The ICCC completed its assessment of KCHL’s application and granted clearance for KCHL to proceed with the proposed transfer after it concluded that the proposed share transfer will not, and will not be likely to, have the effect of substantially lessening competition in the market for the provision of retail mobile voice, SMS and internet services in PNG.”

“The ICCC therefore has given this Clearance for the proposed transfer of shares of KCHL in Bemobile to KTH to proceed.”

The share transfer is to facilitate the decision of the Government of PNG to restructure the State-owned telecommunication enterprises by consolidating Bemobile, PNG DataCo Limited (“DataCo”) and Telikom PNG Limited (“TPNG”) under KTH as the single holding company.

Commissioner Ain added that the share transfer would involve the transfer of shares only and that no assets will be transferred between DataCo, Bemobile and TPNG.

“The restructure would result in TPNG, DataCo and Bemobile becoming wholly owned subsidiaries of KTH. KTH would remain a wholly owned subsidiary of KCHL with KCHL still retaining full control of KTH. However, the directors of KTH would be formally appointed by the National Executive Council.”

Commissioner Ain explained that the ICCC had initially granted clearance to the parties on 26th June 2017. However, the parties were not able to complete the share transfer within the required statutory time limit of 12 months, hence, KCHL submitted this new application.

The ICCC, as part of the clearance process, undertook public consultation on this application inviting interested stakeholders to make submissions and comments on the proposed share transfer.

The ICCC completed its competition assessment and concluded that the proposed share transfer:

  • would not cause prices to rise;
  • would not remove or reduce the chances of consumers/customers to choose amongst similar products;
  • would not reduce or cause harm to growth, innovation and product differentiation of any company in the market;
  • would not remove from the market a strong and reliable competitor or company; and
  • would not greatly increase or strengthen any vertical integration for any company in the market after the proposed merger.

The proposed share transfer will be pro-competitive where it creates a player that will be stronger financially and operate vigorously to increase its investment in competitive service provision.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) has ceased an investigation into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was entered into by Air Niugini Cargo Limited (“ANCL”) and Hevilift Limited (“Hevilift”) after considering that the MoU does not have any anti-competitive clauses and that competition concerns are not likely to be established.

On 16th August last year, it was reported by the Post Courier that ANCL, a subsidiary of Air Niugini Limited (“ANL”), and Hevilift entered into a MoU for the usage of a Hevilift ATR-42 freighter aircraft by ANCL for freighter purposes. The ICCC then initiated inquiries into the arrangement.

ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said the ICCC conducted an investigation and obtained information, including copies of the MoU from Hevilift and ANCL separately.

Commissioner Ain said the ICCC assessed the matter under Section 50 of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Act 2002 (“ICCC Act”) and concluded that;

  • The MoU does not have any anti-competitive clauses or provisions and therefore Section 50 of the ICCC Act was not infringed by the MoU;
  • The MoU is not a form of Joint Venture between ANCL and Hevilift, but a statement of partnership to make Hevilift’s ATR-42 Freighter available to ANCL should ANCL require it. It is more related to a marketing venture. There is a shared remuneration agreement for each flight booked by ANCL. Hevilift, however, can and does operate the ATR-42 Freighter solely for its own clients and benefits. ANCL can also elect not to use the Hevilift Aircraft should a better option be available.
  • That ANCL and Hevilift are not competitors. Hevilift is a dedicated freighter service provider for the transportation of personal and equipment in a variety of fields and has a diverse fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft backed by a highly experienced team.
  • ANCL withdrew its ATR72F freighter services effective on 11th December, 2015. Thus, ANCL operates its freighter services in the cargo hauls of the ANL commercial fleet.
  • Thus cargoes transported by Hevilift cannot be transported in ANL fleet cargo hauls, unless ANL decides to commission a dedicated freighter similar to that of Hevilift. ICCC considered that it would not be onerous but this would come at a huge cost to ANL.

“The ICCC has considered that the MoU does not have any anti-competitive clauses or provisions,” Commissioner Ain said.

Commissioner Ain, however, added that ANCL and Hevilift have been advised that the ICCC reserves its rights to conduct further investigation into the matter should any serious competition concerns arise in the future; that indicate that the arrangement warrants a clearance or authorization by the ICCC.