Almost there – Final Consultation on the Asia Region Funds Passport Regulations

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The long awaited passage of the Corporations Amendment (Asia Region Funds Passport) Bill, which gives effect to the Passport’s Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2016 by Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Thailand, now has an accompanying set of regulations and related explanatory material open for consultation from today.

Legislation to establish the Asia Region Funds Passport passed the Senate on 28 June 2018, with the new regulations providing additional detail on the operation of the Passport Bill. Treasury has identified that the regulations, in particular:

  • require an operator of a notified foreign passport fund to lodge copies of documents in the prescribed form and set out other requirements regarding lodging documents with ASIC;
  • list the particulars which are to be included on the new register of passport funds and give the public a right to search the register;
  • extend many of the disclosure requirements and exemptions that currently apply to managed investment products to foreign passport fund products; and
  • amend various fee regulations to prescribe new fees for certain matters relating to notified foreign passport funds.

The fact that we now have the both the Bill and Regulations means that they can both commence together when the legislation receives proclamation.

As the final step in the Government’s delivery of its commitments set out initially in a Statement of Intent which we reported on as long ago as September 2013, and culminating in the Passport Memorandum of Co-operation in 2016, the government is excited by the prospect that its long standing initiative to improve outcomes for consumers by providing them with greater choice of products and increased competition, and offering Australian fund managers an opportunity to gain economies of scale through selling to Asia’s growing middle class, if finally coming to fruition.

Stakeholders are invited to lodge submissions online via the Treasury website. Submissions open today and conclude on 13 July 2018.

The Exposure Draft of the regulations can be accessed here along with the accompanying Explanatory Statement here.