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Finance Broking Australia-regulatory guide 236

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Regulatory Guide 236 - Do I need an AFS licence to participate in carbon markets? CPD

This guide is for those who will be involved in the carbon pricing mechanism established under the Clean Energy Legislative Package (including the Carbon Farming Initiative), as well as other carbon markets. It is also relevant for persons advising carbon market participants.

You can use this guide to help decide whether you need an Australian financial services (AFS) licence to participate in or provide financial product advice and other financial services in relation to carbon markets. This guide also indicates what other information ASIC has published that may be useful for you, and where you can find it.

Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism operates from 1 July 2012. A variety of other carbon markets operate in Australia and overseas.

Emissions units recognised under the Clean Energy Legislative Package are financial products under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).

This means that you may require an Australian financial services (AFS) licence to carry on a financial services business in relation to emissions units. Among other things, ASIC is responsible for administering the AFS licensing regime, and keeps a register of AFS licensees.

You can use this guide to help you determine whether you will need to hold an AFS licence to participate in carbon markets. This guide also indicates what other information ASIC has published that may be useful for you, and where you can find it.

Two key concepts in the financial services regime are ‘financial products’ and the range of ‘financial services’ provided to clients for those products: see RG 236.18–RG 236.39.

Generally, a person requires an AFS licence to carry on a business of providing financial services in Australia, unless they are exempt. In most cases, a licensee carries out its business through its ‘representatives’: see RG 236.41–RG 236.43.

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