Today ASIC released the final policies for licensing of financial services providers in regulated emissions units including financial and training requirements. ASIC has released Report 283 and updated key regulatory guides to implement its response to submissions on Consultation Paper 175 Carbon markets: training and financial requirements.

On Monday ASIC announced a four month transition period for AFS licensing for emissions units from 1 July to 31 October 2012. Registration is an interim step before obtaining an ASF licence or a variation to an existing AFS licence. Financial services compliance obligations commence 1 July 2012.

Key points:


Emissions units are ‘Tier 1’ products for ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 Licensing: Training of financial product advisers (RG146) purposes. Advisers to retail clients will have 18 months until 31 December 2013 to complete the training requirements. RG146 has been updated to include a table of specialist knowledge requirements for regulated emissions units.


The current financial requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 166 Licensing: Financial requirements will apply to emissions units. For most emissions trading AFS licensees this will involve meeting the base level requirements (remaining solvent at all times, having total assets exceeding total liabilities, and sufficient cash to meet projected needs over at least the next three months).

In certain limited circumstances, there may be additional requirements. For example, if AFS licensees:

  • hold client money or property over $100,000, they are required to hold $50,000 in surplus liquid funds
  • issue and make a market in derivatives and/or foreign exchange, they are required to hold adjusted surplus liquid funds
  • operate a managed investment scheme, they are required to meet NTA requirements


ASIC has updated ASIC Regulatory Guide 236 Do I need a licence to participate in carbon markets? (RG 236) for the transition period and training and financial requirements.

You must be registered by 30 June to provide financial services in emissions units from 1 July 2012.

Financial services compliance obligations start 1 July 2012. You need to have compliance policies and procedures in place and your staff prepared.

You must have your AFS licence application submitted before 31 October 2012 and granted by 31 December 2012 to provide financial services from 1 January 2013.

Key dates:

  • 1 May 2012: Registration application period commences for those seeking an AFS licence in advising, dealing, making a market and providing a custodial or depository service
  • 30 June 2012: Registration application period closes
  • 1 July 2012: Your compliance obligations start today. Emissions units are financial products from today and ASIC is accepting AFS licence applications
  • 31 October 2012: Last day to submit AFS licence application if you have registered before 30 June and intend to continue to provide financial services
  • 31 December 2012: Last day to obtain AFS licence before transition period ends
  • 1 January 2013: If you have not obtained your final AFS licence from ASIC, you may not provide financial services in emissions units
  • 31 December 2013: Last day for retail AFS licensees to meet the training requirements

How Certainty can help

AFS licensing will be new to many businesses. We’ve been preparing AFS licences since 2002, right from the very beginning. We’ve helped many ‘non-traditional’ financial services businesses such as electricity and commodities obtain AFS licences and meet their ongoing compliance obligations. We work with all sizes of business from the largest global companies to single advisor businesses.

Certainty Compliance can assist by:

  • Determining whether your business requires an AFS licence or whether an exemption applies
  • Identifying the optimal licensing authorisations for your business and exactly what you need to do to comply
  • Completing your registration application
  • Building your organisational capacity for licensing including documenting policies and procedures, training your staff and briefing your executive team
  • Preparing your AFS licence application and liaise with ASIC on your behalf
  • Providing outsourced compliance services to ensure you continue to comply with your obligations once you are licensed


Certainty will be conducting workshops in many capital cities to explain the requirements in plain English and to share our experience. We are taking registrations for the following:

  • Certainty Compliance Emissions Trading Program: AFS compliance obligations during transition period
  • Certainty Compliance Responsible Manager Program: AFS licensing for Emissions Trading

To learn more about our services or to attend one of our workshops:

Click this link to complete a registration form

Alternatively email us on or telephone (02) 8324 5300.

For further information:

See the full ASIC media release here: 12-84MR ASIC releases policies on adviser training and financial requirements for carbon financial products

Read ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 Licensing: Training of financial product advisers (RG 146) here

Read ASIC Regulatory Guide 166 Licensing: Financial requirements (RG 166) here

Read ASIC Regulatory Guide 236 Do I need a licence to participate in carbon markets? (RG 236) here