The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking draft determination submissions on its proposal to authorise the Shopping Centre Council of Australia for its Casual Mall Licensing Code of Practice.

The authorisation is proposed for a period of five years. A similar code of conduct was previously authorised in 2007, which is due to expire on 31 December 2012.

The Code relates to casual mall licensing, which involves the granting of a right to occupy part of the common area of a shopping centre for a short period of time (up to 180 days but normally less than one month) – usually for product launches and demonstrations, stock clearance sales and brand awareness campaigns.

Authorisation will provide statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The Code is a voluntary code and is based on a Casual Mall Licensing Code enacted by the South Australian Government in 2002.

“The Code provides certainty for permanent lessees as to the circumstances and terms on which casual mall licences are granted to businesses that set up in competition with them,” ACCC deputy chair Michael Schaper said.

“This allows lessees to make better informed business decisions and provides assurance over the life of agreements entered into.”

The ACCC is granting interim authorisation to commence on 13 December 2012, until the ACCC releases a final determination.