Tentative Agenda Decision and comment letters—Liabilities in relation to a joint operator’s interest in a joint operation

 

The IFRS Interpretations Committee tentatively decided not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda at its meeting in September 2018. The Committee will reconsider the following tentative agenda decision, including the reasons for not adding the matter to the standard-setting agenda, at a future meeting. The Committee encourages interested parties to submit their responses using the link below.

Tentative agenda decision

The Committee received a request about the recognition of liabilities by a joint operator in relation to its interest in a joint operation (as defined in IFRS 11). In the fact pattern described in the request, the joint operation is not structured through a separate vehicle. One of the joint operators, as the sole signatory, enters into a lease contract with a third-party lessor for an item of property, plant and equipment that will be operated jointly as part of the joint operation’s activities. The joint operator that signed the lease contract (hereafter, lead operator) has the right to recover a share of the lease costs from the other joint operators in accordance with the contractual arrangement to the joint operation.

The request asked about the recognition of liabilities by the lead operator.

In relation to its interest in a joint operation, paragraph 20(b) of IFRS 11 requires a joint operator to recognise its liabilities, including its share of any liabilities incurred jointly. Accordingly, a joint operator identifies and recognises both (a) liabilities it incurs in relation to its interest in the joint operation, and (b) its share of any liabilities incurred jointly with other parties to the joint arrangement.

Identifying the liabilities that a joint operator incurs and those incurred jointly requires an assessment of the terms and conditions in all contractual agreements that relate to the joint operation, including consideration of the laws pertaining to those agreements.

The Committee observed that the liabilities a joint operator recognises include those for which it has primary responsibility.

The Committee highlighted the importance of disclosing information about joint operations that is sufficient for a user of financial statements to understand the activities of the joint operation and a joint operator’s interest in that operation. The Committee noted that, applying paragraph 20(a) of IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities, a joint operator is required to disclose information that enables users of its financial statements to evaluate the nature, extent and financial effects of its interests in a joint operation, including the nature and effects of its contractual relationship with the other investors with joint control of that joint operation.

The Committee concluded that the requirements in existing IFRS Standards provide an adequate basis for the lead operator to identify and recognise its liabilities in relation to its interest in a joint operation. Consequently, the Committee [decided] not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda.

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