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About: Daniel Crawford

Recent Posts by Daniel Crawford

What gets in the way of supply chain visibility

In the global logistics environment, everyone is talking about supply chain visibility and control. Supply chain visibility simply means having the right information, when you need it, so you can act on it. Getting this information is a challenge, or near on impossible when you don’t have the right systems to support you.

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Typhoons Affect Shipping from China and SE Asia

Heavy rain and thunderstorms in recent weeks have caused havoc across China, with floods along major rivers destroying bridges, blocking roads and railways and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate. As a result, waiting times in impacted ports, including Shanghai and Ningbo, have increased considerably.

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Chinese New Year 2018 – Plan Ahead

Happy New Year and of course, Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

China’s most important festival, also known as Spring Festival will be here before you know it. Most businesses in China and Hong Kong (as well as many other Asian nations) close for a week and sometimes longer in order for staff to travel to be with their families for the celebrations. This can cause delays in obtaining Customs Clearance documentation for Australian businesses importing cargo from China and elsewhere in the region.

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Top Tips for Painless Customs Clearance for Your Freight

Australia has one of the most stringent and highly regulated customs clearance and quarantine procedures anywhere.

While nobody enjoys getting one of their freight shipments sidelined by customs, it can also result in frustrating (and costly) delays, especially if the goods awaiting customs clearance are meant to be sold at retail. Not only that, but with the possibility of some rather steep penalties for non-compliance, it’s crucial to follow correct customs procedure at all costs to ensure no additional costs or charges on your cargo.

Because customs and quarantine clearance can be so complex, it’s important to have an experienced logistics company by your side. That’s why Magellan is proud to provide exacting and accurate advice for all things customs clearance advice to our customers in an effort to make companies run better by getting shipments through customs smoothly. We have a thorough understanding of quarantine regulations in Australia, making it easy to ensure that any and all goods you’re importing will be provided the proper clearances and your business has right the advice to quickly and efficiently clear customs, so you never face a slowdown.

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving a full container load or a partial one, if you’re using airfreight or seafreight, if you’re importing during the seasonal rush or consolidating a single shipment from multiple vendors: Magellan knows how to get it done for you, and how to do it in such a way that you won’t have to deal with red flags when it comes time to clear customs.  We will ensure your cargo is ready to be moved on to the next step in its lifecycle before you even realise it.

No one wants to be stuck twiddling their thumbs while their imported goods languish in depots, in storage that could be costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars per day. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure you get the best customs and quarantine advice you can, as it can easily derail the delivery process. There’s no reason for you know all the regulations letter and verse – let a logistics expert like Magellan handle the heavy lifting for you.

Contact Magellan on 1300 652 888 today to learn how we can ensure your next shipment arrives at your loading dock on time and under budget. Or download our handy e-Guide “How to avoid delays with Australian Customs”.


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ChAFTA Update – latest news

After much speculation, we have received confirmation originating from the office of The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP – Minister for Trade and Investment, that final notes were being exchanged yesterday (9 December 2015) and ChAFTA is set to enter into force on 20 December 2015.

A couple of key points to note include:

Certificates of Origin

The following Chinese Authorities will be the only powers able to issue Certificates of Origin [COO]:

– AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine)

– CCPIT (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade: (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade).

Please note: COOs will not be issued prior to the commencement date of CHAFTA.

Duty free or 5%?

For further information regarding the change in duty rates and confirmation of whether your duty rates will or will not change on this date please feel free to call on 1300 651 888 or email me

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ChAFTA Update

Now that the Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says he has reached a compromise with the Government and will now support the Chinese Free Trade Agreement it is worth going over a few of the key points as we see them.


Hong Kong is not part of China  Hong Kong is classified as a different customs territory to mainland China and is a Freeport.  For the purpose of ChAFTA goods shipped via Hong Kong will not retain their status as Chinese originating goods unless the goods remain under customs control at all times (this was also the case for the China-NZ FTA).

The implications of this are profound for the many organisations that operate distribution centres and warehouses (that are not bonded warehouses) in Hong Kong as the goods entering Hong Kong will lose their China Preferential status.

Phasing of Duty  At present for items originating in China that have a duty rates of 5%.  It should not be assumed that from implementation of the FTA the duty rate will simply drop to 0%.  Although it is the aim to reduce all items to 0%, this will be phased in for some items over a period of some years (up to 5 years in some circumstances).  Clothing is one of these items where under the first year of the CHAFTA operation the duty rate will not be changed at all.


Whilst the agreement has been signed and now has bipartisan support in the Parliament, there is still a lot of detail to be finalised in order to provide greater certainty to industry. This process has already taken some time and is expected take a couple more months before implementation (we are expecting Dec 2015 or early 2016).  If you have any questions about how the ChAFTA will impact your imports please get in touch with Magellan 1300 651 888 or by email.


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Tariff Concession Orders (TCOs) – a new approach

On 7 October 2015 the Australia Border Force (previously Australian Customs) released an exposure draft on the Interpretation of Tariff Concession Orders (TCOs).

It is the confirmed opinion of at least one recognised Australian barrier compliance lawyer that the draft is a significant departure from the methodology used to interpret TCOs for the past 40 years or more.

Essentially, an importer who takes advantage of any TCOs without having a Tariff Advice in place (which confirms whether the ABF agrees that a particular TCO refers to particular imported goods), runs the risk of incurring demands for the duty which would have been payable if a TCO had not been quoted on import declarations. The ABF can review for the past 4 years.

This period may be extended beyond 4 years if the TCO had been quoted to intentionally avoid the payment of duty and additional GST.

As a Freight Forwarder and Customs Brokerage, we are not in a position to predict the decision making processes of the Australia Border Force or consequences of their decisions. Therefore the onus for compliance on Declarations falls to the importer under the self-assessment regime which is currently in place.

We recommend that you review any Tariff Concessions that you currently use for your cargo.   Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or 1300 652 818 if you would like to discuss your options as you consider whether or not instruct Magellan to apply for Tariff Advices for goods you import using TCOs.

It is also important to note that while applications for Tariff Advices are not particularly time consuming, delays of up to 6 weeks can be experienced due to the ABF approval process.   This may delay the Customs Clearance process in turn.

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Trusted Trader Program – UPDATE for importers

The Australian Trusted Trader Program is a voluntary partnership between an accredited businesses and the Australian Government that aims to streamline and facilitate trade, and enhance supply chain security.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) recently launched the programme announcing the initial four pilot participants and is now extending invitations to other exporters and importers to participate in the pilot phase.

The following is as an independent observation provided by the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) outlining the current status of the programme and key things businesses should consider when weighing up whether to participate.


Importers are likely to benefit from participation with priority trade services (including the possible relaxation of document requirements under FTAs), access to a relationship manager and increased predictability of cargo release which will assist in the management of logistics operations.

Other benefits are likely to include duty deferral and streamlined reporting processes, including reforms to align cargo reporting requirements with contemporary multiple supplier (assembly order) commercial practices.

In parallel, industry is also looking for a reduction in the DIBP administered Import Processing Charge (IPC) that is currently charged on a consignment basis.  Note – effective 1 January 2016 the IPC will increase to $50 for consignments valued between $1,000 and $10,000 and to $152 for consignments of greater than $10,000.

Further information on duty deferral and streamlined reporting for Trusted Traders will be subject to Government consideration as part of the 2016 / 2017 federal budget process.

Exporters are expected to benefit from streamlined processes via Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) being established between governments that support global trusted trader programmes.

It is also anticipated that joining the programme will satisfy international airfreight “security” requirements and will be aligned to the Office of Transport Security’s “known consignor” scheme.


DIBP will not charge for the application process or ongoing client management support associated with the programme.

However, businesses will need to demonstrate requirements relating to supply chain security and a history of trade compliance.  It is anticipated that costs will vary depending on existing audit measures in place and remedial action required for qualification against the DIBP standards.


Until there is a clearer understanding of the programme’s benefits and costs, it’s difficult to determine a definitive return on investment.

In the interim and as an indication of requirements, an Australian Trusted Trader self-assessment questionnaire that forms a part of the application process is available from ComLaw.  It is important to note that not all questions will be applicable to all applicants.

We recommend that exporters and importers continue to work closely with their freight forwarders and customs brokers as their trusted advisors to ensure ongoing high levels of compliance with trade measures and to document supply chain processes.  In an environment of increased compliance activity, this approach will reduce exposure to significant penalties and will best position businesses to take advantage of the Australian Trusted Trader programme once benefits are clearly established.

Magellan Logistics is well placed to assist.  Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel Crawford, our National Customs Manager on 1300 651 888 or via email

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Illegal Logging Compliance Assessments

The Department of Agriculture has begun changing the way it ensures that importers of regulated timber products are complying with the Illegal Logging Act 2012 and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012.

Until now the process was that customs brokers required importers to complete a form indicating whether they had undertaken due diligence with regard to the sustainability credentials of their imported products.

Beginning with businesses that import large amounts of regulated timber, paper or wooden furniture products DAFF has implemented a system of audits to assess how businesses are complying with their regulatory obligations.  They are also assessing businesses that have lunteered for a compliance assessment as a health check of their due diligence practices.  Some businesses are being contacted directly with a Request for Information Notice and once complete DAFF will provide them with feedback on where the due diligence practices meet equirements and where improvements are required.

This will not just impact importers as there are also plans to assess some processors of Australian grown raw logs late in 2015.


Additional compliance requirements and audits will be in place As of May 2016. Penalties for non-compliance do not currently apply, but you may be liable from May 2016.  If your business does not meet your regulatory obligations by this time we expect that your ability to import timber products will be impacted and you may also be subject to financial penalties.


Contact Magellan and we can advise you if a Voluntary Assessment by DAFF is an option for you.  We can also give you feedback on how you are currently complying and where improvements can be made.


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Trusted Trader Program (TTP)

The Department of Immigration and Border Patrol (formerly the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service) announced in its Blueprint for Reform 2013 – 2018 document its intent to introduce a Trusted Trader Program (TTP).  

The TTP is currently being developed by Australian Customs in consultation with importers, exporters and representative bodies.  It represents a shift in the approach of Australian Customs from monitoring and enforcement to self-regulation and trust.

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