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Category Archives: Customer Service

Chinese New Year 2019

Happy New Year and of course, Happy Chinese New Year 2019! The Chinese New Year 2019 is fast approaching. The public holiday in China for Chinese New Year (CNY) is from 4 February to 10 February 2019 (week 6).

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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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Merry Christmas 2017

We’d like to take this opportunity to offer our thanks to all our clients, partners and agents for yet another wonderful year.

This year we celebrated our 20th year of operations in international freight forwarding and customs broking and it has given us the opportunity to look back and reflect.

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Adverse weather affecting freight in India & USA

Adverse weather in India and USA is affecting freight movements.
Mumbai and other cities in the west coast of India have been experiencing heavy rainfall for the last week. Since this morning, rain has intensified and caused flooding in most parts of Mumbai. The regional meteorological department is predicting the heavy rains and flooding to continue to worsen over the next few days.

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Last Friday 27 January 2017, APSA received notification of an indian service tax on pre-paid imports into India.

It appears that a significant service tax (4.5%) is to be levied by the Indian Ministry of Finance for all cargoes landed in India on or after 22 January 2017. The tax is to be collected by the foreign-owned shipping lines, who have already attempted to start collecting the tax from Australian exporters. Up until recently an exemption was given on pre-paid ocean freight.

APSA (Australian Peak Shippers Association) has not yet received any advice from the Australian Government and it is unclear whether or not the tax should be collected from the Australian shippers or from the local consignees. If is to be collected from Australian shippers then we do expect an outcry from the export community.

We are awaiting clarification from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), but in the meantime please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly or your Magellan Customer Service team member for further information on 1300 651 888.

Please refer to the official notices from the Indian Ministry of Finance below:
Service Tax Amendment Jan 2017.pdf
Notification No 1-2017-ST.pdf
Notification No 2-2017-ST.pdf
Notification No 3-2017-ST.pdf

Freight & Trade Alliance

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AMSA to commence SOLAS compliance activity in earnest

Wondering what has been happening since the implementation of the SOLAS provisions on 1 July this year?

We understand that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has not yet conducted major SOLAS compliance activity, consistent with MSC.1./Circ 1548.

Well, all that’s about to change.

AMSA has recently advised that compliance activity would immediately escalate with a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC), looking at Verified Gross Mass (VGM) declarations and identifying indicators of falsehoods and other inaccuracies. Consistently rounded numbers is a bit of a giveaway!

We also understand that AMSA is considering its options regarding check weighing, sample weighing and upstream auditing.

The key take-out would be that any grace period AMSA has granted has come to an inevitable end.

For more information visit the AMSA website or download our guide here.

Magellan Logistics has your back on this and any other customs or freight forwarding topic.  If you would like to discuss SOLAS compliance with me further please get in touch on 1300 651 888 or via

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G20 China dates announced – implications for Australian importers

Following the release of the summit dates the G20 control measures have also been announced for 2016.  This year’s summit will be held in Hangzhou on the 4th and 5th of September.  Hangzhou is within 2 hours drive of Ningbo and Shanghai ports. Based on previous experiences such as the 2014 APEC, 2010 Asian Games and 2008 Olympics, we expect similar control measures to be introduced which will have a significant impact on the export and import cargo flows, causing fluctuations before and during the event.

These controls will be implemented both by the National and Local Governments. We have been able to confirm the following, but we believe further restrictions are still to be announced and we also expect there will be a degree of “unannounced” restrictions that only become evident in the immediate lead up to the summit.

We strongly urge you to discuss these restrictions with your China suppliers to identify any impact it may have with the supply of product to your business during this time. Our suggestion is that wherever possible you take advantage of shipping early, well before any impact of restrictions, and definitely before the dates indicated below.

The following G20 control measures affecting production and traffic to meet air quality and security requirements have been announced:

Shanghai: 24th August – 6th September

  • Jinshan Zone will shut-down all chemical and associated factories
  • Chemical Zone and Fengxian Zone will identify factories that either need to control production or close-down
  • Shanghai Port will have the available port power reduced by 30%, Jinshan Port will have the port power reduced by 50%
  • All factories in the region will need to meet specific operating and pollution standards, those that do not meet the standards will be shut down
  • High polluting motor vehicles from Shanghai will not be allowed to enter Hangzhou
  • The main production and traffic restrictions will generally only be applied to the southern part of Shanghai, this will mitigate some of the effects of exports moving through Shanghai Port.

Ningbo Hangzhou Bay New Zone: 24th August – 6th September

Factories in Ningbo Hangzhou Bay New Zone will either be shut down, or forced to reduce productivity by 50%.

Shaoxing, Zhengjiang: 24th August – 6th September

  • All dye factories will be closed in the two weeks prior to 6th
  • Since March, the Shaoxing Government has been regulating all the high pollution printing factories, so far 64 factories have been shut down, and can only reopen once they meet the required pollution control standards.

Declared Holidays

Public holidays have also been declared from Thurs 1st–Wed 7th September in the below districts.

  • Hangzhou Economic Zone
  • West Lake Scenic Area
  • Shangcheng
  • Xiacheng
  • Jianggan
  • Gongshu
  • Xihu
  • Binjiang
  • Xiaoshan
  • Yuhang

Sun 28th August, Sat 10th Sept and Sun 11th Sept will be working days.

Magellan Logistics is working closely with our Chinese Agents to ensure we have the timeliest information about how this year’s G20 control measures will impact on shipping from China.  Please get in touch with me via or your usual Magellan Customer Service Representative on 1300 651 888 or +64 9 974 4817 / 18 for New Zealand based enquiries.

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Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) – Verified Gross Mass (VGM) shipper’s declaration – Compliance date 1st July 2016.

Effective for vessels sailing on or after 1st July 2016 from most export ports globally, all containerised seafreight shipments submitted for export will need to have a Verified Weight Declaration (VGM) submitted by Shippers.

For Australian exports, Verified Gross Mass (VGM) compliance actually starts on 22nd June 2016, which is the opening of the wharf terminal window for receivals for vessels sailing on/after 1st July 2016.

This is an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) global regulation, that in Australia is covered under Federal Government legislation administered through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), it requires shippers of containerised seafreight cargo to make a lawful weight declaration.

Attached to this email is both an explanatory fact sheet from Shipping Australia Limited (SAL), and a Magellan presentation which gives a more detailed explanation of the new Shipper responsibilities. In these documents you will see references and an explanation to the only 2 methods which can be used to identify the “gross mass” of a container, or its contents. Should you need further information, clarification or advice on utilising either of these methods, please feel free to contact myself, or any member of our Export Team.

We have also updated our Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) to include a Verified Gross Mass Shipper’s declaration. For FCLs, a separate declaration is required for each packed container. Any shipments departing on or after 1st July 2016 will need to have the shipment details submitted via this updated SLI.

The SLI and VGM weight declaration must be submitted to us prior to any FCL or LCL cargo being received at the wharf terminal and/or depot. Please note the process for us to receive that declaration from the shipper, then retransmit it in the prescribed manner to the parties receiving the cargo at the terminal/depot can take at least 2 hours during normal working hours (Monday to Friday).

FCL Cargo:

For FCL the document that needs to be submitted to the wharf terminals is the PRA, which cannot be completed or transmitted without the compliant weight declaration. No containers will be accepted at any of the wharf terminals in any Australian port without a PRA having been submitted and accepted prior to any container arriving at the terminal gate.

LCL Cargo:

For LCL cargo, there is an allowance at some receiving depots to weigh the shipment upon arrival in the depot, however this is not the case for all depots, and does come at a significant cost.

Should method 1 be used by a Shipper to declare the weight, we need to make sure that adequate time is allowed for the container to go via a compliant weighing facility.

As the verified gross mass is now a lawful declaration of weight, estimations of weight are not permitted.

  • We can receive the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Shipper’s declaration via any of the following means;
  • Original signed document via post/courier
  • Scanned signed document via email (PDF format).
  • Faxed signed document.
  • Transmitted XLS document, where the name of the person declaring the weight, is the same as the email address that the SLI/VGM is submitted to us on.

Should you need to discuss this process, get clarification on this new responsibility as a shipper, or just need advice on the options for getting your cargo weighed, please do not hesitate to give meor any of our Export Team a call on 1300 651 888.

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China: Plan well ahead for Chinese New Year in 2016.

Christmas probably seems all encompassing right now, but Chinese New Year (CNY) in 2016 will be upon us before we know it. Next year the Chinese holiday for Chinese New Year is from 7 Feb to 13 Feb, 2016 (week 6).

To minimise the rush and avoid potential disappointment in the movement of your freight from China, please take some time to consider your shipping needs well in advance of the holiday.   Please see below for details


FCL Shipments

Most factories shut down between 7 Feb and 22 Feb and some for even longer.  While the factories make every effort to process as many orders as possible before the holiday, we recommend booking shipments at least 14 days in advance to avoid disappointment.

As there is already one cancelled sailing in January before CNY, space will become very tight in the two weeks leading up to the holiday.   During this time, ports will become congested and some shipping lines may accept container bookings in excess of the capacity of some ships, and roll these over to the next available vessel resulting in delayed movements.

For Pearl River Delta ports (PRD) – such as Guangzhou, Huangpu, Foshan, Rongqi, Beijiao…etc, the last feeder sailing before CNY will depart on or round 2 February.  Again we recommend booking this at least 2 weeks before sailing.


LCL Shipments

As for above FCLs, however please add a further week.


China Customs

The duty schedules of Chinese Customs during CNY will only be announced by the Government around 1 February 2016.  Typically, Chinese Customs arranges a skeleton staff or half day duty during the CNY holidays, so processing delays with export Customs clearance should be expected.  Also, most customs brokers and LCL warehouses will close. Therefore, we suggest the following:

  • All shipments must be handled and customs clearance completed before CNY.
  • For PRD ports origin, the customs office will be closed during CNY, all Customs clearance processes must be completed before 30 January.
  • For emergency or special cases which may be encountered during the holiday, advance notice (including full and complete customs documents) will be required to determine feasibility.


Trucking Service 

Most of the transport companies will stop services one week before the CNY.  As with the ports, the trucking companies will be at capacity in the two weeks leading up to CNY.  During this time, trucking arrangements will need to be booked at least 10 days (FCL) & 7-10 days (LCL) in advance of requirements.

There will also be increases in trucking costs during and before CNY.

Last dates for trucking services before the holiday:

Last dates for trucking services before CNY

If you have any queries or would like more information, please call me or one of our Customer Service team members on 1300 651 888 or send me an email.

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UPDATE: US Government changes to aircargo arriving into the USA

In a recent letter to the freight forwarding industry the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has advised of the US Government’s decision to extend its recognition of Australia’s National Cargo Security Program until July 2017.

While this is still contingent on the agreement of a number of milestones, it offers Australian businesses some 2 years to prepare for the 100% piece level examination of US bound air cargo.

The attached letter outlines the timeline for the transition.

If you would like more information, please contact our office on 1300 651 888 (Aus) or (09) 974 4818 (NZ) or via email on

Govt USA update letter

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