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Become an Australian Trusted Trader

The Australian Trusted Trader is a voluntary program that recognises Australian businesses that meet international supply chain security and trade compliance standards.  The program has been designed and developed in partnership between the Australian Government and industry with the aim to create a fast and seamless trade experience for Trusted Traders.

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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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BREAKING NEWS: Major change to how Australia will manage Customs (Border) and Immigration responsibilities

Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, announced to the Lowy Institute on Friday 9th May, the formation of the Australian Border Force (ABF). Effective 1st July 2015, a new agency will be established under the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, to take over the work of Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, which will enforce all customs and immigration laws.

Key points from the announcement are outlined here:

  • Under the Abbott Government, immigration and customs have been combined into a single Cabinet portfolio that has permanent status on the National Security Committee of Cabinet, with a strong focus on law enforcement
  • Australia will have a department of state that is now truly focused on border policy and strategy in an integrated and holistic way, rather than in the traditional silos of immigration and customs
  • Australia is in the middle of a significant period of global trade growth
  • The volume of passenger movements and commercial transactions completed across borders is increasing exponentially, as is the complexity of these interactions and systems
  • The Coalition Government recently concluded two significant free trade agreements with Japan and Korea, of tremendous importance to our nation and the region, and is actively working on another with China.
  • The Abbot government have integrated immigration and customs into a single portfolio
  • In 2014/15  a series of reforms will be implemented and capability improvements to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. On July 1, 2015 the Coalition Government will establish the Australian Border Force (ABF), a single frontline operational border agency, to enforce our customs and immigration laws
  • The measures to support the new agency will also result in improved revenue outcomes for the government. Our customs officers are the second largest revenue collectors in the Commonwealth.
  • Reforms will be completed in line with those completed by UK and US border control administrations
  • A system to allow digital processing of forms will be implemented, further reducing paperwork and red–tape burden on business


For a full transcript of Scott Morrison’s announcement



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