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Magellan Logistics is now an Australian Trusted Trader

Supply chains today are incredibly complex. The need for trust and confidence between the people and organisations involved has never been more important. That’s why we sought and attained Australian Trusted Trader accreditation.

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New packing declarations for bamboo – 1 July 2018

The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has again changed the format of packing declarations as a result of bamboo being classified as an acceptable packaging material. Bamboo packaging is now acceptable provided it is treated by an approved method prior to export or on arrival and does not need to be declared as unacceptable packaging.

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BE CERTAIN YOUR CARGO IS ASBESTOS FREE

Asbestos declarations may not seem like an urgent concern to those of you who don’t import building or industrial materials.  Nevertheless, we urge you to spare a couple of minutes and read on.  ABF’s recent changes to ensuring asbestos free cargo have already affected importers of textiles, fashion and other retail products. Much to their surprise!

The incidence of community protection questions by Australian Border Force regarding goods containing asbestos has increased significantly. This is due to a recent, high profile and serious breach and in response to a review of procedure.

Under a stricter application of existing regulations, customs brokers will be required to confirm there is no asbestos content in any import declaration line.  To do this they must have confirmation from the cargo owner that the owner is certain that the goods are free of any asbestos.

ABF advised that before importing goods into Australia, importers should ensure their supply chain security by confirming with their overseas suppliers that their manufactured goods do not contain asbestos.

Due Diligence

Importers are encouraged to investigate, and where appropriate implement:

  • contractual obligations with their suppliers that specify nil asbestos content;
  • sampling and testing for asbestos content prior to shipping the goods to Australia; and
  • regular risk assessment and quality assurance processes.

Certification

While there is presently no requirement to provide evidence of certification to gain clearance, ABF has confirmed that in order for owners to be certain their goods are asbestos free they must have acceptable certification. The ABF will only accept certification from NATA approved testing bodies or equivalent authorities as satisfactory evidence of asbestos free certainty.

If undertaking testing outside Australia, certification must be provided by a NATA accredited testing laboratory or a recognised equivalent authority.  International bodies that NATA has a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with are:

  • Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) MRA, a regional arrangement with participation by upwards of 20 economies including all of Australia’s major trading partners in the Asia Pacific region. aplac.org
  • International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) MRA, a global arrangement covering all regions. ilac.org

Both organisations provide a list of accreditation bodies and their MRA status on their websites.

Delays and Penalties

You should also note that for any cargo inspected or redlined by ABF the owner will be required to provide evidence of certification.  In the absence of certification, the owner could be required to arrange sampling, testing and certification.  The importer of any goods into Australia found to contain unauthorised asbestos may be liable to penalties or prosecution.

We are currently experiencing delays in processing Redline documents due to the increase in profiling of commodities for asbestos.

You can read the Asbestos Importation Review by KGH Border Services here.  And download the hotly anticipated Border Force factsheet here.

We understand that navigating the complexities and regulations of customs clearance can at times seem a little overwhelming and frustrating.  But we also know that gaining clearance in a timely and cost effective manner is critical to your business success.

Magellan Logistics has your back on this and any other customs or freight forwarding topic.  If you would like to discuss the asbestos matter with me further please get in touch on 1300 651 888 or via alex@maglog.com.au.

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Become an Australian Trusted Trader

On 1 July 2016 the Australian Trusted Trader Program (ATT) commenced following a successful pilot phase that commenced on the 1st July 2015.

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.  The ATT is a move towards modernisation of the border environment with the aim of fostering streamlined, reliable, predictable and most importantly secure trade.

By the end of 2020 the program envisages 1000 participants from across all sectors of the supply chain.

What are the benefits of being an Australian Trusted Trader ?

International standing and recognition:  Sixty four countries (including all of Australia’s major trading partners) have some form of trusted trader program with over 40,000 international business participants. A further 16 countries are developing Trusted Trader programs.

Enhancing supply chain security and global competitiveness:  The ATT will contribute to economic growth and prosperity and was included in the Australian Government’s G20 growth strategy.  Through the ATT the Australian Government will develop bilateral Mutual Recognition Arrangements. This will enable participants to access faster clearance times for goods entering our trading partners markets.  Currently the Australian Government is working on Mutual Recognition Arrangements with China, New Zealand, Korea, Canada, the USA, the European Union, Japan and Singapore.

Reduced intervention for legitimate trade:  The introduction of the ATT is a step away from the one size fits all approach to the clearance of goods crossing the border. By removing unnecessary burden to compliant entities and increasing focus on high risk and unknown entities, the ATT will ensure accelerated clearance of low-risk transactions and increased resources allocated to high-risk and unknown entities.

Industry benefits of ATT:  Trusted Traders will be offered a number of benefits which will help foster trade including;

Dedicated Account Manager:  Trusted Traders will receive a dedicated account manager who will be the primary contact between the Trusted Trader and the Australian Border Force.

Priority trade services:  Trusted Traders will have access to advanced rulings for requests on tariff advice, valuations and origin rulings.

Differentiated and prioritised examinations:  Trusted Traders will be recognised as low risk and will be subject to faster border clearance.

Mutual Recognition Agreements:  Trusted Traders will have access to trade facilitation benefits in countries with which Australia has signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement.

Streamlined reporting arrangements (from 2017-2018 financial year):  Alternative clearance arrangements will be available to trusted traders which will reduce the administrative burden on clearing goods.

Duty Deferral (from 2018-2019 financial year):  Duty payments on imported goods will be deferred for a set period from the beginning of 2018-2019 financial year.

What are the costs?

There are no application or ongoing accreditation fees associated with Australian Trusted Trader. However, there might be some business costs associated with meeting the required standards for the program.

How to become part of the ATT?

The ATT program is open to all Australian Businesses that hold an ABN, that are actively involved in the international supply chain and have two or more years of trading and compliance history.

      1. Check that the ATT is right for your business
      2. Complete an expression of interest form
      3. Complete the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). Once the expression of interest is complete, an ABF account manager will help you complete an SAQ. The questions in the SAQ explore the business’s international supply chain activities and trade compliance practices
      4. An Australian Border Force officer will visit the business site to undertake a physical validation.

If accepted, the business will be offered a range of benefits designed to enable easier interaction within the international supply chain regulatory environment.

Magellan Logistics is well placed to assist you with gaining ATT acceptance through the provision of expert advice and guidance.  If would like to discuss whether the ATT program is right for your business please get in touch with me on 1300 651 888 or via alex@maglog.com.au.

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Biosecurity Act 2015

The following is an excerpt from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources relating to thew Biosecurity Act 2015.

From 16 June 2016 the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will be working under the Biosecurity Act 2015. At a  but 108 years of quarantine operations cannot be erased overnight.

The Biosecurity Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Act 2015 will support the smooth transition to the new laws. Some aspects of the biosecurity legislation that commence on 16 June 2016 will do so under transitional arrangements to enable the department and our industry clients to adjust incrementally to the new operating environment.

Preparing our clients and stakeholders

We know that it is vital to engage with and support our clients and stakeholders to prepare for commencement of the new laws. We have developed a series of audience specific pages that outline the key changes that clients and stakeholders can expect from the introduction of the biosecurity legislation.

The Biosecurity Act explained for specific audiences

Preparing our information platforms and systems

We are currently undertaking an extensive body of work to prepare for commencement which includes:

  • training and preparing our staff
  • updating website content and client service systems
  • identifying and adjusting products including forms and communication materials
  • developing guidance and documentation.

While every effort is being made to update our information platforms to reflect the new legal framework, there may still be references to the Quarantine Act 1908 that require more time to update as part of broader systems reform – like the Vessels Management System that will remain untouched until the Maritime Arrivals and Reporting System is launched later in 2016.

Where you see outdated references to the Quarantine Act on our forms, systems or website, you can report it to the department online or by phoning 1800 040 629.

Changes in the way we interact with you

One of the more noticeable changes that clients can expect from us on 16 June 2016 is the way we communicate and interact with you. The Biosecurity Act introduces a range of new legal concepts and terminology. We will still be at the border managing the biosecurity risks of travellers, international mail, cargo, vessels and aircraft. From the outside our regulatory work will largely look the same, but we will be using new language and amended processes to undertake our important task of managing Australia’s biosecurity system.

On an operational level you can expect to notice very few changes to the way your usually go about things, but if you require assistance to understand the implications of the new legislation, please get in touch with me on 1300 651 888 or via alex@maglog.com.au, or call the department on 1800 040 629.  There is also an interactive learning package about the Biosecurity Act you can undertake online.

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Your obligations when importing timber products into Australia from China

All imported timber, wooden articles, bamboo and related products (whether for commercial or personal use) must comply with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).  It should be noted that this includes timber packaging and pallets. The types of timber, wooden articles, bamboo, and related products page has definitions and links to the applicable import conditions in BICON for different types of timber, wooden articles, bamboo and related products.

In order to ensure a smooth importation process, importers of timber products from China that require fumigation prior to entry, must provide a Chinese Fumigation Certificate to Magellan Logistics on customs@maglog.com.au or your customs broker.

We have prepared a useful guide to outline the types of timber products and treatments required with links to the relevant information on the Government’s site as well as the process around the application for and provision of Chinese Fumigation Certificates.

If you would like some more information on importing timber products from China and Chinese Fumigation Certificates, please contact me or a member of our customs team at Magellan on 1300 651 888 or via email alex@maglog.com.au

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Bangladesh air cargo prohibition – new arrangements

The following advice regarding the Bangladesh air cargo prohibition has been received from the Air Cargo Security Taskforce, Office of Transport Security.

The Australian Government has modified the restrictions (originally introduced in December 2015) placed on air cargo originating from or transiting through Bangladesh.

Under the new arrangements air cargo that has originated from, or transited through, Bangladesh will be prohibited; unless it has undergone an appropriate security examination at an approved last port of call before travelling to Australia or is otherwise exempt from examination under Australian regulations.
• The approved examination methods are: X-ray; explosive trace detection; or physical examination.
• The approved last ports of call are: Dubai; Abu Dhabi; Doha; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur; Bangkok; Hong Kong; or Guangzhou.
• The exempt items are: mail items under 500 grams; cargo under 250 grams and shorter than 5 mm; live animals; human remains; biological tissues; legitimately prepared dangerous goods; Commonwealth Government articles; and diplomatic bags.

The new arrangements will take effect from 11 May 2016.

Failure to comply with the instruments
Non-compliance with the instrument (or restrictions set out in the instruments) is an offence of strict liability under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004.

Review of the prohibition
The Australian Government, through the Office of Transport Security, will continue to monitor aviation security developments, in cooperation with our international partners. OTS will provide advice to the Government on adjustments to our air cargo security measures as necessary.

Should you need further clarification on this prohibition, or to arrange alternative movement of goods from Bangladesh to Australia, please do not hesitate to contact your Magellan Representative on 1300 651 888.

Links: https://infrastructure.gov.au/security/air-cargo/

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Tips for avoiding customs delays due to late Chinese Certificates of Origin.

As we work through some of the new processes associated with ChAFTA we are experiencing a spate of late Certificates of Origin.  Our focus is always on avoiding delays at customs and not receiving these certificates in a timely manner has knock-on effects for our clients that include avoidable delays to customs clearance and in some instances paying duty unnecessarily and incurring professional services fees for refund processing once the certificate is received.

We are doing everything in our control to minimise or avoid delays completely and we would like to alert you to some steps you can take to facilitate the receipt of the Certificate of Origin in a timely manner.

1). Remind your supplier not to delay applying for the Certificate of Origin on the basis of unknown means of transport or routing;
2) Changes to vessel or flight details will not affect the eligibility of the consignment to obtain reduced duty rates provided the goods are still destined for direct shipment to Australia;
3). Advise your supplier to forward the certificate ASAP. There is no need to forward the original certificate as copies are acceptable.

A couple of refresher points that will also help with avoiding customs delays by ensuring certificates are issued as quickly as possible and are valid for use:

Origin criteria

The origin criterion listed on the certificate indicates how the goods listed on the certificate comply with the regulations of the ChAFTA.  The criteria indicate how much of the raw materials or manufactured goods was obtained or manufactured within Australia and or China.  Some goods will be ineligible to use some origin criterion due to their nature, for example manufactured goods would be unlikely to qualify for reduced duty rates under ChAFTA via the Wholly Obtained criterion as this is intended for use for raw materials such as minerals.

Whereas, manufactured goods which are entirely produced from components made within Australia or China or a combination of both would more than likely qualify via the Wholly Produced (WP) criterion; and manufactured goods that are made in China from components made within Australia and or China and other countries would more than likely qualify via the Product Specific Rule (PSR).

  • WO (Wholly Obtained) – for goods such as minerals, agricultural products and animals born in China. Would not apply to products that are further manufactured.
  • WP (Wholly Produced) – for goods that are produced entirely from Australian or Chinese originating materials.
  • PSR (Product Specific Rules) – for goods produced from Australian and/or Chinese goods and goods that have been manufactured in other countries and satisfy the applicable product specific rules relating to the classification of the good to be exported.

 

Should you need clarification on this or another freight movement or customs clearance question please contact me via email or on 1300 651 888; or your usual Magellan Customer Service Rep.

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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”.

Sources:
https://www.magellanlogistics.com.au/specialties/
http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/business-and-industry/trade-import-and-export/import-and-export
https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Impo

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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.

ILLEGAL LOGGING PENALTIES:

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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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