Archive for February 2018


Biosecurity inspection service level and managing demand


Biosecurity (Quarantine) inspection service level and managing demand


Based on members feedback related to delays experienced obtaining Quarantine inspection bookings the CBFCA accompanied by the Seafood Importers Association met with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Director, Inspection Services Group to address the current issues, advocate for process review and implement plans to manage the increased demand for inspections.

Since the increased intervention on imported prawns and recent brown marmorated stink bugs emergency measures the demand for inspections has significantly increased placing pressure on the department resources to meet the service standards.



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More terminal infrastructure charges announced

Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) announces their own infrastructure charge


This morning, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) received formal advice from VICT that they will be introducing an infrastructure charge of $48.00 to be applied from 26 March 2018.

The full notice from VICT is included below for your reference.


Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise. FTA/APSA predicted this outcome in our meeting with the Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the 16 February, and we have provided similar warnings to State and Federal Ministers.


FTA/APSA maintains the position that cost recovery for infrastructure investment should NOT occur via the Vehicle Booking System (VBS), it should be recovered from the commercial clients of the terminal operators, the shipping lines.


Infrastructure charges are a major cost distortion in Australia’s international supply chain, where cargo owners are now paying both the shipping line (via Terminal Handling Charges) and the Terminal Operators (via the VBS charges) for the same in-terminal activities.


We understand from our colleagues at the Global Shippers Forum, that these charges are now appearing overseas, using the Australian model.


As these charges increase, our international competitiveness correspondingly weakens.


Urgent reform needs to be considered.


The Chairman of the ACCC recently highlighted to FTA/APSA their advocacy role in achieving future reforms in this area. With the NSW Freight & Ports Plan in draft, the Victorian Freight Plan under development, and the National Freight & Supply Chain Strategy due to commence once the Inquiry has concluded, it would be remiss of our Governments to not address these charges in some way.


Freight & supply chain policy needs to be led by port users and Australian importer/exporters. The result of not doing so is what we see today.


FTA/APSA will continue to take a lead on this issue on behalf of industry.




Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) - Notice to Customers

Following a review of our terminal charges and market conditions, VICT has decided to implement an Infrastructure Surcharge of $48.00.  Customers are advised that the charge will commence as of 27th March 2018.
Following a review of market conditions, we consider that it is appropriate to introduce an Infrastructure Surcharge. The Infrastructure Surcharge allows VICT to remain competitive in the market as a viable alternative container terminal.
Since commencing operations in 2017, VICT has committed to having landside efficiency at the forefront of our innovation, which we have done and continue to do. This has optimised our Truck Turnaround Times, increased utilisation of trucks and improved safety conditions. VICT remains dedicated to continuous improvement in providing leading landside services.
The Infrastructure Surcharge will be applied to all standard import and export full containers (R&D via road). Road transport operators will be invoiced electronically through existing weekly invoices. The $10 Chain Of Responsibility charge per container will no longer be an additional charge, and will instead be absorbed into the Infrastructure Surcharge from 27th March 2018.
We are aware of customer feedback regarding the introduction of infrastructure surcharges more generally in the market. Having listened to customer feedback on cash flow concerns around additional charges, we will extend our payment terms from 7 to 30 days from invoice issue date and we are also looking to implement EFTPOS payment facilities soon. We will make further announcements on this shortly.
VICT carrier access agreement will be updated accordingly and facility access will be conditional on payment of these charges as per our terms and conditions from 27th March onwards. Please contact VICT’s Landside Team on 03 8547 9700 if you require any further clarification with regard to this surcharge.




History of the Infrastructure Charges

Infrastructure charges were first introduced by Patrick on 25 October 2010 ($21.25). Apparently this was to recover investment associated with their terminal automation. In 2015 that charge was increased to $27.37 and a $3.50 charge was introduced by Patrick in Melbourne.

Since 2015 we have seen DPWA and Patrick introduce these charges to all major container terminals as well as increasing the charges exponentially, with no equivalent improvement in productivity or service delivery.

While our State Governments heavily regulate prescribed port charges (such as wharfage), to protect Australian exporters, there is no sufficient legislation in place to regulate container terminal pricing.




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Customs Brokers Join Infrastructure Cost Backlash


CBFCA Continues Independent Push Against Unjustified

"Land Based" Processes and Costs

 yesterday’s article in the ATN is shown below:

These additional direct and indirect costs introduced from the larger third party providers need to be addressed and the CBFCA will continue to operate independently to push for as a minimum, major concessions across each issue.


Scott Carson
Commercial Manager


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Owens Direct to Wharf Container Dehire

Owens Direct to Wharf Container Dehire

12th March 2018

Important Customer Notice:

As you may be aware, there is an increasing reliance on shipping lines to mark delivery orders for dehire return into stevedore terminals, rather than designated Empty Container Parks.  This change will have an impact on Owens operation and costs due to the following:


  • Slot availability.
  • Containers requiring to be double handled through Owens Yards due to limited slot availability.
  • Longer truck wait times at empty container parks.
  • Terminals will charge fees for missed slot or late dehires where empty container parks do not.
  • Greater chance of container detention being charged by shipping lines due to late returns.


Owens will implement the following charges, only when we are required to dehire empties to stevedore terminals nationally. These new ancillary charges will be implemented on the 12th of March 2018.


  • Melbourne:  $85.00
  • Sydney:         $75.00
  • Brisbane:      $75.00
  • Perth:            $75.00


The direct to wharf container dehire include, transport, lifts, and VBS.  PRA lodgement will come at an additional fee of $25.00 per container if required.


Owens would strongly recommend that you request from your shipping lines that you would like to avoid direct to wharf container dehire to mitigate these additional costs occurring.


We appreciate your understanding on this matter.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact your local Owens Sales Executive.













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Hunt & Hunt update: Are you at risk of customs fraud?

Where there is a tax payable, there is incentive to fraudulently reduce the tax. Customs duty, the tax payable on imported goods, is no exception. A common method of fraudulently reducing the tax payable is to declare a false value of the imported goods.  Recent cases have highlighted that the risks associated with this conduct extend to purchases who were not the importer of record or involved in the fraud. 

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UPDATE 5 - Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) imports from Italy treatment with sulfuryl fluoride

UPDATE 5 - Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) – imports from Italy – treatment with sulfuryl fluoride  

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has received confirmation from the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources regarding the treatment of containerised goods with sulfuryl fluoride by registered treatment providers under the Methyl Bromide scheme.
“At this stage we don’t have a list of approved sulfuryl fluoride treatment providers.  Until there is a more formalised arrangement (i.e. registered providers) we will accept sulfury fluoride by any approved treatment provider under the Methyl Bromide scheme as long as it’s done at a Class 1 premise. (any class 1). In other words if a registered fumigator is willing to do it we’ll allow it”.
FTA understands that the department will be sending a similar advice to all Assessment Services staff around the country to ensure that this request is facilitated if received through COLS.
Tony Nikro – FTA / APSA





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