NNF 2018/313 - BMSB update on our ongoing advocacy
NATIONAL | Issue: #2018/313
BMSB update on our ongoing advocacy
On Friday afternoon 19 October 2018, the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc. (CBFCA) representatives participated in a teleconference with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Cargo Consultative Committee (DCCC) to again discuss issues that impact on our members, since the commencement of the BMSB risk season. Refer below update on the key issues discussed.
Offshore Treatment Certificates not listed on BMSB treatment register
Further to reference made in NNF 2018/307 we raised this same issue and explained why this is not a role for customs brokers. DAWR agreed to take this offline and work to address the issue as this policy decision is impacting on customs brokers and Assessment Services Group (ASG). CBFCA believes customs brokers should not be asked to chase up offshore fumigation companies if treatment certificate is not directly supplied by the fumigator to DAWR.
Emerging risk countries
In addition to the measures of mandatory treatment for target high risk goods and increased onshore intervention of target risk goods from the nine target risk countries, the department will also be undertaking a lower rate of random onshore inspections from identified emerging risk countries.
Containerised target high risk goods selected for inspection will be sent for a full unpack on arrival as the department continues to monitor the risk status of emerging pathways. Break bulk target high risk goods selected for inspection will be directed for an on wharf inspection.
Identified emerging risk countries include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Serbia. DAWR are also targeting other countries of BMSB concern to monitor the presence of BMSB. These include all remaining European countries, Japan, China, Korea, Canada and Chile and will be monitored through random inspections.
System Automation to manage FAK/LCL
A new system is being developed and tested to manage the LCL’s. It appears the system failed when DAWR activated cargo report profiles 9 October and then deactivated 12 October with out any industry notice. We were informed if DAWR cannot implement the new automated system, they will go back to last year’s manual process where they hold containers at container level and Master Consolidators have to email BMSB Processing for manual movement direction for unpack and/or onshore treatment. If this is the case there will be further delays.
Resourcing and Service Delivery
As referenced in NNF 2018/308 import processing delays, this is a key issue for members and we were advised DAWR have deployed all available resources to assist in reducing workloads, and are implementing system enhancements that will assist in managing our workloads more effectively. We questioned - Can industry expect some relief this season or will all the initiatives help DAWR to prepare for the next season ? DAWR was not able to provide any assurance of immediate resolution as they know new staff and system automation requires time to train, test and implement.
Communication with industry
We raised the issue of lack of communication with industry as industry notices are slow and often after a new policy decision has been made, confusing not only industry but their own ASG staff.
Use of AEP
DAWR reported that the uptake of AEP for BMSB is low and DAWR will deliver a webinar soon to show industry how the system works and encourage uptake to reduce entries referred to COLS. We encourage members to consider using AEP for BMSB and this provides a faster clearance at the border.
Post Implementation Review
This was raised by industry stakeholders at the meeting and the CBFCA supports the need for a Post Implementation Review. DAWR advised this may be done, however any resources to undertake the internal review will take current resources away from working on addressing the current issue.
Complaining to the Minister will not necessarily result in immediate action or relief as system automation and resources will be required. We raised the need for DAWR to focus on trade facilitation and they again confirmed they are judged by the Minister on not letting the stink bugs in the country and stopping the stink bugs was the main priority and client service standards are secondary. DAWR also acknowledged via the DCCC that greater industry input will be sought in future.
As referenced in NNF 2018/295 we provided an update on our ongoing advocacy and upcoming meeting with the Deputy Secretary and Senior Management in Canberra where CBFCA representatives will again discuss the key issues.
Unfortunately these are the facts and we will continue to advocate for improved service levels as we understand the departments unreliable administration resulting in delays, significantly impacts on you and your clients.
Zoran Kostadinoski Regional Manager VIC, TAS, SA, CBFCA