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BMSB update - Offshore Treatment Provider scheme

 

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, freight forwarders and customs brokers

 

BMSB update - Offshore Treatment Provider scheme

 

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) again liaised last week with the Department of Agriculture on Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) - summary below:

  • Treatment providers are responsible for registering and applying to be part of the offshore treatment providers scheme.  We understand that the process is relatively straight forward for existing treatment providers. The department wrote to all existing providers almost two months ago and since then has sent reminders to all yet to re-apply. We again recommend that members continue to contact and encourage treatment providers to register and apply;
  • The department is processing renewals and new applications very quickly, provided the applicant submits their application with the required information.  There is no backlog of complete applications awaiting approval;
  • Treatment providers located in non target risk countries are strongly encouraged to renew and/or to register if not previously approved. Treatment certificates from providers in non target risk countries will be accepted by the department  whether they are registered or not.  For those providers not registered the department undertakes additional assessment and verification of the treatment certificates to maintain confidence in them;
  • The list of treatment providers on the department's web site is being updated on a regular basis.
  • All the information/forms on the offshore treatment scheme is on the department web site at  http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/before/brown-marmorated-stink-bugs/offshore-bmsb-treatment-providers-scheme.  There is a dedicated departmental email inbox for off shore providers to send their applications/ any questions at bmsbtreatments@agriculture.gov.au.

Andrew Crawford - FTA / APSA

 

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NNF 2019/202 - Customs Broker Verification of an Importer's Identity

Customs Broker Verification of an Importer's Identity

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is publishing a proposed rule to require customs brokers to collect certain information from importers to enable the brokers to verify the identity of importers, including non-resident importers

This rule proposes to amend the U.S. CBP regulations to require customs brokers to collect certain information from importers to enable the customs brokers to verify the identity of importers, including non-resident importers. CBP proposes these amendments, pursuant to section 116 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), which directs CBP to promulgate regulations to require brokers to verify the identity of the importers who are their clients. 

For more information refer to an article published by American Shipper.

It will be interesting to see if our border agency Department of Home Affairs, Australian Border Force will take interest in this development.

 

Kind regards,

Zoran Kostadinoski
Head of Border and Biosecurity
Regional Manager VIC | TAS |SA, CBFCA

 

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Biosecurity Import Levy - deferred implementation

Biosecurity Import Levy - deferred implementation

 

Further to our commentary from Tuesday 6 August 2019 titled Will common sense prevail on the Biosecurity Import Levy, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has today received confirmation that the 1 September 2019 implementation for the Biosecurity Import Levy is unachievable -  of ongoing concern is that the revised implementation timeframe, quantum and collection mechanism(s) remain unknown.
 
Since 1996/97, our border and biosecurity agencies have been extremely efficient at collecting taxes, levies and import processing charges via the entry / Full Import Declaration – why on earth the government would even consider a deviation from this collection mechanism is staggering.
 
A disastrous result for importers would be to wear the cascading costs of administrative fees through the supply chain should the government revert back to its original models (or a hybrid model collecting some revenue from the FID) by collecting the Biosecurity Import Levy from stevedores and / or shipping lines.
 
This entire management of the levy over the last 16 months has been an example of deplorable public administration - stay tuned for the next chapter in this ongoing saga.
 
Paul Zalai – FTA / APSA

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NNF 2019/194 - Import Industry Advice Notices Note Re BMSB contact details 128-2019

Import Industry Advice Notices - NNF 2019/194 - Import Industry Advice Notices  Note Re BMSB contact details   128-2019

 Just in case you are not subscribed to the Department of Agriculture Import Industry Advice Notices, reef to below recently published notices that may be of interest to you and your clients.

125-2019 - Reminder: Import permits required to import cut flowers and foliage from Kenya, Colombia and Ecuador from 1 September 2019

127-2019 - eCert for Imports: sanitary certificates from New Zealand goes live

128-2019 - Treatment requirements for the 2019-20 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) risk season

129-2019 - The department is implementing a number of new fresh produce commodities onto the Compliance Based Intervention Scheme (CBIS)

 

 

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Will common sense prevail on the Biosecurity Import Levy?

  THE ALLIANCE

 

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, freight forwarders, customs brokers, stevedores, shipping lines, airlines, express couriers, e-commerce providers and Cargo Terminal Operators

 

Biosecurity Import Levy

 

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) members have understandably been seeking updates on the proposed Biosecurity Import Levy.

The concern from members and the wider industry is that depending on how the new levy is to be collected and passed on through the supply chain, adequate notice is required to allow industry participants to implement systems and to have discussions with customers about potential cost increases.

While we are unfortunately not in a position to provide definitive answers, we trust that the following provides useful background and the current status of this new levy.

 

Background

 

As members will recall, the Biosecurity Import Levy was announced in the 2018 Federal Budget with an aim to collect $325M over 3 years from a commencement date of 1 July 2019.
 
Since that time there has been significant controversy surrounding the implementation of the levy, ultimately leading to the former Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources announcing the formation of the Biosecurity Levy Steering Committee tasked with recommending the possible scope and design for a levy.
 

As outlined in previous member notices, I was privileged to be appointed by the Minister to participate with eight other industry representatives in the committee led by an independent chair (Mr David Trebeck) and supported by Pegasus Economics.

To allow the steering committee adequate time to report and as outlined in the last Federal Budget, the government announced a new proposed date of 1 September 2019 and a relatively small loss of revenue associated with this deferred commencement.

 

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NNF 2019/189 - ABF Asbestos Position

NNF 2019/189 - ABF Asbestos Position

 

At the recent bilateral meeting in Canberra with the Australian Border Force (ABF), the CBFCA raised concern about what level of evidence is required from importers relative to their declaration responsibilities towards goods containing asbestos.

CBFCA suggested a signed statement from the importer should be acceptable and should extinguish any broker liability around the provision of false or misleading information.

Below is the ABF response on this issue raised.

  • The ABF undertakes a holistic assessment where due diligence and reasonable process applies.
  • The ABF does not publicly disclose information on profiled goods.
  • The ABF website asbestos information page clearly lists recommended measures that the owners of goods can undertake to address the risk of asbestos in imported goods.
  • Notice 2017/21 clearly articulates the obligations of the goods’ owner, as well as Brokers, with respect to Assurances that imported goods do not contain asbestos.
  • Brokers are advised to regularly familiarise themselves with the asbestos information page and 2017/21 Notice to assist with ensuring their clientele’s compliance with the asbestos border control. The asbestos information page is updated from time to time.

 

 

 

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BMSB Seasonal Measures 2019-20

BMSB Seasonal Measures 2019-20

 

The Department of Agriculture have recently released the finalised measures for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

season 2019-20 and will be effective for goods departing 1stSeptember 2019 – and thatarrive into Australia on or before 31stMay 2020.

 

Season 2019-20 will see these measures applied to certain goods manufactured in or shipped from or transhipped from32 Countries(Japan increased vessel surveillance only).

 

Please take note as this list of countries has increased from 10 to 32 -http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/before/brown-marmorated-stink-bugs#what-are--the-target-risk-countries

 

 

Certain Tariff Chapters have been categorised astarget high riskgoods and will require mandatory treatment for BMSB risk. Certain Tariff Chapters have been categorised astarget riskgoods and will not require mandatory treatment, but will be subject to increased onshore intervention through random inspection and will be directed for onshore treatment if BMSB is detected. These Tariff Chapters have not changed from the previous BMSB season.

Treatment of cargo

 

  • Containerised cargo arriving in sealed six hard sided containers with target high risk goods can be treated offshore, or onshore at the container level.
  • Deconsolidation or removal of goods will not be permitted prior to treatment. No exemptions for deconsolidation or segregation on arrival will be considered by the department.
  • Offshore treatment of LCL consignments and FAK containers with target high risk goods from target risk countries is preferred.
  • Onshore treatment of LCL consignments and FAK containers with target high risk goods from target risk countries will be permitted at the container level.

 

Treatment providers in target risk countries

 

  • All BMSB treatment providers in target risk countries must first register and be approved under the scheme by the department prior to treatment. Treatments conducted by an unapproved treatment provider in a target risk country will not be recognised as valid and the goods will be subject to onshore treatment (if permitted), or be directed for export.
  • Treatment providers that were registered under the scheme during the 2018-19 season must complete a renewal application for the 2019-20 season. The renewal application and application for new treatment providers is now available on the Offshore BMSB treatment providers scheme page webpage. Please check that your Offshore Treatment Provider has completed a renewal application.

 

 

 

 

The following countries below have been categorised as target risk. This list has increased from 10 countries to 32 countries for this BMSB season – please see the below list .

 

 

Any target high risk or target risk goods which are manufactured in, or shipped from the target risk countries will be subject to BMSB seasonal measures goods departing 1stSeptember 2019 – goods arriving on or before 31stMay 2020

 

Any vessel that berths at, loads or tranships from the target risk countries also subject to BMSB seasonal measures.

 

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Kosovo
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro            
  • Netherlands
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • United States of America
  • Japan (heightened vessel surveillance will be the only measure applied)
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The unintended outcome of the US China Trade war – Australian manufacturers accuse US exporters of unfair trade practices

 

The unintended outcome of the US China Trade war – Australian manufacturers accuse US exporters of unfair trade practices


In the trade war between the US and China it is the Chinese that are painted by the US as not playing by the rules.  In an ironic turn of events, the Australian Government is now investigating claims that in response to the US China trade war, US suppliers of plastics are engaging in unfair trade practices that is causing harm to Australian manufacturers.

The Australian Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) has commenced an investigation into the alleged dumping of high density polyethylene exported to Australia from the US, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.  The claim is that the HDPE is being sold to Australian customers at dumped prices, being prices that are less than the price at which the same goods are sold in the exporter's domestic market.  The Australian industry is seeking dumping duties of 28% on HDPE exported from the US.

So what has caused US exporters to allegedly dump goods in Australia?  The Australian industry claims that this is a fall out from the US China trade war.  As part of the trade dispute China has increased tariffs on certain US HDPE to 25%.  Naturally this causes a decrease in Chinese demand for US HDPE.  At the same time, US levels of production of HDPE increased due to new production facilities coming online.  Lower demand and increased production means lower prices.

The Australian industry claims that US suppliers with excess stock are targeting the Australian market as the Australia US Free Trade Agreement both lowers the costs of US imports (no 5% duty) plus there are less non-tariff barriers.

It is also alleged that the imports are not merely coming directly from the US.  Some US HDPE is claimed to be exported first to Singapore where it is repackaged for export to other markets.  It is alleged that US exports to Singapore have increased by 300% .  It is not known whether Singaporean exporters are hiding the US origin of goods when repackaging and exporting to third countries.  We are aware of Chinese exporters seeking to have goods repackaged in Australia for export to the US without disclosure of the Chinese origin of the goods.

It will not be surprising if the claims of the Australian industry prove to be true.  Raising tariffs to 25% will distort trade flows from China to other countries.    For Australian importers this has resulted in lower prices but has allegedly cause loss to the Australian manufacturers.  If dumping duties are imposed US exporters will need to look for another market for HDPE or hope that President Trump can quickly resolve the trade war.

 

What to do now? ... READ MORE

 

 

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Australian Border Force establishes The Customs Group

Creation of The Customs Group

 

Yesterday the Australian Border Force (ABF) announced the establishment of The Customs Group which will be headed by Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Dr Bradley Armstrong PSM.

The Group encompasses traveller, trade, customs related policy, and customs related compliance, with a strong focus on industry engagement.

A Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Branch has also been established in the new Group to address anti-slavery, including migrant worker exploitation, through global supply chains.

We understand that the Customs Group is staffed by a blended team – with ABF officers and Home Affairs employees. Integration will provide an immediate and significant opportunity to better align trade and customs activities.

The full media release can be found HERE  

The updated ABF organisational structure can be found HERE 

 

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NNF 2019/158 - Import Industry Advice Notice 103-2019

BMSB treatment providers scheme and application forms

 The Department of Agriculture (the department) has published Import Industry Advice Notice 103-2019 - 2019-20 Offshore Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) treatment providers scheme and application forms, and is forwarded for your information.

 

 

 

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NNF 2019/149 - Customs Tariff Amendment (Craft Beer) Act 2019

Customs Tariff Amendment (Craft Beer) Act 2019

 The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has published a notice which sets out the changes made by the Customs Tariff Amendment (Craft Beer) Bill 2019 that received the Royal Assent on 5 April 2019.

From 1 July 2019, draught beer in containers between 8 and 48 litres designed to be connected to pressurised gas or pump delivery systems, will be subject to the same rate of excise-equivalent customs duty as draught beer in containers with a capacity exceeding 48 litres.

These changes apply to goods classified to tariff subheadings 2203.00.6 and 2206.00.7 in Schedule 3 to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff Act).

 

 

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NNF 2019/134 - 2019-20 BMSB Seasonal Measures and Information Sessions

  2019-20 BMSB Seasonal Measures and Information Sessions

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has published Import Industry Advice Notice 89-2019 - 2019-20 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) seasonal measures. 

For the 2019-20 BMSB risk season, measures will apply to:

  • certain goods manufactured in, or shipped from target risk countries, and/or
  • vessels that berth at, load or tranship from target risk countries from 1 September 2019 and that arrive in Australian territory by 31 May 2020 (inclusive).

We are pleased to advise the department has considered the CBFCA and other industry stakeholders feedback and the final measures include:

  • Addition of an option for containerised target risk goods shipped as less than container load (LCL) and freight of kind (FAK) to be treated onshore. While the department’s preferred position is off shore treatment of such goods, industry strongly supported retaining an on shore treatment option.
  • A revised definition of the end of the BMSB risk season. The season end will be defined as the arrival of goods and vessels in Australia by 31 May. This change is expected to be easier for industry to comply with and for the department to administer. This will avoid the need for industry to submit document in COLS at the end the season to prove the shipped on board date.

The final seasonal measures are available on the BMSB webpage.

The department will host a series of industry information sessions across Australia to further discuss the final measures, and we encourage you to attend the sessions.

As you will recall we continues to lobby at consultative meetings with the department and via a formal submission to the Inspector General of Biosecurity BMSB Review, for further strategic investment in both people and systems improvement, with surge capacity to handle biosecurity ‘emergencies’ while maintaining ongoing business, and providing a reliable service to industry.

For more information about the information session and to view the full notice click HERE 

Kind regards,

 

Zoran Kostadinoski
Regional Manager VIC |TAS | SA, CBFCA

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NNF 2019/132 - China Treatment Provider Certificates

NNF 2019/132 - China Treatment Provider Certificates

China Treatment Provider Certificates

 

We received feedback from members that some regions in China are providing fumigation certificates issued, other than General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC).

We made the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources aware of this issue and received the following advice back.

We have received word back from our counsellor in China. His team have been in contact with GACC and have advised that there have been no official changes in current requirements for the issuing of treatment certificates from GACC. 

The department continues to recognise GACC as the issuing body for fumigation certificates from China.

Should your members continue to experience issues obtaining GACC fumigation certificates, they should not accept treatment provider issued certificates and should either refer the declaration to the department for assessment or use relevant NCCC / AEPCOMM codes to generate a direction for onshore inspection or treatment of the goods. 

Details of the GACC changes were communicated to industry in IIAN 97/2018 - Changes to Chinese Competent Authority issuing certificates and the security features

 

 

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Vitamins – Classified as a food or medicament – it's off to the High Court

Vitamins – Classified as a food or medicament – it's off to the High Court

In late 2018 the Full Federal Court ruled that VitaGummies should be classified as a duty free medicament and not as food.  The Full Federal Court also held that weight loss gummies that contained garcinia cambogia should also be classified as a medicament.

The decision was important as it widened the scope of goods that could be treated as a duty free medicament rather than a food.  This was particularly the case with the garcinia gummy that was classified as a medicament even though it was found to have no therapeutic benefits.

The Comptroller-General has applied to the High Court for leave to appeal the decision.  The right to have a matter heard by the High Court is not automatic and the High Court will only hear matters of public importance.

Following a hearing on 17 May 2019 the High Court has agreed to hear the matter.  Reasons for the decision to grant leave were not given.  However, the amount of customs duty at issue and the difficulties with administering the Full Federal Court decision were raised by Customs.
The appeal will review both the decision regarding the VitaGummies and the garcinia gummies.

It will take time for the hearing to be held and then further time for a judgement to be delivered.  We expect that the final outcome will be known in 6-12 months.

Of course, if Customs loses the appeal, it could push for the Customs Tariff Act to be amended so that there is no doubt as to the classification or duty treatment of vitamins.  It is highly likely that such a legislative change would only apply to future imports.

Past importers of vitamins and other edible health products should review imports in 2015 that attracted duty and consider whether refund applications should be lodged now on the basis on the Full Federal Court decision.  If those importers wait for the outcome of the High Court case, the 4 year refund time limit will have expired.

Future imports are more difficult. Customs clearly disagrees with the Full Federal Court decision and we understand that tariff advices are being issued stating that vitamins should be classified as food.  It would appear that the expectation of Customs is that importers continue to pay duty and seek refunds should the decision of the Full Federal Court be upheld.

 

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NNF 2019/122 - Conclusion of the 2018-2019 BMSB Risk Season

Conclusion of the 2018-2019 BMSB Risk Season

 

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has published Import Industry Advice Notice 76-2019 - Conclusion of the 2018-2019 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) Risk Season.

It is important to note that goods shipped or vessels departed on or before 30 April 2019 that are still en route to Australia, will remain subject to the BMSB seasonal measures on arrival. ICS community protection profiles will remain active until 16 June 2019. To manage these goods, the department will use the shipped on board date to determine if BMSB measures are applicable.

 

 

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Port of Melbourne propose new fee

THE ALLIANCE

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, exporters, customs brokers, shipping lines and freight forwarders

 

Port of Melbourne proposes new fee

 

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have expressed concern to the Port of Melbourne and Freight Victoria regarding a $15 per TEU increase to wharfage on all full imports intended to fund rail transformation at the Port. The proposal is currently before Freight Victoria and the Hon. Melissa Horne MP for approval, after which time it will be considered by cabinet. The fee will remain for the remainder of the lease period. 

At this stage exports are excluded from the cost recovery proposal. 

The proposal comes after consultation with rail stakeholders in 2018, where there was a clear call for on-dock rail and open access arrangements. 

The proposed model
 
Under the proposed model, the Port of Melbourne will take back leased land from the stevedores and rail terminal operators, giving it back to them for free under a licence agreement. The thinking is that the stevedores and rail terminal operators will then pass on those savings to rail users, making rail more competitive. The Port will re-capture lost rent revenue via this new charge levied to shippers and port users through the proposed increase in wharfage fees.
 
To learn more about the proposed model, the full Port of Melbourne presentation is available https://ftalliance.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=e9d77c8ae8&id=11406e349c&e=f62c636f6e .
 
FTA / APSA’s concern with this new model
 

FTA / APSA support rail and the need for a port rail solution but we also need to ensure that any cost imposed on the supply chain is accompanied by real benefits across the supply chain. 

FTA / APSA would like to ensure that:
 

  • stevedores or terminal operators are compelled to pass on the rental savings and lower rail operating costs to users.
  • there is transparency on the investment and recovery by Port of Melbourne under the existing regulatory framework to ensure there is no over-recovery (while the reported cost is $300M, $15 x laden import TEU across the remaining 47 years of the lease would deliver a much higher figure). 
  • cost savings from larger ships calling at the port of Melbourne are passed through to cargo owners. 
  • cargo owners are represented and involved in monitoring the performance of the proposal.


Some members have also expressed concern that, once again, empty containers, under the custody of the shipping lines, are exempt from the cost recovery process. 

Lack of metropolitan rail hubs 

This proposal for a port solution also needs to be considered in the context of the broader rail network. Melbourne does not yet have metropolitan rail hubs in operation servicing the key import catchments including the South East, Truganina and Somerton. So, while all importers will be funding the works, few will be direct beneficiaries until there is access to metropolitan port-rail services.

Until this happens, with the upcoming Biosecurity Levy and infrastructure charges continuing to increase, this is yet another example of rising international supply chain costs.  

Next steps 

FTA / APSA will continue to work with the Port of Melbourne and Freight Victoria on the details of the proposal.
 
While we fully support rail investment and appreciate the significance of rail utilisation as a city port, the cost recovery plan needs to be fair and transparent.
 
We will provide members with further updates as we receive them.

If you have any thoughts in the meantime, please do not hesitate to email me directly at tbrooks-garrett@ftalliance.com.au

 

 

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NNF 2019/112 - EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Report of the 3rd round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Australia.

Officials from the European Commission and Australia met in Canberra recently for the third round of negotiations for an EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

 

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NNF 2019/111 - Import Industry Advice Notice 61-2019

Plant based stock feed BICON permit assessment timeframes

 

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has published Import Industry Advice Notice 61-2019 – Plant based stock feed BICON permit assessment timeframes.

To help avoid unnecessary delays, the Department provides some suggestions for the permit applicants.

 

 

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NNF 2019/109 - Understanding the Food Control Certificate

Understanding the Food Control Certificate 

 

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has published Imported Food Notice IFN 08-19 – Understanding the Food Control Certificate.

The purpose of this notice is to remind importers of their responsibilities when the department issues them with a Food Control Certificate.

 

 

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NNF 2019/105 - CBFCA Submission - Biosecurity Imports Levy

 

As referenced in national newsflash NNF 2019/080, the Government has change the start date of the 2018-19 Budget, for the implementation of the Biosecurity Imports Levy from 1 July 2019 to 1 September 2019.

This change will allow the industry Steering Committee to make recommendations to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on the design and implementation of the levy.

 

 

 

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NNF 2019/104 - Information on Proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures

 

Information on Proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures

 As referenced in NNF 2019/087, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources hosted a series of industry information sessions and a Webinar for the proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures.

The sessions provided industry with the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions about the proposed measures.

We wish to inform you the Department has now created a new webpage Proposed 2019-20 Seasonal measures for Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), where you can find more information, including links to the recorded Webinar, presentation and fact sheet.

Any questions relating to the policy for seasonal pests can be emailed to spp@agriculture.gov.au

As referenced in NNF 2019/101, the Department is further consulting with industry on the below proposed measures.

  • Proposed measures for LCL and FAK containers for the 2019/2020 BMSB Season
  • Safeguarding Arrangements Policy for the 2019/2020 BMSM Season

We participated in the Sydney and Melbourne workshops to further discuss the proposed measures.

The Department noted the industry concerns, and is now working hard to finalise the policy by end of May 2019 to provide industry with adequate time to prepare for next season.

The final policy will be communicated by the Department via an import industry advice notice.

We will keep you informed of any further developments as the BMSB seasonal measures will continue to challenge the biosecurity system and industry.

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NNF 2019/088- Import Industry Advice Notice 47-2019

  

Import Industry Advice Notice 47-2019

 

The following information has been published in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Import Industry Advice Notice 47-2019 - Unscheduled Service Disruption Impacting Several Systems, Thursday 11 April 2019 (AEST).

View the full Notice below.

 

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NNF 2019/087 - Proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures

Proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures

 

As referenced in IIAN 43-2019, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources hosted a series of industry information sessions and a webinar for the proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures.

The sessions provided industry with the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions about the proposed measures. CBFCA representatives attended the sessions and we provide the following summary on the key proposed changes:

  • Target High Risk countries for 2019-2020, going from 9 to 32 in total, plus heightened vessel surveillance for Japan (similar to the current season).
  • Mandatory offshore treatment for less than container load (LCL) consignments and freight of all kinds (FAK) containers of target high risk goods shipped in sealed six sided containers. Note: The Department will undertake further industry consultation on this, and we will participate in any future meetings to represent our members.
  • Heightened surveillance on all roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) and general cargo vessels will continue to be conducted through additional pre-arrival reporting with a BMSB questionnaire and daily checks conducted by vessel masters.
  • Safeguarding arrangements - the department is working to develop policies to allow for certain goods and supply chains to be recognised under safeguarding arrangements for the 2019–20 season.

More information can be found on Fact Sheet provided by the Department at the sessions. To download the Fact Sheet click HERE.

Any questions relating to the policy for seasonal pests can be emailed to spp@agriculture.gov.au

We were informed the Department will soon be updating the BMSB webpage at www.agriculture.gov.au/bmsb to include the proposed seasonal measures, fact sheet, copy of presentations from the sessions and link to the recorded webinar to support industry in preparation for the next season.

The Department advised industry the additional countries will result in around 10 to 15% increase in volume and they are doing their best to resource relevant areas, but did not provide assurance their client service standards can be met all the time, and industry can expect some delays.

We raised again our concerns related to service delivery, as the biggest impact on members is in the areas of Assessment Services Group, Inspection Services Group and Client Contact Group.  

As referenced in past newsflashes, the Inspector-General of Biosecurity, Dr Helen Scott-Orr conducted an Independent Review of the effectiveness of the Department biosecurity measures to manage the risks of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) entering Australia.

We lodged a formal submission and our message was clear:

"If the Department continues to do the same thing, the end result will be same. It is time for a change, and the CBFCA is advocating for modernisation of the service, administration, operations, systems, and not just the Biosecurity Act modernisation, that places more obligation and infringement notice penalties on the biosecurity industry participants".

The CBFCA looks forward to the findings from the review, and we will continue to work with the Department to achieve a win/win outcome, as only in partnership with industry, the biosecurity risks can be managed. 

We will keep you informed of any further developments as the BMSB seasonal measures will continue to challenge the biosecurity system and industry.

 

 

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addition of further European countries and Canada of2019-20 BMSB proposed amendments

ADDITION OF FURTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AND CANADA OF 2019-20 BMSB PROPOSED AMENDMENTS 

Please find attached the latest update on the proposed amendments for the BMSB season

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Biosecurity Import Levy - deferred to 1 September 2019

Biosecurity Import Levy - deferred to 1 September 2019

 

Following last night’s Federal budget, we draw to members' attention the detail that the 1 July start date for the imposition of the Biosecurity Imports Levy has been officially deferred.

The government has announced a new proposed date of 1 September 2019 and a relatively small loss of revenue associated with this deferred commencement.


 

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Important Update on Tobacco Import Regime

Important Update on Tobacco Import Regime and Future Tobacco Importation Requirements

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NNF 2019/071 DP World industrial action UPDATE 4

  Please note below the latest update from DP World in relation to the industrial action at their sites.

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BMSB 2019-20 season - Industry information sessions

 

BMSB 2019-20 season - Industry information sessions

 

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is hosting a series of industry information sessions for the proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures.

These measures will apply to certain goods shipped to Australia as sea cargo between 1 September 2019 and 30 April 2020 inclusive.

The industry information sessions will be held across Australia in early April 2019 and will include a webinar for those unable to attend in person. The sessions will be presented by senior representatives and provide detailed information on the 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures for goods being imported, shipped or treated during the BMSB risk season. The sessions will also provide industry with the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions about the proposed measures.

Information Sessions

Industry members are invited to arrive from 8.30 am for registration, and welcome tea and coffee. Each session will run from 9:00 am to approximately 12:00 pm.

Brisbane         Tuesday 2 April             Novotel Brisbane Airport Hotel
Sydney           Thursday 4 April            Novotel Sydney Airport (Ex Mercure Sydney Airport)
Melbourne      Tuesday 9 April             Mantra Tullamarine Hotel
Perth               Wednesday 10 April     Crown Perth Convention Centre
 
Webinar Session

The department will host a webinar session on Friday 5 April 2019 from 12:00 pm to 2.30 pm AEST. Details on how to register for the webinar will be available soon on the BMSB website http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/before/brown-marmorated-stink-bugs .

A full recording of the webinar will be made available after the event.

Register for an information session  

You can register HERE http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/before/brown-marmorated-stink-bugs/information-sessions to attend a BMSB information session 

Further information

For further information on the upcoming industry information sessions or webinar please visit our BMSB website: agriculture.gov.au/BMSB

 

Please note that the above sessions are separate to the upcoming FTA organised CPD & CBC - Border and Biosecurity Compliance Program


Please click on the links below for event details and programs

SYDNEY - 24 CPD points - 9 April, Novotel, Brighton Le Sands https://freighttrade1.iwannaticket.com.au/event/2019-nsw-cpd-border-biosecurity-compliance-program-MTY4NTM

- LIMITED SPOTS REMAIN

BRISBANE - 24 CPD points - 2 May. Novotel, Brisbane Airport https://freighttrade1.iwannaticket.com.au/event/2019-qld-cpd-border-biosecurity-compliance-program-MTY4NTQ

MELBOURNE - 24 CPD points - 19 June 2019, Hyatt Place, Essendon Fields  https://freighttrade1.iwannaticket.com.au/event/2019-vic-cpd-border-biosecurity-compliance-program-MTY4NDQ

 

... read more

Bicon enhancements

Bicon houses the Australian Government's Biosecurity import conditions database for more than 20,000 plants, animals, minerals and biological products. It assists industry to determine what import conditions exist and if an import permit is required.

... read more

MUA announce national industrial action against DP World Australia

MUA announces rolling industrial action against DP World Australia nationally

 

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have voted in support of taking rolling industrial action against DP World Australia (DPWA), including strikes and indefinite work bans, with actions to commence from next Friday.

The bans and strike action include bans on upgrades, bans on overtime and shift extensions, and a series of rolling work stoppages of between 1 and 24 hours.


Comments from the MUA, DPWA and Freight & Trade Alliance / Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) were published in today's Australian Financial Review and are available on the CTAA website https://ctaction.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/0314-AFR-MUA-launching-rolling-industrial-action-at-DP-World.pdf?utm_source=CRM+Contacts+-+All&utm_campaign=e53a97890a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_13_10_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_05a25c9503-e53a97890a-521472245

FTA / APSA are in close contact with DPWA , who are working to minimise the disruptions, and we will provide more information as it becomes available. 



 

... read more

Minister announces Border Permits Review

Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, announced that the Department of Home Affairs will commence a whole-of-government "Border Permits Review" into the legislative and business process requirements for border permits and associated licenses for prohibited imports and exports.

... read more

Picking the best noses to sniff out stinky pests

Australia’s biosecurity detector dogs now have their noses honed on one of the nation’s most unwanted exotic pests—the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

... read more

CBFCA Submission to IGB BMSB Review - February 2019

Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc.

COMMENTARY

An assessment of the effectiveness of the biosecurity measures to manage the risks of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) entering Australia – Review by Dr Helen Scott-Orr, Inspector-General or Biosecurity

... read more

Ministerial statement on biosecurity levy

Biosecurity Import Levy

Further to a direct approach from Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA)  to the Hon. David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and formal submission to the Department of Agiculture and Water Resources (refer HERE), we have received the below Media Release from the Minister's office.

... read more

Asbestos Information Page

We have received advice from the Department of Home Affairs requesting us to advise our members of the following information.

The border guidance document Sampling goods for testing for the presence of asbestos has now been published.

... read more

Amendment to 2018-19 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) seasonal measures for vessels

Amendment to 2018-2019 BMSB seasonal measures for vessels 

Please note the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) have just release the following notice 20-2019 - Amendment to 2018-19 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) seasonal measures for vessels.

 

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/industry-advice/2019/20-2019

 

This notice replaces Industry Advice Notice 16-2019.

 

The notice lists the changes as:

 

In response to a growing number of detections of BMSB on vessels the department is adjusting the seasonal measures applied to vessels for the 2018-19 BMSB risk season.
 

Upon submission of a pre arrival report (PAR), all roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) and general cargo vessels will receive a BMSB questionnaire.
 

All vessels that receive the questionnaire are now required to fully complete and report findings of any BMSB or other insects.
 

All ro-ro vessels that have berthed at, or carried cargo loaded in Japan, Italy, USA, Germany, France, Georgia, Hungary, Russia, Greece or Romania will undergo a Seasonal Pest (SP) inspection on arrival.
 

Where a vessel has undergone a seasonal pest inspection and no further risks or concerns have been detected, the vessel will not be further inspected in other ports and will be permitted to discharge their cargo in subsequent ports.
 

The following ro-ro vessels will be exempt from SP inspection if they have no BMSB detections:
 

  1. Vessels only carrying cargo that has been treated by an Australian approved BMSB method (Methyl Bromide, Sulfuryl fluoride, or Heat)
  2. Vessels only carrying cargo that is compliant with New, Unused and Not Field Tested (NUFT) BMSB requirements
  3. Vessels only carrying cargo that is a combination of a) and b) outlined above.   


We recommend you all read the notice in its entirety and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

 

... read more

NNF 2019/033 - DAWR Import Industry Advice Notices 16 and 17- 2019

NNF 2019/033 - DAWR Import Industry Advice Notices 16 and 17- 2019

The following information has been published in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Import Industry Advice Notices, and is forwarded for your information.

16-2019 - Amendment to 2018-19 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) seasonal measures for vessels

17-2019 - Offshore Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Treatment Providers Scheme: treatment provider suspension: Triveneta Disinfestazioni S.r.l (AEI: IT4005SB)

CBFCA Commentary

Due to the increased surveillance on Seasonal Pest (SP) inspection on arrival of vessels industry may see change in shipping line practice as to acceptance of cargo for loading on vessels or potential increases in freight rates to recover the additional biosecurity compliance costs. Watch this space as the shipping line Principals offshore will be closely monitoring their costs.

As to the suspension of this treatment provider in Italy, this is not good news for DAWR and industry as we need more reliable offshore BMSB treatment providers and not less to facilitate trade.

 

 

... read more

BMSB Update 46- interim measures for goods treated with sulfuryl fluoride

 

 

 

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, freight forwarders and customs brokers affected by the increased intervention during the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) risk season - shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive.

 

 

BMSB UPDATE 46- Sulfuryl Fluoride Interim Measures 

 

Members are advised to read the following Industry Advice Notice regarding interim measures for goods treatment with Sulfuryl Fluoride fumigation. To read the full notice please click HERE, a summary is included below for your reference.


A review of current WHS measures has resulted in an interim measure relating to consignments that have been treated with sulfuryl fluoride and require the following biosecurity inspection:

·       seals intact
·       supervised unpack
·       tailgate inspection

Industry will be responsible for arranging a third- party sulfuryl fluoride detection and monitoring operator (SF operator) to be present at the biosecurity inspection to monitor for sulfuryl fluoride as follows:

 

If the presence of sulfuryl fluoride...

Then...

is 3ppm or less

·     the SF operator issues a gas-free certificate
·       the Biosecurity officer can approach to undertake the inspection.

is greater than 3ppm

·     the container or goods must be allowed to vent before a subsequent reading is taken by the SF operator

 

On initial assessment of documents for containers/goods fumigated with sulfuryl fluoride the department will apply the following direction comments:

·       Industry to request a to-meet biosecurity inspection appointment.
·       Industry to arrange an approved third party sulfuryl fluoride detection provider to be present at the biosecurity inspection.

 

... read more

Biosecurity Import Levy - FTA formal submission

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, shipping lines and port operators

 

 

Biosecurity Import Levy

 

As members will recall, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) representatives participated in the Biosecurity Imports Levy Industry Workshops in Canberra on 28 November 2018 and 8 January 2019 and again in Sydney on 10 January 2019 - further details are available HERE

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have since commissioned Pegasus Economics as consultants to support the department and industry in preparation for a follow-up meeting in Melbourne on 4 February 2019.

In line with our formal submission to the Hon David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on 17 January 2019, FTA provided the following feedback to Pegasus.

 

FTA formal submission 

 

We note that the Australian government announced the introduction of the Biosecurity Import Levy in the 2018-19 Budget with an expectation to raise $325M over 3 years from a proposed commencement date of 1 July 2019. The associated modelling announced in the budget referred to collection of $10.02 per twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) and $1 per tonne for non-containerised cargo with stevedores and port operators to be the collection agents.

FTA has been involved in consultations facilitated by Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) since this announcement and offer the following feedback.

Utilisation of funds generated by the levy

Industry is already paying significant cost recovery fees to the department on import transactions.
This is underpinned with a transparent process aligned to the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines whereby industry has input into the design and use of funds. It remains unclear why the new levy did not follow this approach which would ensure that funds are directly used in building a stronger biosecurity system, including measures to streamline activities and reduce costs at the border.

Of additional concern, it remains unanswered whether the levy will directly contribute towards the support and management of BMSB and other emerging biosecurity threats. As we now understand it, the Biosecurity Import Levy is not a cost recovery initiative, it is a tax going direct into the federal government’s consolidated revenue.

Sharing the load of the financial burden

This is where there has been significant confusion.

The department has advised that the levy will be used to protect our environment, agricultural and tourism sectors from biosecurity risks. In response, a legitimate argument put forward from some members is that based on this need, the required additional revenue should be collected from Australian tax payers.

Assuming that industry is to pay the levy, it has been questioned why the financial burden is not being shared with air and sea passengers as well as air cargo and mail operators.

We understand that it would have been unattractive for government to impose a new tax on the public and tourists or revisit the controversial concept of a “parcel tax” against online internet purchases.

In summary, the common perception is that sea cargo was the obvious soft target for the new tax.

Changes to date on the proposed levy

To the credit of the department, they have clearly heard our concerns about their original proposal of imposing the levy on stevedores. As we have witnessed in terms of the stevedore Infrastructure Surcharge, an already high and unregulated charge is inflated as it passes down the supply chain with road / rail transport operators and other intermediaries adding fees to recover associated cash flow and administrative costs. 

Revised modelling now proposes that shipping lines are responsible for paying the levy. This is a significantly improved outcome by removing the imposition from stevedores and the transport sector. The revised model maintains a $10 per TEU tax but has added an extra level of complexity by charging shipping lines on the weight of import vessels and makes an adjustment to the proposed tax imposition on bulk and break-bulk cargo.

The financial imposition, particularly on bulk commodities, is enormous and seems far removed from the commensurate biosecurity risk with a significant financial impact on such goods as minerals, LPG and fuel imports.

Potential for further reform

We note that shipping lines and their representative body continue to strongly object to the revised model.

Having said that, the reality is that once shipping lines get their systems in place, they will in fact be a beneficiary of the revised arrangements.

The way that things are shaping up, shipping lines will most likely collect money up front from importers and freight forwarders and remit periodically to the department. This will generate positive cash flow plus the likelihood of an administrative fee to manage the complexity of the model that requires a calculation based on the weight of the import vessel, TEU fees, and bulk commodity weights.

Should shipping lines pass on this levy and any associated administrative mark-up in the form of a new fee, an additional increase in the form of GST and the cascading effect once this passes down the supply chain will add significant costs to importers.

The overwhelming response that FTA has received from a membership of major importers is that if a tax is to be paid, two changes are essential,

1.a move away from a vessel weight charge to a flat per TEU / import weight charge to provide predictability in landed costs; and

2.payment of the levy direct to the government at a net rate through existing reporting mechanisms.

Since the levy was first announced, FTA and many other industry representatives have pointed to the Full Import Declaration (FID), used for customs payment and clearance purposes, as the preferred and only logical methodology. We also understand that the bulk fuel importers have suggested a simple increase in excise as a preferred model to send more revenue to government rather administering a new tax.

The department continues to resist our proposal saying that the FID does not meet the necessary legislative framework to collect the tax.

When you read the header of the FID receipt, it shows the words “Duty, Taxes & Charges”. Furthermore, the FID is currently used to collect an existing AQIS Processing Charge, Customs’ Declaration Processing Charge, Total Customs Duty, Total Excise Equivalent Goods Charge, Total Dumping Duty, Total Countervailing Duty, Goods & Services Tax, Luxury Car Tax and the Wine Equalisation Tax.

 

 

 

It remains unclear why this cannot be used to collect the Biosecurity Import levy which we now understand is just another tax.
 
While there would be a clear need to further engage with industry to streamline the model, it would seem like a relatively simple enhancement to the Integrated Cargo Systems (ICS) to do a calculation on bulk commodity weights and TEU to produce another tax line on the FID.
 
As you have no doubt been briefed following the departmental hosted forum on 10 January 2019, shipping lines, ports, freight forwarders, customs brokers and importers all declared their support for strong biosecurity measures.
 
Importantly, all were unanimous for the government to start from scratch outlining the need for genuine industry engagement on the revenue collection design and process modelling.
In summary, FTA recommends that the Minister considers:

1.moving the Biosecurity Import Levy from a tax and to a cost recovery levy in line with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines; and

2.re-engaging with industry on appropriate use and methodology of the levy collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 
... read more

BMSB UPDATE 45 - WA Biosecurity Alert

 

 

JOIN THE ALLIANCE

 

 

Who does this notice affect?

Residents of the North Fremantle area / growers and gardeners 

Importers, freight forwarders and customs brokers affected by the increased intervention during the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) risk season - shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive.

 

 

BMSB UPDATE 45 - WA Biosecurity Alert 

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has received a request from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to share the following Biosecurity Alert:

We are asking businesses and residents in North Fremantle to help with surveillance for Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), following detection of a single live BMSB in a trap at Fremantle Port. This serious pest is not established in Australia, and efforts need to be taken to ensure there are no further BMSB in the area, to prevent potential spread.

The trap is one of 14 that are part of BMSB surveillance activities being undertaken by the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR). The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working closely with DAWR to put in place swift and effective response measures.

The affected goods were fumigated and DPIRD has commenced a 12 week trapping program to determine whether the pest has spread. A total of 49 traps have been deployed with no further detections to date. A residual treatment has also been applied to a 100 metre buffer zone which includes buildings and vegetation ... read more.

 

 

 

 
 
... read more

Case Update - Tariff Classification of Cider Products and the impact of 'additives'

 

Please find attached an article that may be of interest to you regarding a case that our firm (Becroft, Robertson and Gross) was involved in with the judgment handed down yesterday.

 

... read more

Illegal Logging E-Update #27 - First infringement notice issued, new and revised CSGs, Redline, international news

Importer issued with the first illegal logging infringement notice

In November 2018, a Queensland-based importer was served with the first infringement notice issued under Australia's illegal logging laws. The notice was issued for ongoing non-compliance with the laws' due diligence requirements and resulted in the business being penalised $12,600.

The issuance of the infringement notice reflects the Department's implementation of a full compliance model for the illegal logging laws, with the "soft start-compliance period" ending in January 2018.

In administering the illegal logging laws, we continue to audit importers and processors to assess their compliance with the laws' requirements. We have now audited over 600 businesses and provided a range of advice on whether their due diligence systems meet the laws' requirements. More compliance audits are scheduled for 2019.

Further information about the department's compliance model can be found on our Illegal Logging Compliance and Enforcement webpage. This details our approach for managing compliance with Australia's illegal logging laws and describes where our compliance monitoring and enforcement activities are being focused.

Release of new Republic of Korea Country Specific Guideline

The Department has published the Republic of Korea Country Specific Guideline (CSG) and its associated Quick Reference Guide on its website.

The CSG is intended to assist importers to understand the Republic of Korea's regulatory frameworks and to identify information to demonstrate that the timber in the products they are importing has been legally harvested.

Undertaking a risk assessment using the information set out in a CSG is one way of satisfying the due diligence requirements of the illegal logging laws.

The Republic of Korea is a key supplier of timber products to Australia. In 2017, we imported approximately $159 million worth of products from Korea.

The department continues to work with other key trading partners to develop additional CSGs to assist Australian importers in undertaking an informed risk assessment of the legality of their timber products.

The Korea CSG adds to the existing suite of CSGs, with Canada, Finland, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah, Sarawak), New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands already available.

You can view and download a copy of the Republic of Korea CSG and the other CSGs via our Illegal logging resources for importers webpage.

Updated Indonesia Country Specific Guideline now online

In October 2018, the department and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry agreed to several revisions to the Indonesia CSG and its associated Quick Reference Guide.

The revisions were intended to improve the overall clarity of the Indonesian CSG and to ensure that it continues to be relevant and up to date (with the original version published in October 2014).

The revised CSG is now available on the department's website, ensuring that Australian importers have the most up to date information available when conducting their due diligence on timber products originating from Indonesia.

The department continues to work to ensure that all CSGs remain up to date and accurate.

New and updated CSGs are published on the department's illegal logging webpages as they are finalised.

You can view and download a copy of the suite of CSGs via our Illegal logging resources for importers webpage.

Redline - report a breach of the laws

The Department provides a confidential mechanism to report suspected breaches of Australia's illegal logging laws.

The Redline service allows callers to report matters that may not be detected, reported, or acted on through other means. It is available for all of the key legislation administered by the department, including illegal logging.

Some of the best people to spot breaches of Australia's illegal logging laws are those who work in the industry every day. If it doesn't add up and looks like a breach of the illegal logging laws, then we encourage you to call the Redline.

Any call to the Redline should contain:

  • information about a person or company operating in Australia or importing goods into Australia
  • details that could help the Department identity a potential beach of legislation
  • information that has made you suspicious that there may have been a breach of the legislation.

You can call Redline on: 1800 803 006

Read more: Redline - report a breach

International News - The last trees of the Amazon - journalism investigation

A team of journalists from five Latin American countries have come together to undertake a detailed investigation into how groups of timber traffickers are managing to steal and process timber from the Amazon.

#MaderaSucia ("dirty timber") is an investigation aimed at analysing the current situation of the Amazonian timber market and discovering the ways in which traffickers launder their illegally obtained products into the global trade chain. The investigation has been led by OjoPúblico and Mongabay Latam in partnership with a team of reporters from Colombia (Semana, El Espectador), Bolivia (El Deber), Mexico (Connectas) and Brazil (InfoAmazonia).

The investigation specifically looks at the trade in illegally-sourced timber in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia. While Australia only directly imports limited amounts of timber from these countries, it is likely timber from the Amazon is still entering the Australian market via processing or manufacturing operations in third countries.

This underlines the importance of working with your supplier and other elements of your supply chain to determine where the timber in your products is coming from. Just knowing who is selling you the product is not enough. If you don't have a good idea of where the timber is originally being sourced from, there is a real risk you could be buying illegal timber.

The investigation also demonstrates the potential for illegally logged timber to be accompanied by fraudulent documents. As highlighted in an earlier E-Update, NepCon has released a useful guide on identifying fake documents. This can be found on our Illegal Logging Resources for Importers webpage.

Read more: https://news.mongabay.com/2018/11/the-last-trees-of-the-amazon/

International News - A different type of Christmas tree in the Philippines

As the Christmas holidays approach, we thought it apt to include the following article.

In the town of Palawan in the Philippines, a 25 foot tall Christmas tree, made from chainsaws confiscated from illegal loggers, has been permanently erected. Made of 86 chainsaws, it represents only a portion of the 1,000 chainsaws confiscated by the Palawan NGO network over recent years.

Read more: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1018892

Our well wishes for the Christmas period and the new year!

The Department will be closed over the Christmas holiday period, but our illegal logging staff will be back in the office from early January 2019. In the meantime, we would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

 

Further information

  • See the department's illegal logging website for information and resources.
  • Read previous e-updates.
  • Email the department's illegal logging policy section or the illegal logging compliance section. The department will respond to you within 10 working days.
  • Call the department during business hours (8.30 am to 5.30 pm) on 1800 657 313, or +61 2 6272 3933 outside Australia.
 
... read more

FTA calls for Independent Review into Biosecurity Measures

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, freight forwarders and customs brokers affected by the increased intervention during the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) risk season - shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive.

FTA calls for Independent Review into Biosecurity Measures

 

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has submitted a formal request to the Hon David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources for the Federal Government to immediately commission an independent review on BMSB measures.

FTA has provided details of operational and cost impacts affecting members and further highlighted the importance for a review given that emergency measures may be impacted next season involving more target countries.

FTA continues to drive this ongoing advocacy as the sole industry voice calling for the review - today's FTA media release is available below.

 

Paul Zalai - FTA / APSA

 

MEDIA RELEASE:

 
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has implemented widespread emergency measures on imported containers from U.S., Italy, Germany, France and other countries, via chemical fumigation or other approved treatment methods, to combat the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).
 
While essential in safeguarding Australia from a major biosecurity threat, international trade has been adversely impacted by the BMSB measures with major importers reporting significant disruptions to their international supply chain operations, as well as increased costs of importing essential consumer goods. 
 
In extreme instances, total cargo vessels and their loads are being turned away from Australian shores due to detection of the pest. Australia’s peak trade alliance has indicated that millions of dollars are being paid by importers, customs brokers and freight forwarders as a result of the processes associated with the management of the BMSB. 
 
Paul Zalai, director of the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) stated that for those that have been fortunate to have their cargo arrive, many have been adversely affected by the onshore delays caused by inadequate offshore treatment, failure in government systems and processes and a local industry inadequately prepared to deal with the growing onshore treatment task “The direct costs to importers imposed by stevedores for storage and in detention fees imposed by shipping lines for the late return of unpacked empty containers are rapidly escalating, adding to the costs associated with failure to meet supply demands.”
 
Some freight forwarders have resorted to desperate and expensive measures by using a combination of sea cargo movements from origin and transhipping cargo at intermediary ports, using airfreight to land goods into Australia. While a legitimate practice, it is anticipated that it will only be a matter of time before cargo arriving by air faces similar biosecurity scrutiny as that by sea with the potential threat of choking major Australian international airports.
 
“The problem is not going to go away. Indications from the department is that by next season (September to April) we will be talking about treatment of goods from high risk continents rather than high risk countries, such is the spread of the pest throughout Europe, Asia and other parts of the world”  Zalai said 
 
The FTA has acknowledged that the associated treatments, processes and systems are extremely complex and there is no simple fix to address current operational deficiencies. FTA has called on the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to urgently commission a comprehensive independent review.
 
 

... read more

BMSB UPDATE 43 - containers treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride / Italian treatment providers

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, freight forwarders and customs brokers affected by the increased intervention during the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) risk season - shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive.

BMSB UPDATE 43 - containers treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride / Italian treatment providers

 

Containers treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride.

 

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has engaged with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources again today in terms of the management of inspections for containers treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride.

The department is working with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) on identifying measures to safeguard the health and safety of officers.

In the interim, the department is assessing the management of affected containers on a case-by-case basis.

We are hopeful of early resolution to this matter.

... read more

NNF 2019/010 - BMSB 2018-19 Seasons Measures Update

NNF 2019/010 - BMSB 2018-19 Seasons Measures Update

As you may be aware based on information provided in past newsflashes, the CBFCA continues meeting with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. (DAWR) advocating for internal review of the BMSB policy and process, and ongoing lobby for improvements to limit the impact on members and their clients.

On Thursday 10 January 2019, CBFCA representatives along with other key industry Associations participated in a teleconference with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Cargo Consultative Committee (DCCC), to obtain latest update on the 2018-19 BMSB seasons measures, proposed policy changes and discuss proposals by DCCC industry members options for addressing cargo clearance delays and BMSB measures.

... read more

2019/011 - Import Industry Advice Notice 07-2019

This notice relates to:

Recent prosecutions for failing to comply with departmental directions.

This serves as a timely reminder that directions issued by the department must be followed and any failure to meet the these requirements may have significant personal and corporate consequences.

... read more

Biosecurity Import Levy

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) continues its advocacy in terms of the Biosecurity Import Levey which appears likely to add to the increasing list of surcharges, cost recovery fees and taxes which collectively contributes to a substantial dollar value to the price of landed goods into Australia.

... read more

Third BMSB vessel directed to leave Australian territory

Third vessel directed to leave Australian territory, MV Thalatta

·On 4 January 2019, the vessel Thalatta and its cargo was directed to leave Australian territory due to unacceptable biosecurity risk posed by Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB). This is the third vessel directed to leave Australian territory this BMSB season.

·On 16 December 2018, the Thalatta, a roll-on roll-off vessel, carrying cargo loaded from Germany, Belgium, Spain and South Africa arrived off Fremantle, Australia. The cargo compromised mainly vehicles and some machinery with around 50 percent of the cargo having been treated for BMSB prior to loading. The vessel had carried out a thermal fogging of the cargo holds in Spain.

·Enroute the vessel was subject to heightened vessel surveillance for Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and reported detections of exotic insects (both live and dead), including BMSB.

·The vessel was initially directed to remain at anchorage at a safe distance off Fremantle, Australia. While at anchorage it was directed for thermal py-fogging prior to a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources inspection, at which only a small number of insects were detected, including dead BMSB.

·Subsequently, during a controlled discharge under departmental supervision at Fremantle port, one live BMSB and two other insects (not of biosecurity concern) were detected on the cargo.

·Cargo discharge was ceased and the department directed that all unloaded cargo be reloaded onto the vessel.  There were 83 units that could not be reloaded. This cargo was secured on the wharf and directed for treatment. Following treatment, the cargo was inspected and dead BMSB were found.

·The vessel was directed back to anchorage. Whilst at anchorage, the vessel reported findings of a large number of exotic insects, including BMSB.

·The continued detections of exotic insects, including BMSB, indicates the likelihood of a larger residual population of exotic insects, including BMSB that remain undetected on board the vessel.

·The department considered these findings, along with the risk management plan submitted by the vessel operator, and determined that the vessel and its cargo continues to present an unacceptable level of biosecurity risk.

·The vessel operator has fully cooperated with the department.

 
An Industry Advice Notice (194-2018) published on 24 December 2018, reminds industry of the risk posed by BMSB and to ensure all target high risk goods manufactured in, or shipped from, target risk countries must be treated offshore. Vessel operators should manage contamination risks to ensure goods are not contaminated with BMSB and/or other biosecurity risks.
 

Loading and shipment of break bulk cargo treated by suspended offshore treatment providers


An Industry Advice Notice (195-2018) published on 24 December 2018, outlines the processes for goods that have been treated for BMSB risk by a suspended offshore treatment provider under the Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme.
 
Due to the high level of biosecurity risk to manage break bulk treated by suspended treatment providers, the department has revised its onshore policy for this cargo. Vessel operators should not load untreated break bulk goods or break bulk goods treated by suspended treatment providers for discharge in Australia. More information about the management of goods shipped prior to the suspension of treatment providers is available in the industry advice notice.
 
The department continues to review any BMSB detections and the risk pathways to adjust import measures as needed. Industry is expected to comply with the BMSB seasonal measures and, where possible, only load compliant cargo and/or ensure cargo is not contaminated with BMSB and other biosecurity risks.

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Illegal Logging - first infringement notice issued

Importer issued with the first illegal logging infringement notice

In November 2018, a Queensland-based importer was served with the first infringement notice issued under Australia's illegal logging laws. The notice was issued for ongoing non-compliance with the laws' due diligence requirements and resulted in the business being penalised $12,600.

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BMSB UPDATE 35 - suspension of discharge Thalatta (THA)

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has received the a customer notice from Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean and await further detail from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The customer notice is printed below in the content section.

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