May Newsletter

July 04, 2018
Newsletter 11th May 2018


The first half of the year is quickly flying by as we start to see the woolly weather come into full force.  Below is our May newsletter which covers off on some of the most recent changes and important notifications which as importers and exporters you need to be aware of.  If you have any topics of interest that you want us to talk about or provide more information on, please send your queries through to our helpful team. We thank you for your support and look forward to helping you with your current import and export requirements.

Packing Declaration Reminder – Change effective 1st July 2018
Is your supplier providing you with the correct Packing Declaration for your Seafreight shipments being imported into Australia?

There have been quite a few changes over the last couple of years and many different versions of templates distributed to suppliers.  Since the 20th of November 2017 the newest format has been in distribution which states ‘bamboo packaging’ is now acceptable.

Unfortunately, we are still seeing more than 90% of our clients providing non-acceptable declarations from suppliers.  This will hold up the processing of import declarations to Border Force (Customs) and The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Quarantine). We understand the many and subtle changes that Quarantine have made may have caused confusion and some suppliers may not be aware of the latest version!  We are here to assist in ensuring the correct Packing Declaration format is known and used as per Quarantine requirements.

From the 1st of July 2018, the declaration which can be downloaded from our website ( will be the only declaration accepted by Quarantine.

We strongly suggest you ensure your supplier has the correct format and starts using it now to avoid delays come the 1st of July.
Find out more
If you have any further queries please contact our team on

GST on Low Value Imports
The start date, July 1, for collection of GST on low value imported goods is fast approaching. Please see below facts provided regarding the change (taken from CBFCA notice NNF 2018/087)
“From 1 July this year, low value goods imported from overseas by consumers in Australia will attract Goods and Services Tax (GST). (e.g. Those shipments with a customs value of AUD1,000 or less, excluding tobacco, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

This means that vendors—including merchants, electronic distribution platform operators and re-deliverers—with sales subject to GST of AUD75,000 or more each year will need to register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), collect GST at the point of sale and remit that GST to the ATO.

As this is a tax measure and not a border measure, the ATO is responsible for implementation and all compliance activity.

What does this mean for my import reporting requirements?
While border processes will not change, the Department of Home Affairs advises you to consider whether changes to your business processes are necessary.  Vendors registered for GST need to ensure that relevant tax information is included on import documents for low value goods. Vendors can face penalties if they fail to take reasonable steps to meet their reporting requirements.
To help vendors meet their reporting requirements, the Integrated Cargo System will allow, where necessary, the reporting of additional information, including Vendor ID, Importer ID and the use of a GST-paid exemption code.  Providing the additional information, particularly the GST-paid exemption code, helps prevent GST from being charged at the border when it has already been charged at the point of sale. If GST is charged a second time at the border, refunds will not be available from the Department of Home Affairs and must be sought from the supplier.

What is not changing?
The AUD1000 threshold for GST, duty and reporting at the border will remain, and there will be no changes to current border clearance processes. The changes will also not impact the flow of goods across the border.  The changes do not apply to tobacco, tobacco products or alcoholic beverages as these goods will continue to be taxable importations at the border (where by customs duty and GST is payable) regardless of their customs value.

Find out more
For more information visit Home Affairs and”

Food Labelling requirements enforceable from 1st July 2018
Attention food and drink importers: Food labelling requirements set out by the Australian Government come into force on the 1st of July 2018.  Failure to comply with the new standards can result in penalties of up to $1.1 million for corporations and up to $200,000 for individuals who have not updated their packaging by the deadline.
Find out more
The guidelines can be found by following

Federal Budget 2018/2019 analysis on International Trade
Taken from FTA newsletter 9/5

“There was a time when customs tariffs accounted for 80% of the Commonwealth Government’s revenue. While customs duty revenue may not make the headlines in 2018, there are still a number of interesting customs and trade takeaways from 2018/19 budget.

Single Window – The Government will spend/provide $10.5 million to transform and modernise Australia’s International trade supply chain to deliver more efficient and secure trade processing – unfortunately this money will not go towards upgrading the ICS (Integrated Cargo), but will be another study on the viability of single window for international trade documents.

Certificate of Origin – Hidden in the budget papers was the statement that the Government will provide additional benefits for Australian Trusted Traders (Australian Trusted Trader is a partnership between Australian Border Force with Australian business to secure our borders and facilitate legitimate trade) by removing the requirement to produce country of origin documents for goods imported under certain free trade agreements.

Biosecurity Levy – As reported yesterday by FTA, from 1 July 2019 there will be a new levy on sea imports.  The levy will be set at $10.02 per 20 foot container (or equivalent) and non-containerised cargo will incur a levy of $1 per tonne.  The levy will be payable quarterly and it is expected to raise about $120 million per year.  The funding will be used to help detect, identify and respond to exotic pests and diseases earlier.

Government to get tough on illicit tobacco – It seems that every second press release from the ABF is about a detection of illicit tobacco.  The Government has had enough and will target illicit tobacco in 3 ways – smuggling, leakage from licensed warehouses and domestic production. From the 1st of July 2019 Australian Border Force will make the duty payable immediately on importation and not when it is entered for home consumption.

Import processing charge – There is expected to be extra revenue from the import processing charge (EPF/Other charges charged by Border Force on import declarations).  This extra revenue will be used to fund an aviation, air cargo and internal mail security package. Many imports may have questions why the import processing charge is being used to fund security measures around mail items.  The budget is silent on an import processing charge on low value goods and is also silent on any reduction in import processing charges under the Trusted Trader Program.

Promotion of Agricultural Exports – It is clearly time to capitalise on the FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) Australia has signed and make sure our farmers enjoy the first mover advantage with countries like China and Japan.  The budget contains $51.3 million over 4 years to grow agricultural exports, including funding for additional agricultural exports counsellors in key markets.  While the increased overseas official will hopefully help identify and address non-tariff barriers, customs brokers can serve a valuable role in helping exporters identify FTA opportunities and assess rules of origin requirements.

EU FTA and duty on vehicles – While there may be a lot of positive talk about an FTA with the EU, those who make budget forecasts do not consider the FTA will happen in the next 4 years.  Customs duty on motor vehicles, a key EU export to Australia, is expected to grow over the next4 years.  This means at least the next 4 years consumers can expect to pay millions in duty to protect the extinct Australian motor industry.”

P.S – Go the Power!!

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