Impact Publications : Aircargo_239
AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • OCT-NOV 2015 • Page 21 because to remain competitive, we must be among the best in class and ensure we minimise the cost of border inter- vention. At present, the government’s cost recovery program is taking close to A$750 million from importers in so- called user fees, a tax by another name. While goods may not attract a fiscal charge (ie, duty) they still pick up signif- icant costs in these regulatory charges. Are the services for the costs efficient or effective?. Well at this time regula- tors cannot deliver on advance rulings out of the ATF or from the bilateral or multi trade negotiations in the stipulated time frames. For example, today the tariff advice turn around is at 65 days for a ruling, but it can be even longer. That’s no good if a firm is trying to work with clients to get things across a border in a timely manner and requires a ruling to confirm the classification so that it doesn’t run into issues with strict liability offences in the infringement notice scheme. Industry is under pressure to reduce its costs in relation to trade – clients de- mand lower costs - however, we are still stuck with the regulator’s price structure with no equated service delivery and it’s not helping. We also had issues with the Depart- ment of Immigration and Border Protec- tion in its restructure because it’s strug- gling to get its policy into place. The Australian Border Force is in industry’s opinion making compliance judgements without an in-depth understanding of trade or the key issues of Customs law. A lot of experienced people have left or retired from the DIBP and those that remain have not had the time to gain that same level of understanding of the law, policy and process. We already have had talks highlighting issues with the minister, the commissioner for Customs and the secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. What is CBfCA’s take on the initial 12-member approval of the trans Pacific Partnership deal? We represent service providers in in- ternational trade and logistics and so we look at how the TPP will affect service deliveries. There are key issues in the TPP such as Certificates of Origin and supply chain security similar to the Australia and China on the China Free Trade Agreement. These need to be finalised and understood by all. Will the TPP provide significant benefits to Australia? Will there be in- creased trade (remembering service delivery is in the agreement)? I am yet to be convinced the TPP is the best trade deal in the world. Are we better off with bilaterals like the China Australia Free Trade Agreement and the Korea Free Trade Agreement or the TPP? We will see. Regardless, TPP is a government policy decision and minister Robb spoke eloquently on how he perceives the outcome of TPP. On balance though, the TPP is all about increasing trade and as service providers to that trade we hope that Australia and industry are beneficiar- ies of the outcomes and economic trade benefits claimed. However, we know a lot of this trade will go through large multi-na- tionals And as far as CBFCA mem- bers (75 per cent of which are clas- sified as small businesses), will they experience an increase in revenue and opportunity? We’ll see. What is the CBfCA view on the China ftA? is it the solution promised by the politicians or just a sellout of Austral- ia? i note the MUA expressed con- cerned that the Port of Darwin is to be owned and managed by a Chinese company. I believe Australia will benefit from the trade deal with China because China is one of our key trading part- ners. We have a very close relation- ship with China on trade, whereas the TPP probably has a bigger political influence than trade. Will China look at the TPP and ask if it is an attempt to limit China’s trade influence? I am not sure. One issue in the China Free Trade Agreement is trans-shipment of cargo over Hong Kong, which could see such consignments lose their China origin status. From a logistics and political point of view a mes- sage is being sent to Hong Kong to remind it where the real power lies. The issue has been raised by all par- interview Continued next page.