Impact Publications : AirCargo-261
AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • SEPT, 2019 • Page 13 times, although a number of govern- ment initiatives are worth considering. Some of these are carried through from the previous government but others have only recently been es- tablished. Government and industry continue to work together through the National Commit- tee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) established by Australia to com- ply with its obligations pursuant to the World Trade Organisa- tion’s Trade Facilitation Agree- ment. This work is conducted by the new ‘Customs Group’ convened by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) and includes the work of a num- ber of NCTF ‘advisory groups’ such as the Trade Facilitation Initiatives Working Group. The NCTF is currently considering a number of facilitation options including single-window for trade and the use of blockchain to facilitate trade. The ‘Border Permits Review’ being undertaken by the DHA and covering enhancements for goods requiring permits for import or export. Industry has been working on this Review including recommendations for creating one ‘portal’ which pro- vides details of all permits re- quired from any agency through an advanced search function. That would also represent the place at which all applications for permits are lodged and tracked. The development of new data sharing and release arrange- ments between government agencies. This was recommend- ed by the Productivity Com- mission in a 2017 report with funding provided in the 2018 - 19 Federal Budget and is led by the portfolio of Prime Minister and Cabinet. This recognises that data is a valuable national asset which needs to be handled more efficiently without compromising necessary privacy and security. Part of this initiative will give gov- ernment departments and agen- cies a wider ability to exchange information (with appropriate protections). This could allow in- formation provided to one border agency to be shared with other border agencies and also would facilitate a single-window for the sharing of information. Attempts by State governments to advance the coastal shipping agenda, most directly by the Victorian gov- ernment. The States are also seeking to deal with competition issues at the ports and in the supply chain including the Port Pricing and Access Re- view recently announced by the Victorian govern- ment to be conducted through Freight Victoria. Enhancing trade For many years industry had pressed government at Federal and State levels to develop FTAs and other initiatives to enhance trade. The pace of these de- velopments has increased and industry has been provided with a number of opportunities to engage and contribute to the process. On that basis, readers need to remain alert to devel- opments and engage with them to secure the benefits being provided as early as possible together with assisting in the development of new benefits.