160-2018 - End of Interim process for the management of LCL/FAK containers for the 2018-19 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) risk season

5 November 2018

Who does this notice affect?

Stakeholders in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, importers, customs brokers and master consolidators—associated with importing goods that require increased intervention during the BMSB risk season (shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive).

What has changed?

Enhancements to the department’s systems have been completed, and the management of LCL/FAK container process including cargo report holds for LCL/FAK containers will commence on 8 November 2018. Industry must  ensure they are aware of the information and follow the processes on the management of LCL and FAK containers during the BMSB season webpage, for goods shipped from both target and non-target risk countries between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive.

The department previously advised on 16 October 2018 through Industry Advice Notice 145-2018 of interim measures for the process of managing LCL (less than container load) and FAK (freight of all kind) containers on arrival. The interim measures which allowed all LCL/FAK containers shipped from target risk countries to move under bond, deconsolidate, and be managed at the consignment (Full Import Declaration - FID) level will no longer be permitted after this 8 November 2018.

Cargo report holds do not apply to LCL/FAK containers with target high risk goods that are shipped from non-target risk countries (excluding hubbed goods). These consignments will continue to be managed at the individual LCL consignment level using a FID profile. However, the department will continue to monitor the risk posed by these consignments and may apply cargo report holds to these consignments should there be a change in risk status of this pathway.

For example, the cargo report holds will apply to target high risk goods that have been shipped from a target risk country and then hubbed via a non-target risk country. This is in the case where the port of origin for the consignment or ocean bill origin for the container is shipped from a target risk country. These containers will be held for action under the LCL/FAK container process unless documentary evidence is presented to support that the target high risk goods have been shipped in one container and then been deconsolidated into another container at the hubbed non-target risk country. If documentary evidence is provided, these containers will be allowed to deconsolidate and will be managed at the individual LCL consignment level using a FID profile.

The implementation of the LCL/FAK container process may inadvertently place retrospective holds on already deconsolidated LCL/FAK containers. This is unavoidable due to lodgements of house bills relating to the cargo report after the containers have arrived and/or been deconsolidated. The department will endeavour to prevent these holds in the first instance, however where holds are placed on containers that arrive before  or have been deconsolidated before 8 November 2018, the department will lift and cancel these holds as soon as they are identified.

Consignment level reporting 

To assist brokers to clear their consignments through AIMS at the FID level from 8 November 2018,

  • Master Consolidators are required to provide Customs brokers with valid offshore treatment certificates if the LCL/FAK container has been treated at the container level
  • Customs brokers are required to enter the AEI number and where possible the container number at the FID level
  • Customs brokers are required to submit all supporting documentation (including valid offshore treatment certificates linking it to individual consignments) through COLS as part of the standard process. For LCL consignments, brokers are not expected to lodge documents at the container level.

Stevedores and wharf operators

The management of LCL and FAK containers that will be held under Cargo hold reports for BMSB processes will have some impact on stevedores and wharf operators. To help facilitate management of containers at ports, the department will provide stevedores and wharf operators with vessel lists identifying actionable containers.

Expected delays

The initial additional workload associated implementation of the LCL/ FAK process is likely to temporarily impact the department’s capacity to meet standard clearance times and the Client Service Charter more broadly. The department has deployed all available resources to ensure delays are minimised that priority/urgent freight is being assessed while also continuing actioning other entries.
The department published an Industry Advice Notice on 17 October 2018 acknowledging that there are currently extended wait times and provided information on how industry can help minimise potential assessment delays. This includes ensuring Cargo reports and Full Import Declarations (FIDs) should be lodged accurately and as early as possible. This will greatly assist with identifying and assessing goods for biosecurity risk, including those treated and untreated for BMSB risk.

As previously advised, the revised policy to allow onshore treatment of target high risk goods shipped as LCL and FAK containers, is based on consultation with peak industry bodies. The department noted that industry prefer to have both onshore and offshore treatment options. As a result of this, importers should note this revised policy is expected to result in increased clearance delays at the border due to identification of treated and non-treated containerised cargo, and limited onshore capacity of storage facilities at approved arrangement sites and onshore treatment provider premises.

Further information

For further information relating to the assessment and processing of LCL/FAK containers and consignments, please contact BMSB Processing.

For further information relating to all other import document assessment or clearance/release times for goods please contact Imports

For further information about identifying actionable containers, please contact Container NCC.

For further information regarding the policy for BMSB measures, visit the Seasonal Measures for BMSB webpage or contact Air and Sea Cargo.

If you see something that could have entered Australia with imported goods report it to See. Secure. Report. on 1800 798 636 or complete theonline form.