29 November 2018
Who does this notice affect?
Biosecurity industry participants that are the holders of a biosecurity approved arrangement, operating under custom broker classes 19.1 and/or 19.2:
- Class 19.1: Non-commodity for Containerised Cargo Clearance (NCCC);
- Class 19.2: Automatic Entry Processing for Commodities (AEPCOMM).
What has changed?
Industry have requested the department provide additional clarity on the cost to participate in the Approved Arrangement system and assessment charges applied to the assessment verification process.
Approved arrangements allow operators to manage biosecurity risks and/or perform the documentary assessment of goods in accordance with departmental requirements, using their own premises, facilities, equipment and people, and without constant supervision by the department and with occasional compliance monitoring or auditing.
Approved arrangements offer advantages for businesses that import goods into Australia. These include allowing businesses to manage the biosecurity risk associated with the goods that they import, enabling smoother passage through the border and quicker turnaround due to less intervention by the department.
As mentioned in industry advice notice 117-2018 - Change to Biosecurity Approved Arrangement Charges published on the 17 September 2018, each entry made under the under the Automatic Entry Processing for Commodities scheme will be subject to an $18 throughput charge, in addition to an annual registration charge.
The addition of a throughput based charge allows those custom brokers operating in the AEP environment to pass on the per entry charge directly to the clients using the AEP scheme, while ensuring the underlying Approved Arrangement system is fully funded by those who participate in the system.
Supporting the operation of the AEP system is a compliance and verification model. This supports participants of the scheme to effectively participate in it, and provides a mechanism to manage non-compliance in the system. With increasing engagement in the biosecurity system of third parties undertaking activities on behalf of the department, verification of these systems and processes and the entities using them is important to ensure their continued operation.
It is this assurance of compliance that enables the department, as regulator, to have confidence that biosecurity risks associated with imported goods are being appropriately managed and that participants are fully capable of undertaking the activities they have been accredited for.
Through the AEP compliance and verification model, entries that are selected for assessment verification, in line with the custom broker assessment verification program are subject to fee for service charging. A $30 document assessment fee is applicable and must be paid prior to lodging documents via the Cargo Online Lodgement System (together with the $18 entry fee, this will total $48).
Overall, with reduced annual charges, many compliant custom brokers will face reduced charges under the model.
Custom brokers will always have the option to have their documents cleared through the department if this is more suitable and economical for them.
Separate application charges will continue to apply for new applicants.
If a biosecurity industry participant is unclear what charging applies to their arrangement, they should seek specific advice regarding their situation at the contact below.
Biosecurity industry participants or stakeholders requiring further information are encouraged to contact the department at Cost Recovery.