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July Newsletter

July 2020

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug season 2020-21

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has finalised the measures for the 2020-21 BMSB season. There are no changes to the risk goods and target risk goods categories, nor to the season dates. The Department has however added three new target risk countries to the measures, bringing the total number of target risk countries to 35, plus heightened vessel surveillance for Japan.

These new countries are Portugal, Ukraine and Moldova.

Henning Harders would like to remind exporters in each of the target risk countries to keep checking the list of approved BMSB treatment providers in that country to ensure treatments carried out are compliant. Goods treated by a provider that are not approved will require treatment on arrival in Australia, or in the case of any sea cargo not in fully enclosed, 6-sided shipping containers, these will be directed for re-export.

Our website will be updated soon with the latest measures.  Should you require any further information relating to these measures, please contact us.

 

Item 57 Duty Concession for certain medical and hygiene products extended to 31 December 2020

The Duty Concession covering certain medical and hygiene products for use in combatting Covid-19 has been extended until 31st December 2020.

This concession was initially scheduled to expire on Friday 31st July 2020, however with Australia currently in the midst of significant outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales, the decision to extend the concession is a sensible one. This concession will ensure many products will remain duty free that are used for medical and hygiene purposes to help combat the spread of the infection.

This includes personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and protective eyewear, though does not include hand sanitisers.

 

Import Duty Deferral

The Federal Government remains steadfast in supporting the Australian economy during the current pandemic. Many businesses are feeling the pinch and have been able to access a raft of different support measures to date.

Financial relief in the form of duty deferral may be possible, however it is not a measure that will be introduced and made available to everyone. Australian Trusted Trader importers can opt-in to duty deferral, provided they are already participants in the Deferred GST Scheme. Those importers who are not currently accredited Trusted Traders, though who are suffering from financial hardship, may be able to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a payment plan to spread the duty over a set period.

The entity applying is required to propose a payment plan or deferral and provide financial statements for the current financial year to date and the previous financial year, at a minimum. Further documentation may also be requested to support the request in order for the Department to make an assessment.

While the payment plan is being assessed, the entity will be expected to comply with the proposed payment plan and ensure that all other ongoing payments, for duties not covered in the plan, are kept up to date. It is important to note however that the payment plan may not be accepted by the Department as every application is assessed by its own merits.

Importers who would like consideration of such a plan are urged to contact the Revenue Management Section at revenue@homeaffairs.gov.au

 

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Covid-19 notification requirements

The Department has issued notice 120-2020 which requests that all industry participants and food importers advise the Department if any staff or visitors to their premises test positive for Covid-19.

Any Approved Arrangements and food importers at which the Department attends to Biosecurity and food inspections, audits or surveillance must notify the department through the agriccc@agriculture.gov.au inbox of such events. This notification allows the Department to take steps to protect their employees, and others at the inspection site, and minimise the risk of infection.