Being the first Goods Compliance Update after the conclusion of the 2016-17 financial year, there is so much information to sift through, so for this post, I have decided just to focus on some critical themes that are watch areas for the financial year 2017-18. I have chosen these areas in particular as the statistics and information are quite alarming, and therefore indicate an increased compliance focus by the Australian Border Force (“ABF”).
The high number of duty refund applications rejected or adjusted was significant in the first quarter. There were 642 refund applications rejected or adjusted with a value of $4.75 million dollars. The contributing factor breakdown was not published. However, ABF did provide guidance on two factors that directly relate: origin preference eligibility and tariff classification/concessional instrument applicability.
ABF reiterated that goods claiming preferential trade agreements must meet the consignment rule requirements. Goods that lose originating status due to transportation through a non-party may become ineligible. Importers are advised to review their network and the consignment rules that apply to their goods and, if unsure, consider obtaining an advance origin ruling. Origin rulings are administratively binding for five years and can confirm not just the conformance to the consignment rules but all elements of preference eligibility for nominated products.
Secondly, ABF restated their recent guidance regarding the critical importance of adhering to the given decision in administrative Tariff rulings. Results from ABF figures show that tariff concession and another concessions, in addition to tariff classification errors increased markedly year-on-year.
Incorrectly claiming origin preference on ineligible goods and incorrectly declaring tariff classification or claiming concessional duty preference under a non-applicable instrument are considered false or misleading statements and may result in penalties in addition to any applicable duty amounts.
Among the numerous engagements this year occurring between the regulatory authorities and industry, one message is consistent: that proactive self-regulation is highly regarded, from both a trade facilitation and potential remedial or punitive treatment perspective.
If you would like to know more about how Tradewin South Pacific can assist you in ensuring the accuracy of particulars declared for your goods and proactively control your customs and trade compliance, please get in touch with us.