Review of the Border fees, charges and taxes (NNF 2014/117)

The attached Media release is forwarded for the interest of members as regards a Review as to cost recovery as to border fees, charges and taxes. While the Department of Agriculture (DoFA) has had a review process which meets the Department of Finance on Cost Recovery Guidelines save for the interest of the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia in Australian Customs and Border Protection cost recovery (as in the main such recovery fell to the import declaration) most other industry association have shown little interest in this ACBP process.

There has been little, if no, transparency, consistency, or consultation (particularly as to equity and cross subsidisation) with industry by the ACBP on cost recovery for over eight years. What this Review will do is very unclear as the most recent increase in import declaration charges was referenced as “a budgetary matter” and not subject to any consultation with industry even though the CBFCA again raised with the ACBP cost recovery principles.

It is difficult to comprehend under the existing budgetary constraints that there will be any significant cost change.

The CBFCA has been advised that letters of invitation to participate in the Review will be forwarded next week for activity to be undertaken in October. As members will be aware the CBFCA has significant background and understanding on cost recovery through the work done with the DoA/AQIS over the past 20 years and it is interesting to note that the DoA will also participate in the Review. The invitation will also reference the Terms of Reference as well the time frame for completion.

It is noted that the Minister is happy to,
“hear from those who travel and trade across the border on how we could improve the current charging regime. This is an opportunity to contribute ideas on how we might better share the cost burden of managing our border with industry in the community to enhance trade growth and boost Australia's economic prosperity.”

Perhaps an opportunity for members to contribute, or more particularly, to send these details to clients so that they are aware of the Review and the opportunity for them to contribute their thoughts.