ACA International is proud to announce that earlier this week we were granted Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) status by the Australian Border Force (ABF).
The ATT programme is a voluntary trade facilitation initiative which will assist the ABF in identifying businesses with a secure supply chain and compliant trade practices, allowing the ABF to provide a range of trade facilitation benefits.
For both import and export clients of ACA International in Australia we have a higher level of access and contact with Australian Customs as well as faster turnaround time with Customs decisions than non-accredited organistaions.
The ATT programme will provide a suite of trade facilitation benefits for businesses upon accreditation. Many of the benefits below require our clients to be accredited as well.
These benefits currently include:
- New Zealand Customs Service
- Republic of Korea Customs Service
- Canada Border Services Agency
- Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.
- a monthly report on all goods imported and exported under the business’ ABN
- streamlined processes to become an Accredited Sponsor under the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457) Programme
- a ‘seat at the table’ to work in partnership with the Department and ABF
- an invitation to the annual ATT Symposium - an invitation only event for accredited Trusted Traders.
Benefits from 2017-18
More benefits for Trusted Traders will be implemented during the 2017-18 financial year, including:
One of the key benefits to industry under the ATT programme is the proposed duty deferral scheme. This will allow the payment of duties and/or liabilities on imported goods to be deferred for a set period, while still allowing importers to access their goods.
Another key benefit for industry is the proposed alternative reporting arrangements which is aimed at reducing the administrative burden involved when importing and exporting goods.
Exploring future benefits
The ABF are currently working together with industry to explore a range of new trade facilitation benefits that could apply to Trusted Traders, including:
- enhanced cross-agency collaboration with other border agencies
- labour mobility and trade in services
- secure trade lanes.
Trusted Traders have the opportunity to influence the direction of the ATT programme and the development of future benefits through a range of forums.
Australian Government partnerships
The Australian Government is progressing reforms to foster legitimate trade and provide Australian businesses with a seamless border experience. Currently there is work underway to explore opportunities to align aspects of Australian Trusted Trader and the Office of Transport Security's Known Consignor scheme.
More information on the government’s border policies is available in the fact sheet New Regulatory Measures to Facilitate and Streamline Trade (232KB PDF).
Known Consignor is an internationally recognised initiative that will offer Australian exporters an alternative way to meet the United States (US) legislative air cargo requirements.
Since 1 July 2017, all US-bound export air cargo need to be piece-level examined by an approved business, or originate from a Known Consignor.
Known Consignor is managed by the Office of Transport Security (OTS) at the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and exporters can apply with the OTS to become Known Consignors. For more information on Known Consignor visit the Office of Transport Security website.
The ATT programme is open to all Australian businesses with an ABN, that have two years of trading history in the international supply chain and are financially solvent.
Depending on the size and complexity of the business, submitting an expression of interest and self-assessment questionnaire will take anywhere from twenty to two hundred hours. The application process can be completed in house and your Account Manager will be available to provide assistance and support as required. You can begin the process by creating an ImmiAccount and obtaining a login at https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login
Please note that individuals applying on behalf of a business will be required to acknowledge they have the authority to do so. Applicants should familiarise themselves with Customs (Australian Trusted Trader Programme) Rule 2015. This can be accessed at http://www.border.gov.au/Busi/cargo-support-trade-and-goods/australian-trusted-trader
Step 1 – Expression of Interest
As part of the ImmiAccount registration process, the applicant will be required to complete an expression of interest. This will establish the name of your business, ABN, contact details and a brief description of the business’s international trade operations. Once the expression of interest is submitted, it will be placed in a queue and an ABF officer will make contact with the applicant to discuss the next steps.
Step 2 – Self-Assessment Questionnaire
Based on the information provided in the application, an ABF officer will be allocated to assist the business with their questionnaire. Given the breadth of information required to complete the questionnaire, consultation across the applicant’s business may be required. Some key areas covered by the questionnaire are:
- Structure, operations and personnel
- Organisational governance
- Trade compliance
- Financial standing
- Commercial record keeping
- Communications and ICT environment
- International supply chain security
This information is used to assess the business against the qualification criteria stipulated in the Customs (Australian Trusted Trader Programme) Rule 2015.
Step 3 – On-site validation
To ensure that the business meets the ATT requirements, an ABF officer will attend the business’s business premises to conduct an on-site evaluation. This evaluation is to verify the information provided in the self-assessment questionnaire and also allows the ABF to identify any residual risk.
This process should take one day and the ABF officer will guide the applicant through the onsite validation process. It is recommended that the business ensures all key personnel whose roles relate to the international supply chain be available to meet with the ABF officer in order to minimise any delays in completing the assessment.
Step 4 – Australian Trusted Trader Agreement
Once the business’s application has been validated they may be offered the opportunity to enter into an ATT agreement and become a Trusted Trader. The agreement is a legally binding contract between the business and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The agreement will outline the trade facilitation benefits the business will be entitled to under the agreement, the ongoing obligations the business will need to meet in order to access these benefits and any other clauses related to the operation of the agreement.
Once accredited, the business will be assigned a dedicated Account Manager who will be the single point of contact for the business.
There is no fee involved in the application process for accreditation.
If you are interested in becoming accredited under the ATT programme ACA International would recommend you lodge an expression of interest now to provide them with the opportunity to become accredited at a later date.
Further information about the programme can be found at http://www.border.gov.au/Busi/cargo-support-trade-and-goods/australian-trusted-trader.