"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." - Kofi Annan
22 June 2018 

TCO Gazette Links

News Headlines

NEW Packing Declarations
We would like to apologise and advise clients that last week's attached word documents were incorrect and not the latest version of the packing declarations. Please see attached the correct documents. Australian Customs has advised that all containerised goods subject to non-commodity reporting requirements shipped on or after 1 July 2018 must be accompanied by a packing declaration that meets the revised requirements.

Please be wary of the alignment of the check boxes (in particular Q2) when using the word document.



Attached are new packing declarations in Word and PDF format. If you have any further queries please don't hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff in the Customs department.

YM Efficiency Update
Last Friday the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) announced that a sub-sea search for the missing containers overboard the YM Efficiency would soon be underway. ASMA confirmed that the ship’s insurers had contracted Port of Newcastle to provide its hydrographic survey vessel to conduct a five-day search. They advised that the initial search would focus on the high-priority areas around where the containers were lost, and where modelling indicates that most of them are likely to be located.

“The vessel will conduct daily surveys of the area, returning to Newcastle each night,” AMSA’s statement said. “It will take approximately a fortnight to process and analyse the survey data and provide quality safety advice with associated maps and locations.”

AMSA also noted that as the process of unloading the remaining damaged containers from YM Efficiency progressed, it was discovered that fewer containers were lost than initially reported. The total number of containers lost has been revised down from 83 containers to 81, leaving 79 containers still unaccounted for.

Side Loader Chase Fee
Melbourne carriers will now be charging additional fees for containers that weigh over 22 tonne and require a side loader delivery. A conventional truck will now be transporting the container, with a side loader meeting on site for the lift. Additional fees of $150 + GST will be charged to cover the costs of a second truck. In other states, the existing side loader chase fee is $255 + GST.

Mandatory Requirements on Food Labelling
From 1 July 2018 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) enforcement of mandatory Country of Origin Requirements on food labelling, including a market surveillance check on 10,000 products will be on the rise. All importers that offer food for retail in Australia will need to comply.

The Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 first commenced under Australian Consumer Law on 1 July 2016. The labelling requirements will vary depending on whether the food is a priority or non-priority food or was grown, produced, made or packed in Australia or another country. Priority foods include meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, most dairy products (e.g. milk, yoghurt and cheese), breakfast cereal, bread, nuts, honey and non-carbonated fruit juices.

The Country of Origin food labelling guidance is available here.

Double Happiness of Cigarettes
The Australian Border Force (ABF) ambushed an illict tobacco smuggling ring operating in Melbourne's East. After an initial discovery of 1.2 million cigarettes at the Melbourne Container Examination Facility, five more consignments were identified and allegedly linked to one criminal syndicate.

Last week ABF investigators raided a property in Burwood East and found a further 137,000 cigarettes and a small quantity of crystal methamphetamine.

So far a total of 3 million cigarettes have been seized, which the ABF estimates are worth about $2.25m in evaded revenue.

ABF officers arrested and charged a 31-year-old Australian national and a 29-year-old Chinese national for illicit tobacco offences. The Chinese national had arrived in Australia on a tourist visa this month and allegedly fraudulently obtained a Victorian Learner Permit and registered a business using another name.

ABF Commander Investigations, Graeme Grosse said the operation highlights the extent of the criminality involved in the illicit tobacco market.

“People may think buying a cheap packet of cigarettes under the counter is harmless enough, but the people involved in this industry are serious criminals, in this case with potential links to illicit drugs and identity fraud,” Commander Grosse said.

“The ABF will not tolerate anyone, Australian citizens or foreign nationals, profiting from the illicit importation of tobacco and evasion of revenue. This is why we have made illicit tobacco a priority through our Tobacco Strike Team and why we are now standing up the multi-agency Illicit Tobacco Taskforce.”

“The Taskforce will be specifically targeting high-value syndicates in the illicit market and pursuing the groups involved in these imports, whether they are here or off-shore. Illicit tobacco is big business and we know that a lot of the profits are going to fund other criminal exploits in Australia, and further up the international supply chain,” Commander Grosse said.

Alpacas for Canada
Australia and Canada have a strong trade relationship, with Canada recently initiating negotiations to import Australian alpacas. Alpacas are known for their high quality fleece production, and lustrous, silky and locking fibre, which is high in demand in Canada.

“Australian alpaca genetics are highly desirable internationally, so it is likely the animals for export will be top quality stud stock used for the genetic advancement of the Canadian herd,” said Head of Animal Biosecurity at the Department Tim Chapman. “Australia only exports a small number of high value alpacas each year, many of which were re-exported from New Zealand to the European Union.”

“It’s unclear what the potential size of the Canadian market is, but this announcement will provide important new market access opportunities for industry leaders and alpaca breeders,” said Chapman. “The export of alpacas is small, but helps to maintain prices of high quality breeding animals sold in Australian auctions.” He said with fleece, animal and domestic meat sales, the value of the Australian alpaca industry exceeded $12m.

Friday Funnies
Here are a couple of laughs to ease you into the weekend.

What's the best thing about Switzerland?
I don't know, but the flag is a big plus.

Did you hear about the mathematician who was afraid of negative numbers?
He'll stop at nothing to avoid them .

Once my dog ate all the Scrabble tiles.
For days he kept leaving little messages around the house.

Hear about the new restaurant called Karma?
There's no menu. You get what you deserve.

Did you hear about the claustrophobic astronaut?
He just needed a little space.

How do you drown a hipster?
Drown him in the mainstream.