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

TCO Gazette Links

News Headlines

Australian Grown
It seems our Australian-grown produce is in high demand on the global market. According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and its Food Demand in Australia report, Australia’s food exports have increased 6.5% a year in value since 2009-10 to $39n in 2016-17.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said a key driver to Australia’s increasing food production was the Government’s commitment to opening up new export markets. “Food exports, including crop and livestock based foods, have increased strongly over the past decade,” he said. “Australian farmers are benefitting from the Coalition Government’s Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea and can look forward to better market access under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.”

Melbourne Trade Up in July
For July 2018, the Port of Melbourne saw increases of 9% compared to the same time last year. Total container throughput for July rose 9.1% over July 2017 to a total of 255,153 TEU, with total imports for the month up 6.9% and total exports rising 11.4%. Full container imports for July were 7.3% up on the same month last year. Overseas imports gained 6.8% for the month, with imports from Tasmania up 18%.

Commodities most responsible for the monthly increase in containerised imports included:

Electrical machinery 31%
Miscellaneous manufactures 13%
Timber 37%
Furniture 12%
Aluminium 52%
Miscellaneous food preparations 12%
Ceramic goods 22%

Full import containers for July 2018 came to 115,690, up 7.3% on July 2017 while full export containers were 79,693, down – 3.7%.

The number of empties was up 38% to 59,770.

These three figures contributed to a grand total of 255,153, or up 9.1%.

Potential Tobacco Tax Changes
As part of a reform to tackle the illicit tobacco trade, the Australian Government is looking into changing the point at which tax is payable on tobacco imports.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer said the Government was consulting on proposed amendments to the Customs Act. “Taxing tobacco closer to its point of origin will make it harder for criminal groups to defraud the Commonwealth and Australian taxpayers. After all, our tax revenue goes to securing the essential services all Australians rely on,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“Licensed tobacco importers will be required to pay all duties and taxes upon importation to Australia rather than as it leaves a warehouse and enters the domestic market. The point of taxation will be the same for any possible future manufacturers.” Ms O’Dwyer believes the change would reduce criminal activity, protect Australian revenue and provide an estimated $43 billion to the Commonwealth.

Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor said legitimate trade is an important priority. “Leaking from warehouses to the black market contributes to almost a quarter of illicit tobacco in Australia,” he said.

“Our law enforcement and border agencies are focused on targeting revenue evasion which, if left unchecked, is ultimately channelled back into organised crime. These amendments will complement the work of the new Illicit Tobacco Taskforce, which only last month uncovered 17 acres of illegal tobacco crops and 6 tonnes of illegal tobacco leaf with an estimated duty value of $13.3m.”

More Reefers for the Fleet
Hapag-Lloyd has announced that it will be adding new reefers to their already existng fleet of 91,000 reefer containers. An order of 11,100 new reefer containers has been placed, with delivery expected this month and completed before the end of the year is out.

Hapag-Lloyd director products Clemens Holz said that they see increasing demand from clients to transport temperature-sensitive goods. "To benefit from additional opportunities in this attractive market segment, we have decided to increase our reefer fleet,” he said.

Two thousand of the new containers are equipped with “Controlled Atmosphere” – a technology used to slow down the ripening process and to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

Hapag-Lloyd director, container engineering and maintenance Frank Nachbar said: “The new reefer containers undergo intensive tests before they are made available for our customers to transport their valuable freight.”

World's First Electric Containership
Dubbed the Yara Birkenland, technology companies Kongsberg and Yara are partnering together with Norwegian shipbuilder Vard to build the world's first autonomous electric container vessel. The first of it's kind, the fully automated containership will feature leading sustainable innovation and cut down on emissions as well as improve road safety in a densely populated urban area - replacing 40,000 truck journeys per year.

The project received NOK 133.6m in support from the Norwegian government enterprise ENOVA with the Yara Birkeland scheduled for delivery from Vard Brevik in Norway in the first quarter of 2020. The hull will be delivered from Vard Braila in Romania.

Vard CEO and executive director Roy Reite said the company was honoured to be chosen as Yaras partner in the project. “With a longstanding experience in building state-of-the-art and tailor-made specialised vessels, we are excited to be given the opportunity to build the world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel,” he said.

Kongsberg CEO Geir Håøy said the vessel represented an important next step for the entire maritime industry, representing a major technological and sustainable advancement. “The Norwegian maritime cluster has taken a leading position within technology, design, legislation, testing and all other aspects of the development,” he said.

50kg Cocaine Haul
A consignment arrived on 10 August and was targeted by the ABF for inspection at Sydney's Container Examination Facility. After anomalies were identified during an x-ray, authorities investigated the consignment and found 50kg of cocaine concealed with the shipment of bottled water. It is estimated the drugs have a street value of approximately $17.5 million.

Once the matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for further investigation, authorities located and arrested a 29 year old Fijian national. The man was charged with the importation of a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs, and was also found responsible for preparing the shipment for export from Fiji and travelling back to Australia to collect it. Further enquiries are ongoing to identify any intended recipients in Australia.

Unfortunately, we continue to see large quantities of drugs being sent to Australia and criminals use all sorts of concealment methods to try and beat our border processes," said ABF Regional Commander Danielle Yannopoulos. “Using a mix of intelligence, officer skill and intuition, and our recently upgraded x-ray technology, we are more than capable of detecting these drugs long before they can make it into the Australian community," she said.

Friday Funnies
Laugh your way into the weekend...no promises!

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