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

TCO Gazette Links

News Headlines

Melbourne in Top Spot
According to ACCC's container stevedoring report, Melbourne is back in top spot as the nation's largest container terminal.

Several years ago, the ACCC announced Port Botany on top sparking debate about calculation means and methodology etc. However, the latest report states "Melbourne was marginally Australia’s largest container stevedoring port in 2017–18 after the port handled 34.2% of total international container trade”.

"All of the monitored ports posted record high container volumes. During the year, Melbourne handled 2.74m TEU, closely followed by Sydney with 2.73m TEU, while Brisbane handled 1.3m TEU, Fremantle 0.8m TEU and Adelaide 0.4m TEU,” the report stated. “In 2017–18, the total number of ‘TEUs handled’ at monitored Australian ports increased by 11.6% to 8m TEU.”

Melbourne’s 14.2% improvement on 2016-17 was reported to have been boosted by strong growth in imports.

“This was driven by an increase in the imports of timber, furniture, metal manufactures, ceramic goods, aluminium and plastic ware,” the ACCC said. “TEUs also increased significantly in Fremantle (12.2%) and Sydney (11.3%), while volumes increased by a lesser amount in Brisbane (9.6%) and Adelaide (2.9%).

Importers Slugged For Misclassification
Two Sydney-based beverage importers face hefty fines and recovered Duty and GST of over $1.25 million after the Australian Border Force (ABF) conducted an investigation into the underevaluation of imported plum wine and other fortified beverages.

The investigation began in June this year, after imports of beverages fortified with soju liquor were brought to the attention of ABF officers. It was found that the company had classified the goods as fermented beverages, which are duty free, but should have declared them under a different classification that is subject to customs duty. The company was ordered to pay the outstanding duty and GST totalling $721,311, and fined more than $19,000.

Further investigations uncovered a second unrelated company involved in a similar practice. This company was ordered to pay outstanding duty and GST totalling $505,069 and fined almost $11,000.

ABF Acting Assistant Commissioner for Port Operations Command Claire Rees said the penalties were a timely reminder for businesses to ensure they are correctly classifying their imports. “As Australia’s customs service, the ABF plays a leading role in trade enforcement to ensure the correct amount of duty and GST are paid on imported goods,” she said. “Had these two cases not been identified, the Australian economy and ultimately Australian taxpayers would have missed out on more than a million dollars in revenue. ABF officers work diligently to ensure importers comply with reporting and revenue collection requirements to ensure a level playing field for business.”

Haul of 10 million Illicit Cigarettes
Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have charged a man after he allegedly attempted to smuggle over 10 million cigarettes into Australia via sea cargo containers.

On 10 October 2018, ABF officers identified two containers at the Melbourne Container Examination Facility. Upon further examination, both containers were found to contain pallets upon pallets of illicit cigarettes. The total amount of cigarettes concealed in both containers is estimated to be 10,034,000, worth more than $8.9 million in evaded duty.

On 17 October 2018, ABF officers executed a search warrant at a business address in Campbellfield and seized a number of electronic devices. Five days later, a 40-year-old man was arrested by ABF investigators and charged with one count of contravening section 233BABAD (2A) of the Customs Act 1901, relating to offences involving tobacco products. He appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court and was granted conditional bail, and will reappear on 21 January 2019.

ABF Victoria Regional Investigations, Superintendent Nicholas Walker said the operation would make a significant dent in the supply of illicit tobacco in Victoria. “This is a significant detection – we’ve been able to prevent the Commonwealth being defrauded of more than $8.9 million in legitimate revenue,” he said. “Illicit tobacco is an international issue, with much of the profits from cigarettes sold illegally in Australia being used to fund other criminal activity both here and overseas.”

The illicit tobacco market in Australia is worth about $600 million a year in evaded revenue. Targeting and dismantling this type of criminal activity is an operational priority for the ABF.

Firearms Seizure
A joint investigation between the WA Police Force and the Australian Border Force (ABF) have led to the seizure of twenty six firearms.

On 15 October 2018, ABF officers in Perth intercepted a package from Slovenia, which upon further examination was revealed to contain firearm parts.

Following a joint investigation by ABF and Cannington Detectives, on 26 October 2018 a joint Firearms Act Search Warrant was executed for a property in Belmont. It will be alleged that following a search of the property officers located unsecured:

The working parts of a M2 Browning Machine Gun
Four shotguns
An SKS semi-automatic rifle
Three rifles
Eleven handguns
Ammunition (including 50 calibre machine gun rounds)
Nineteen silencers

Also located at the property were knives and knuckle dusters as well as plans and diagrams for the manufacture of firearms. A 23 year old man from Belmont has been charged with:

Unlicensed Manufacture of Firearms/Ammunition
Unlicensed Person Possess Firearm/Ammunition
Three counts of Possessed a Prohibited Weapon
Possessed a Prohibited Drug (Methylamphetamine)
Possession of Contrivance Known as a Silencer
Unlicensed Person Came Into Possession of Three or More Firearms

He will appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday 23 November 2018.

Acting ABF Superintendent Investigations WA, Vesna Watt said this was a great example of state and federal law enforcement agencies working collaboratively to protect the community. "Working together, WA Police and the ABF have taken these dangerous weapons off the street and out of the community,” A/g Superintendent Watt said.

Detective Sergeant Fraser Mainland from Cannington Detectives said that it was concerning to locate firearms of this nature being manufactured or modified in the Perth metro area. “Removing illicit firearms from our community is a priority for all officers and we encourage anyone with information regarding these weapons to come forward”, Detective Sergeant Mainland said.

Victoria Freight Rail Hub Funding Announced
The announcement by ports minister Luke Donnellan of $25.7m for major freight hubs involves $16.2m to connect Austrak’s facility at Somerton and $9.5m to connect the SCT Logistics facility at Altona to the Port Rail Shuttle Network.

The announcement already has been welcomed by the Port of Melbourne which says farmers, exporters and importers are likely to benefit.

Freight Victoria is currently assessing a proposal put forward by the Port of Melbourne to deliver a “full on-dock” rail solution by integrating port stevedore and rail terminals, allowing tens of thousands of trucks off Melbourne roads, creating hundreds of jobs and increasing the competitiveness of the Victorian industry.

Labor has made much of its infrastructure programs during the current election campaign and getting trucks off roads by increasing the rail freight tasks is also seen as popular in bayside communities.

Port of Melbourne chief executive Brendan Bourke has welcomed the Port Rail Shuttle Network funding announcement, with money coming from both the state and Commonwealth Governments. Mr Bourke commended the Victorian government’s public commitment to work with the Port of Melbourne on its proposal to progress a comprehensive “on-dock” rail solution.

“The funding available through the PRSN is a good first step, but more is needed to deliver on the State’s objectives and industry’s expectations. We are determined to plan, invest in and grow the port freight supply chain to support Victoria’s economy,” Mr Bourke said. “Government has been receptive to our proposal and we are keen to work with them to get the required certainty to enable us to invest. That’s why we are proposing a port rail solution that includes infrastructure investment and a new operating framework that will meet industry expectations and deliver a long awaited rail solution”, Mr Bourke said.

Port of Melbourne’s proposal is seeking to deliver:

New infrastructure for appropriate capacity and operational flexibility; restructured commercial arrangements to support an operating framework that drives cost efficiency and covers access rules and service levels; and integration of the rail and stevedoring terminals to deliver real cost savings and supply chain efficiency.

Mr Bourke said the Port of Melbourne would continue engagement with industry regarding the proposal. “With the support of industry and government, the Port of Melbourne is committed to deliver an effective rail solution,” Mr Bourke said. “We want to take cost out of the supply chain and provide improved service levels. The community will also benefit with less trucks on the roads and the freeing up of precious road space for the commute. Farmers, exporters and importers will see real benefits of investment in a real rail solution.”

Undeclared Currency
On 21 October 2018 a 40 year old man departing Sydney Airport was selected for baggage examination by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers. Upon examination of his hand luggage, $45,000 in cash was found.

ABF currency detection dogs also targeted the man's flight bound for Dubai and gave a positive reaction to the man's luggage. Upon examination of his luggage a further $100,200 was located split between two checked bags.

The man was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who seized the cash pending proof of origin of the money, under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth).

Acting ABF Regional Commander NSW, Tony McSweeney, said this should serve as a warning to those who think they can carry large quantities of cash across Australian borders without declaring it. “Anyone carrying more than $10,000 in cash in or out of Australia is required, by law, to declare it to an ABF officer or risk having it seized,” A/g Commander McSweeney said. “Large sums of money moving across borders unmonitored is unacceptable as it can be used to launder money and to fund serious criminal activity, including potential threats to national security. Detecting, deterring, and disrupting financial border risks is an operational priority for the ABF and anyone thinking of engaging in this kind of activity should know, we have you in our sights.”

AFP Airport Police Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Simone O’Mahony, reminded travellers that there are no fees charged once currency is reported. “We urge all travellers at international airports to come forward and declare cash as there are no fees associated with the process – if you let a Border official know and fill out the correct form, you will be allowed to travel with the cash,” Detective acting Superintendent O’Mahony said. “If you instead choose to run the risk and not report it, you may have the cash seized, be fined up to $105,000, or could potentially face imprisonment up to a maximum of two years.”

New Charges at AAT Brisbane
The introduction of a Vehicle Booking System and a Container Infrastructure Surcharge at the AAT Fisherman Islands Terminal is commencing from 8 November 2018. Please note that all containers to/from the AAT Fisherman Island Facility, will have the Port of Brisbane fees applied as per the current DTS Rates Schedule. Charges will be the same as currently apply for DP World, Patrick, and Hutchison.

Friday Funnies
A few riddles to ease you into the weekend!

Q. The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?

A. Footsteps.

Q. David's father has three sons : Snap, Crackle and _____ ?

A. David

Q. You live in a one storey house made "entirely of redwood". What color would the stairs be?

A. What stairs? You live in a one storey house.

Q. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

A. Charcoal.