"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." - Kofi Annan
17 September 2019 

TCO Gazette Links

News Headlines

Increased Time Slot Charges
Unfortunately due to a rise in Empty Depot Dehire Time Slotting Fees and arrangements in Melbourne, Norman Carriers, amongst other carriers, have had to increase their time slot fees. The updated Time Slot Fee will be reflected in your rate schedules. If you have any further queries please don't hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff in the transport department.

Patrick East Swanson - New Terminal Operating System
Patrick East Swanson Dock Terminal will be implementing a new Terminal Operating System on Monday 16th September. This will result in amended vessel operation and research and development operation hours over the surrounding days, including being closed for receival and deliveries for the Monday day shift. Due to these partial closures, extra days will be allowed for import availability during this period.

Full operations are reopened Tuesday, but due to the high workload some containers may need to be slotted on the 2nd or 3rd free day until all the backlog has cleared.

If you have any queries please don't hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff in the transport department.

Tobacco Tiles
Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have detected over 650 kilograms of tobacco concealed in a shipment of floor tiles arriving into Australia via sea from China.

On 30 August a consignment of tiles was targeted for examination. It was taken to the ABF container examination facility in Sydney where ABF officers conducted an x-ray of the container and found several anomalies. A physical examination of the consignment revealed tobacco hidden inside boxes between layers of tiles.

The total amount of tobacco seized was 672 kilograms, which totals more than $800,000.00 in evaded duty and GST.

On 1 July 2019, it became illegal for anyone to import tobacco without a permit, or in contravention of permit conditions. Tobacco can no longer be imported through the mail stream.

The new regulations are a further deterrent to the trade in illicit tobacco, which funds serious and organised crime within our community. Acting ABF Regional Commander NSW, Matt O’Connor said this detection should serve as a warning to those criminals who think they can get away with importing illicit tobacco.

“The ABF is aware of importers using different methods in attempts to circumvent the border. These people should know, no matter how you attempt to conceal illicit items, we can find them,” Acting Commander O’Connor said.

“The maximum penalty for tobacco smuggling is 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to five times the amount of duty evaded.”

Investigations into this importation are continuing.

Ban on Sheep Exports to Middle East Extended
The ban on live sheep exports to the Middle East has been extended by the Department of Agriculture till 22 September.

When making their decision, the department had taken into consideration science, evidence, public feedback, the interests of the industry, animal welfare and government policy.

A statement from the department said evidence indicated the risk of heat stress for voyages departing Australia in the first three weeks of September are comparable, or higher than June.

“The department determined conditions in June (along with July and August) are too hot for sheep exports. The industry came to a similar conclusion,” the department said.

“Furthermore, sheep departing Australia in early to mid-September are acclimatised to cooler Australian temperatures and therefore less heat tolerant than sheep departing in Australian summer or autumn months.”

When trade resumes, shipments to the Middle East must comply with the same conditions that applied in May when the ban started. These include verification of the ship’s pen air turnover, a heat-stress management plan, stocking sheep properly and collection of environmental data to report to the department.

Also, it has been reported that Emanuel Exports and two former board members have been charged with animal cruelty stemming from a voyage to the Middle East on the Awassi Express almost two years ago.

Footage of the voyage, where 2400 sheep died sparked outrage and prompted the department to impose bans on sheep exports to the region in the Northern Hemisphere summer. The Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development said the charges followed an extensive year and a half long investigation.

Asian Honey Bee Eradication Program
The Queensland government has launched a new eradication program in Townsville targeting the Asian honey bees and varroa mite.

State agriculture minister Mark Furner said Biosecurity Queensland had successfully eradicated a 2016 Asian honey bee incursion in the local government area. However, another incursion was detected at the Townsville port in May this year. A new 2.1 million dollar nationally cost-shared program will allow Biosecurity Queensland staff to boost their efforts to eradicate the pests.

“We will fight them in the port, we will fight them in Townsville, we will defend Queensland’s biosecurity – Asian honey bees have been beaten and they will be beaten again," said Mr Furner.

“Biosecurity Queensland staff discovered the new swarm as part of routine surveillance activities,” he said.

“The nest was confirmed to be carrying the potentially devastating varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni), but because staff found it early, I am happy to report there have been no further detections of Asian honey bee or varroa mite in the port or greater local council area."

“Despite the early detection, we must still be vigilant and the National Varroa Mite Eradication Program will ensure the fight against the varroa mite will continue, with two key staff leading a team of 12 departmental officers until 2021.”

Mr Furner said varroa mites had the potential to significantly damage the Australian agricultural sector and the bee industry, disrupting honey production and pollination services. Townsville residents, especially those living within a 10-kilometre radius of the port, are urged to report any unusual or new bee activity to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Meth in Cow Hides
A 42 year old Mexican national has been arrested and charged after 755kg of crystal methamphetamine (ice) was found concealed inside raw animal hides from Mexico.

On 13 August 2019, a shipping container declared as "salty bovine skin cuero verde salado de bovino" was examined in Sydney by ABF officers. Upon inspection of the container, ABF officers noted 18 pallets of frozen, raw and untreated cow skins inside. Concealed within the skins were 161 silver packages of a white crystalline substance. Further presumptive testing revealed the packages contained high grade crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice.

The quantity seized equated to over 7.5 million individual street deals with an estimated street value of $566.3 million.

On 28 August 2019, AFP officers executed two search warrants at a St Kilda address and seized several electronic items.

A man allegedly involved with a Mexican-based organised crime syndicate was arrested at the end of August. He was charged with importing and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment.

It will be alleged that the syndicate is responsible for the importation of this huge haul of ice into Australia. This is the largest onshore seizure of ice originating from Mexico.

ABF Regional Commander Victoria and Tasmania Craig Palmer said the detection showed the valuable role the community plays in protecting the border, and the success of the ABF’s multi-layered approach to border protection.

“This container was targeted due to information gained from intelligence work,” Commander Palmer said. “This is the fourth major detection of ice in just three months. It comes just two months after the country’s largest ever onshore methamphetamine consignment here in Melbourne – 1.6 tonnes concealed in stereo speakers.

Monday Quiz - WIN A PRIZE!
This is your chance to win 2 bottles of wine to enjoy for the weekend. All you need to do is be the first person to email the correct answers to the following questions to sales@tomax.com.au and we'll be happy to bring you your wine pack prize! Good luck but get in quick!

1. In nautical terms, what is the opposite of port?

2. What is entomophobia?

3. Who are the two people that wrote and co-wrote the song “Gangstas Paradise”, which was in the movie Dangerous Minds?

4. What is the capital of Ethiopia?

5. What do the letters BMSB stand for in agricultural industry?

6. Which singer’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta?

Get your entry in fast to sales@tomax.com.au