Friday, December 13, 2019

Government Announces Increases in Import Rates for Recovery of Biosecurity Costs

Consultation Announced to Expand Scope of Goods Covered
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – The government has announced it is to undertake a comprehensive review of biosecurity cost recovery arrangements in 2020 and has increased charges on imports in the interim. It says the future of charges will be decided following consultations with stakeholders.

The intention is for the Department of Agriculture to engage with industry stakeholders, including through established consultative forums such as the Department’s Cargo Consultative Committee (DCCC), to ensure a consistent understanding of the changes and how they will be implemented. So it doesn’t sound likely that the ‘consultation’ will make a lot of difference to the final decisions.

The expansion of the types of biosecurity activities to be cost recovered under the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines will include biosecurity assurance, analytics and risk mitigation activities, and the government has already announced the following price hikes effective from 1 January 2020:

  • Full Import Declaration charge—air from $33 to $38
  • Full Import Declaration charge—sea from $42 to $49
  • Vessels greater than or equal to 25 metres—arrival charge from $920 to $1054
  • Vessels less than 25 metres—arrival charge from $100 to $120
For all declarations and entries into the Integrated Cargo System (ICS) finalised and submitted prior to 11.59 pm on 31 December 2019, the existing rates will apply. For all declarations and entries into ICS finalised and submitted after 00.00 am on 1 January 2020, new rates will apply.

Similarly, for any pre-arrival report submitted in the MARS, prior to 11.59 pm on 31 December 2019, the existing rates will apply. For all pre-arrival reports submitted to the MARS after 00.00 am on 1 January 2020, new rates will apply. Invoices with the appropriate charge will still be generated when the vessel leaves a port.