June 2019

Reducing red tape for resources companies trading internationally

  • By Department of Home Affairs, Australian Trusted Trader Program

The Australian Border Force is constantly evolving the way we trade with international partners, and one of those initiatives is the Australian Trusted Trader program. Our internationally recognised program has been running for three years and has been designed to facilitate trade through the Australian border, by cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burden.

With five out of ten of Australia’s top ten exports coming from mining, how international trade is managed is of vital importance to the resources sector.  Furthermore, in an increasingly global industry, Australian companies rely on goods and equipment from overseas suppliers. Over the last few years, the Australian Government has reached out to many of the leading businesses in the mining and resources sector in Australia to understand how they can streamline trade movements. All discussions have been productive but there is still a way to go. The Australian Trusted Trader program is ultimately designed in partnership with Australian businesses to ensure future trade in and out of Australia is managed sustainably and intelligently. 

We are now calling on all eligible traders to sign up to the free accreditation program, and help shape the future of trade. 

How does the program work?

The ATT program has attracted over 350 Australian businesses since its inception in 2016, including Shell Australia, GM Holden, IKEA and Apple.

Resources businesses may benefit from less red tape when importing consolidated cargo. Trusted Traders, or their licensed customs broker, can lodge a single import declaration for consolidated cargo for all sea and air cargo types, meaning they will only pay one Import Processing Charge. Carriers and freight forwarders still need to provide cargo reports as they do now, but the consolidated shipment will be cleared on a single import declaration.

Additionally, Trusted Traders are able to use the program logo, which is recognised internationally, providing potential trade partners with confidence in Trusted Trader businesses and the security of their supply chain. Confidence in the supply chain can be supported by monthly data reports (by request) outlining all goods imported or exported under the Trusted Trader’s  Australian Business Number. This can help companies manage their data, and reduce the risk of fraud.

David Katte, from international freight forwarding organisation BCA, says that being a Trusted Trader is ‘going to give confidence to customers and future customers that they’re working with an organisation that adheres to industry best practice, and that they’ve got an enhanced certainty in border processing.’

Opportunities for Trusted Traders

It is vitally important to the future of the program that it delivers for the businesses it looks to support, so Trusted Traders are offered a seat at the table with government to influence future policy direction and explore new trade facilitation benefits. Trusted Traders are given the opportunity to partner with government on initiatives related to  the resources sector, engage with key decision makers, and influence the trade environment of the future. This is done through a range of forums including participation in pilots for new trade initiatives and Industry Advice Group meetings, and with an invitation to the annual ATT Symposium.

The benefits are not isolated to moving goods in and out of Australia; a number of countries recognise Australian Trusted Trader status under Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA). Trusted Trader exporters receive trade facilitation benefits at the border of our partner countries, providing faster access to international markets. Participating nations include Canada, China (including Hong Kong), New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, with the government pursuing MRAs with other trading partners. 

‘Over the last few years, the Australian Government has reached out to many of the leading businesses in the mining and resources sector in Australia to understand how they can streamline trade movements.’

Easy to apply

Large, medium and small businesses from across Australia can be part of the Trusted Trader program. Grant Amor from underwater light manufacturers Aqualuma says ‘for anybody that actually is thinking about the Trusted Trader program, it was super, super simple and the people were helpful. It was easy.’ 

Eligible businesses will have been active in the international supply chain for at least two years, be financially solvent, and hold an ABN. It is free to apply, and applications can be made online via the Home Affairs website at www.abf.gov.au/trustedtrader.

Image: Adwo/Shutterstock.com.

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