Aussie Customs charges put under probe


There are only three weeks left to put in a submission to a government review which puts customs and border charges – worth $3 billion to border agencies – under the microscope.

The Joint Review of Border Fees, Charges and Taxes will look at ways to streamline and improve existing borders fees, charges and taxes. This includes visa application charges, passenger movement charges (the old departure tax) and Department of Agriculture fees levied on imports, such as container chargers and import declaration charges.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says it costs $6 billion each year to administer Australia’s borders.

“We must ensure that border fees and charges do not provide a disincentive to trade and travel that adds value to our economy,” he said.

Cost recovery, both now and in the future, is also an important focus of the review, as is charting the outcome of recent changes to visa application charges.

The review is being led by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and will be conducted jointly with the Department of Agriculture.

Some other fees and charges are outside the scope of the review: the Goods and Services Tax (GST), export fees, Customs Duty (including refunds, Tariff Concessions, Drawbacks) and fees and charges recovered by the Department of Agriculture such as inspections, treatments and export certification.

The Department of Agriculture is currently completing its own review into cost recovery.

The inquiry was announced by Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison in September and the closing date for submissions is October 31.

An industry consultation paper tells you more about the review.

Recommendations to the government should be finalised by April 2015.

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