The Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) program has certainly gathered some important momentum over the past few weeks!
Recent Changes & Some Facts
The financial commitment by the Federal Government has recently been confirmed on two occasions, firstly from The Hon. Peter Dutton on the 29th of April, by way of a pre-budget announcement/news release and additionally supported in the Federal Budget last week.
As a result, circa $70m in funding has been confirmed for the ATT program over the ensuing four years and has provided vital final confirmation that all the preparatory work over the last 2-3 years by DIBP and industry has now reached a critical milestone.
DIBP has recently forecast the economic wide benefit of the ATT program in Australia to be $2.91b over the next ten years and have confirmed duty deferral!
By 2020, it is expected that there will be over 1,000 company partners participating in the ATT program and in a two-way trade sense, will represent 30% of trade by volume and 50% by value. In addition, it is predicted that the ATT will generate $953m in benefits to business, particularly by way of gradual Mutual Recognition with various export countries.
Essentially in the future there will be “Two Flows” of trade after 1 July 2016 when the ATT becomes virtually fully operational, “Trusted Traders” and “Others”, with ABF focusing additional attention on companies in the others category.
It has been confirmed that the original “Three Tiers” concept has been abolished, therefore there will only be one set of benefits for all approved participants once ATT agreements are signed. As a consequence, there will be no interim status concept.
The Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is also currently being revamped.
Mutual Recognition Abroad
It has been announced that Korea has signed a Statement of Intent regarding Mutual Recognition of our Trusted Trader (AEO) program which is good news for our exporters. Singapore and Hong Kong are to follow and it is expected that Japan, China, USA and Canada should follow suit within the next two years.
In order for companies to assess the viability of becoming a Trusted Trader, the benefits need to clearly understood.
I have tried to outlined the befits in sequential order below: -
Pre-Validation Phase – Provision of a contact manager to assist in the application process
Accreditation – Dedicated Account Manager, Priority Trade Services, Differentiated Examinations, Annual industry education and awareness
Individual Benefits – Option to explore tailored benefits via mutual agreement
Future Benefits – From 1 July 2017, Duty Deferral and Streamlined Reporting (i.e. Monthly) via three options. Additional countries will come on-line once each country signs the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA’s). Naturally, there will be Border Agency alignment in relation to Trusted Traders.
Benefits being explored – Recognition of the ATT program in FTA’s. Development of a “Secure Trade Lane” concept involving service providers as well as traders and facilitation of trade in services. The Secure Trade Lane (STL) could also enable early reporting of cargo for clearance purposes.
Service Providers and the Pilot
Recently in Phase 3, DIBP invited a certain number of Service Providers (Freight Forwarders/Customs Brokers) to participate in the Pilot Program.
These companies have now been confirmed as follows: -
Ø Geodis Wilson Australia
Ø Qantas Airways Ltd
Ø Schenker Australia
Ø Sadliers Transport WA
Ø MKD Transport
Ø Bollore Logistics
Ø BCR Australia
Ø DHL Global Forwarding
Ø DSV Air Sea
Ø Clarke Logistics
Ø Henning Harders
Ø Customs Agency Services
Ø APC Logistics
DIBP have confirmed that 47 companies are now participating in the ATT Pilot Program and as such, the Pilot phase is now officially closed.
Once accreditation is confirmed with Trusted Traders, there will be three options available for streamlined reporting as follows: -
ATT Option 1 – Cargo Report – Import Dec – Goods Cleared – Single Periodic Invoice
ATT Option 2 – Cargo Report - ATT Dec – Goods Clearance – Import Dec – Single Periodic Invoice
ATT Option 3 – Cargo Report – ATT Dec – Goods Clearance – Single Periodic Import Declaration and Invoice
In addition, the current process remains in place.
Five Queues – 1 July 2016
Five queues will exist after 1 July, as follows: -
1. Existing ATT participants
2. High Value and Volume companies
3. Small Businesses
4. Importers and Exporters
5. Service Providers
It has been recently confirmed that Excisable and Excisable Equivalent goods will be excluded from the ATT, however the Government will announce changes to this sector in the future from a reporting perspective.
It is expected shortly that the ATT Expression of Interest (EOI) form will be available “On-Line” and that information packs will be available by the end of May 2016.
Interestingly, DIBP are forecasting that based on countries of similar geographical status to Australia after an extended period of time, the ratio of Trusted Traders to Service Providers should be on a 2:1 basis. In addition, DIBP are anticipating 1,000 accredited Trusted Traders by 2020 and potentially 300-400 Service Providers.
Finally, whilst the SAQ is currently under review, it is recommended that companies can commence preparing for the Trusted Trader regime now based on the current SAQ and then modify the document once details of the changes are confirmed prior to 1 July 2016.
DIBP are considering creating a “Log” of SAQ - Q&A to provide more clarity around the form and process.
Prepared by: Russell Wilkinson
CEO – Founder- TTI Advisory Pty Ltd
Date: 13 May 2016