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Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Page: 9

Mr BILLSON (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) (9:40 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Customs Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2007 contains two amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1995.

The Customs Tariff Amendment (2007 Harmonized System Changes) Act 2006 implemented approximately 1,200 amendments to the customs tariff. These amendments incorporated changes that resulted from the third review, by the World Customs Organisation, of the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System that forms the basis of Australia’s customs tariff.

As part of this review the chemical binapacryl was classified under its own subheading. The separate identification of this chemical is required under the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, to which Australia is a signatory.

Schedule 1 of the bill will repeal the current subheading of binapacryl and create a new subheading for this chemical. This amendment comes as a result of further information received from the World Customs Organisation acknowledging that binapacryl was originally classified incorrectly in the review of the harmonised system.

This measure will take effect on the day the act receives royal assent.

Also, as part of the 2007 review, the text of the new subheading created for microbiological culture media referred to ‘prepared culture media for the development or maintenance of viruses and the like’ and applied a duty rate of five per cent to these goods. However, existing arrangements in the Australian Customs Tariff provided for a rate of customs duty of free for these culture media.

Schedule 2 of the bill will amend the text of this subheading to remove the reference to culture media for viruses. This amendment will ensure that the rate of customs duty of free will continue to apply to prepared culture media for the development or maintenance of viruses.

This measure was implemented via Customs Tariff Notice in December 2006 and then included in Customs Tariff Proposal No. 1 of 2007, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on 15 February 2007. The measure contained in this bill will take effect from 1 January 2007.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Dr Emerson) adjourned.