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Monday, 23 November 2009
Page: 12427


Ms LEY (4:07 PM) —The coalition supports the purpose of the Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill 2009, which is to amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 to incorporate alterations that were considered in customs tariff proposals tabled in the House of Representatives during 2009. There have been three such customs tariff proposals:

Customs Tariff Proposal (No.1) 2009, to create a new concessional item 41H in schedule 4 to the Customs Tariff;

Customs Tariff Proposal (No.2) 2009, to amend rates of customs duty for certain alcohol and tobacco products in schedule 7 of the Customs Tariff (Chilean originating goods); and

Customs Tariff Proposal (No.4) 2009, to amend rates of customs duty for certain beer and grape wine products.

Schedule 1 of the bill creates a new concessional item 41H in schedule 4 to the Customs Tariff Act. Item 41H provides duty-free entry into Australia for goods for use in the testing, quality control, manufacturing evaluation or engineering development of motor vehicles designed or engineered in Australia but not necessarily manufactured in Australia. The new item will encourage automotive manufacturers to undertake design and engineering work for the international automotive market, and will reduce administrative costs in importing such equipment.

Schedule 2 of the bill amends rates of duty for certain alcohol and tobacco products that are imported under the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement. The legislation that gave effect to Australia’s tariff commitments under that agreement did not include subsequent increases in the excise equivalent component of customs duty for these goods. Schedule 2 of the bill applies the increased rates of duty for these goods where required from the commencement of the free trade agreement on 6 March 2009. This ensures that customs duty imposed on alcohol and tobacco products imported under the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement is the same as the duty imposed on these goods when imported from other countries and is also the same as duties of excise imposed on these goods when manufactured in Australia.

Schedule 3 of the bill amends rates of duty for certain beer and grape wine products. The Customs Tariff Amendment (2009 Measures No.1) Act 2009 provided revised definitions for beer and grape wine products in the Customs Tariff Act. Schedule 3 of the bill applies the increased rates of duty as required to beer and grape wine products from the dates of commencement of the legislation on 28 August 2009. This ensures that customs duty imposed on these beer and grape wine products is consistent with duty imposed on other alcohol products and with the excise duty imposed when these products are manufactured in Australia. The coalition supports the passage of this bill.