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Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Page: 9284

Trade

(Question No. 1095)


Senator Bob Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 8 September 2011:

(1) Is the Minister aware of any products imported into Australia that have originated in full or in part from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories or in Israeli industrial zones in the occupied territories.

(2) (a) Is the government satisfied that all goods originating from Israel or the occupied territories are truthfully labelled with their place or places of origin; and (b) does the government require this differentiation on labels or import documentation; if not, why not.

(3) Is the Minister aware of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or any other government agency taking action against companies that label goods 'Made in Israel' when they are actually made partly or in full in the occupied territories; if so, what was that action and was there any remedy.

(4) Is the Minister or Austrade officials, who cover Israel and Palestine, aware of any contracts and/or agreements between Australian and Israeli companies to conduct research or business in the occupied territories, including in Israeli industrial zones in the occupied territories; if so, can details be provided of these arrangements.


Senator Conroy: The Minister for Trade has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) No.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, in the Home Affairs portfolio, has advised that there is one United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations (UNLOCODE) assigned to a place within the Palestinian Territories, the city of Ramallah. Import records indicate there have been 27 imports from this location, all declaring the Palestinian Territories as the place of origin, since October 2005 (the limit of current electronic records).

The Health and Ageing and Home Affairs portfolios administer product labelling on imported goods.

(2) The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, in the Home Affairs portfolio, has advised that it has not made any seizures of goods that were falsely labelled as originating from Israel.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service also advises that under Australian law, and associated regulations, the declared place of origin of goods must be the location in which the goods were made, produced, manufactured or otherwise originated. See also the response to question 1.

(3) No.

The ACCC advises that it has not taken action for breach of the Competition and Consumer Act (or the Trade Practices Act) on the basis that goods were labelled 'Made in Israel' when they were actually made partly or in full in the Palestinian Territories.

The Treasury portfolio is responsible for competition and consumer policy.

(4) No.

Austrade is not aware of any contracts and/or agreements between Australian and Israeli companies to conduct research or business in the Palestinian Territories, including in Israeli industrial zones in the Palestinian Territories.