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Thursday, 28 May 1987
Page: 3491


Mr BARRY JONES (Minister for Science)(12.30) —I think that the honourable member for Ryan (Mr Moore) is wrong in opposing the clause, and I will tell him why. He is not beyond redemption; he is a reasonable fellow, and I think that if I put the case firmly enough he might change his mind. As I said in my second reading speech, current provisions restrict the time limit for redetermination of value to 12 months. This prevents the recovery of duties owing through schemes which misrepresent the true value of goods. It is simply unacceptable to the Government that the perpetrators of such schemes should be beyond the reach of Customs so far as recovery of the duty is concerned.

Clause 9 of itself does not permit recovery. That is authorised by other long-standing provisions of the Customs Act. As the explanatory memorandum accompanying the Bill specifies, the amendment contained in clause 9 does not extend in any way to the 12-month time limit specified in section 165 of the Customs Act within which duty short-paid through error can be recovered. The new arrangements will enable duty to be recovered for longer than 12 months only where an abuse is discovered. I think that is reasonable enough.

Clause agreed to.

Remainder of Bill-by leave-taken as a whole, and agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.