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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5474


Dr EMERSON (Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs) (9:20 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill will clarify the eligibility of partnerships for the Tradex Scheme and remove redundant provisions.

The Tradex Scheme was introduced as a streamlined program for providing relief to businesses paying customs duty and GST on imported products that are to be exported or incorporated into other goods that are to be exported.

Currently the Tradex Scheme Act 1999 (the act) requires an applicant for the Tradex Scheme to be a ‘legal’ person who proposes to import goods. The Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provides that a person generally includes a body politic or corporate as well as an individual. While a partnership is a relationship recognised by the law, it is an unincorporated body. Coverage of partnerships under the Tradex Scheme is therefore unclear.

While partnerships were not explicitly referenced in the legislation, they were not, and are not, intended to be excluded from the Tradex Scheme. This bill seeks to clarify this position in law.

The bill also contains a minor amendment aimed at removing redundant parts of the act consistent with the government’s objective of reducing the regulatory burden. The Tradex Scheme will continue to provide real benefits to Australian industry and improve our international competitiveness as a trading nation.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Andrews) adjourned.