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Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Page: 8618

Australia Post

(Question No. 945)


Mr Morrison asked the Minister for Home Affairs , in writing, on 22 March 2012:

(1) In (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08, (d) 2008-09, (e) 2009-10, (f) 2010-11, and (g) 2011-12, how many international mail items have arrived by air as (i) Australia Post standard mail, (ii) Australia Post express mail, and (iii) private couriers.

(2) For each mail item category in part (1), how many items were inspected, and of these, in how many cases were prohibited items detected.

(3) What is the five year projection for the number of incoming international mail items arriving by air as (a) Australia Post standard mail, (b) Australia Post express mail, and (c) private couriers.


Mr Clare: The answer to the honourable member ' s question is as follows:

(1) Volumes

(i) and (ii) The following information was provided by Australia Post through the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy:

Year

Standard Mail Items

(millions)

Express Post Items

(millions)

2005-06

139.6

1.52

2006-07

148.3

1.76

2007-08

160.5

2.32

2008-09

142.8

2.35

2009-10

183.2

2.93

2010-11

168.9

3.47

2011-12

182.7 (estimated)

4.34 (estimated)

Standard Mail Items includes both letters and parcels. In recent years there has been a continuing and sustained increase in parcels. From a border risk perspective, parcels currently pose a much higher risk than letters. On this basis, Customs and Border Protection increased the number of parcels subject to inspection in 2011-12 and reduced the letters inspected.

(iii) Articles classified as International Mail can only be transported between members of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Australia Post is the only Australian member of the UPU and no other entity (including private couriers) may process international mail in Australia.

(2) Inspections

The term inspection includes any combination of x-ray, detector dogs, trace detection or physical inspection.

For postal articles, Customs and Border Protection records inspection activity in two categories:

Letters; and

Parcels/Express Mail Service (EMS)/Registered articles.

The number of articles inspected for each category of international mail is as follows:

Table Two - Inspection Volumes International Mail—2005/06 to February 2012

Inspection Volumes

(millions)

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

July 11—

Feb 12

International Mail

Letters

118.00

117.73

131.33

40.52

41.51

40.38

14.17

Parcels/EMS/Registered

20.18

24.15

25.79

18.31

20.70

21.09

14.33

The number of detections (including quarantine referrals) found in international mail and air cargo are as follows:

Table Three- Detections in International Mail—2005/06 to February 2012

Detections

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

July 11—

Feb 12

International Mail

Letters

Not available

23,085

26,204

682

849

1,316

1,970

Parcels/EMS/Registered

22,018

31,070

40,183

35,281

The key to the increase in the number of successful detections is the implementation of an intelligence-led approach by Customs and Border Protection.

In 2010-11 using this intelligence-led approach, Customs and Border Protection made 41,499 detections of prohibited items in international mail compared to just 23,085 detections in 2006-07.

This represents an 80 % increase in detections in international mail from 2006-07 to 2010-11.

(3) Forecasts

(a) and (b) The following information was provided by Australia Post through the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy:

Year

Standard Mail Items

projected estimates (millions)

Express Post Items projected estimates (millions)

2011-12

182.7

4.34

2012-13

198.1

5.25

2013-14

211.3

6.3

2014-15

223.4

7.6

2015-16

233.8

8.8

(c) Articles classified as International Mail can only be transported between members of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Australia Post is the only Australian member of the UPU and no other entity (including private couriers) may process international mail in Australia.