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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 796


Mr TUDGE (AstonMinister for Human Services) (19:16): I rise to sum up this bill and to thank the member for Blair for his contribution to it on behalf of the Labor Party and to thank the other members who have spoken on it.

The Customs and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 contains amendments to the Customs Act 1901, the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905 and the Maritime Powers Act 2013. The amendments to the Customs Act do a number of things. They provide for regulations to be made that would allow the defence minister to revoke a licence or permission to export goods if he or she is satisfied the exportation of the goods would prejudice the security, defence or international relations of Australia.

This amendment strengthens Australia's defence and strategic goods export control regime by providing the defence minister with greater flexibility to revoke export permits before goods are exported from Australia. It also streamlines the Australian Trusted Trader accreditation process, removing the need for trusted traders to enter into an initial agreement conferring interim trusted trader status, so that only one agreement which confers full trusted trader status is entered into with each trusted trader. It also enables Australia to comply with international agreements and treaties involving the application of fees and charges at the border by allowing certain parties or goods to be exempt from liability to pay the import declaration processing charge. It enables the collection of unpaid import declaration processing charges and unpaid warehouse declaration processing charges as debts to the Commonwealth.

The amendment also allows for screening authorities at international airports to open sealed duty-free bags containing liquids, aerosols and gels to enable them to screen the contents while they are subject to customs control. It also removes red tape on Australian manufacturers who object to the making of, or seek to revoke, a tariff concession order by removing one of the two tests they have to meet to prove their case. It clarifies when an Australian manufacturer can apply to have a tariff concession order for made-to-order capital equipment revoked or object to the making of such an order. Finally, it repeals an obsolete provision of the Customs Act that allowed goods to be temporarily imported for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and related events.

In addition, the amendments to the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act will reflect modern drafting practices and do three additional things: firstly, clarify that an officer may inspect or examine goods that the officer reasonably believes are goods prescribed by the regulations; secondly, change the authority for forming an opinion on disclosing certain information as part of a trade description from the Governor-General to the minister; and, thirdly, insert a head of power to allow the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Regulation 2016 to prescribe penalties not exceeding 50 penalty units to offences against those regulations.

The amendments proposed in schedule 8 of the bill are intended to confirm the government's clear intent that the powers under the Maritime Powers Act are able to be exercised in the course of passage through or above the waters of another country in a manner consistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Finally, Schedule 9 of the bill repeals the Customs (Tariff Concession System Validations) Act 1999 and the Import Processing Charges (Amendment and Repeal) Act 2002, as those acts are now redundant.

Once again, thank you very much to all members who have contributed to the bill. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.