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Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Bill 2012

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2010 - 2011 - 2012

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (2012 MEASURES No. 1) BILL 2012

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(C irculated by authority of the Minister for Home Affairs

the Honourable Jason Clare MP )

 



CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (2012 MEASURES No. 1) BILL 2012

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Bill 2012 (the Bill) is to amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff) to:

 

  1. Incorporate alterations that were contained in Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2012, tabled in the House of Representatives on 16 February 2012, as follows:

 

·          re-insertion of subheading 5308.10.00 applicable to coir yarn; and

 

·          listing of Serbia as a Developing Country for the purposes of the Australian System of Tariff Preferences; and

 

  1. To correct a number of technical errors in the Customs Tariff that have occurred as a result of drafting and clerical mistakes .

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The inclusion of Serbia on the list of Developing Countries will have no fiscal impact on the Budget in 2011-12 and negligible impact from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

 

The remaining measures in the Bill have no financial impact.

 



STATEMENT OF COMPATABILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

(Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 )

 

CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (2012 MEASURES NO. 1) BILL 2012

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in the definition of human rights in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the Bill

 

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff) to:

 

·          re-insert subheading 5308.10.00 applicable to coir yarn;

 

·          list Serbia as a Developing Country for the purposes of the Australian System of Tariff Preferences; and

 

·          correct a number of technical errors in the Customs Tariff.

 

Re-insertion of subheading 5308.10.00

 

Subheading 5308.10.00 applies to coir yarn, commonly used in the manufacture of mats and rope.  This subheading was incorrectly omitted in the Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Harmonized System Changes) Act 2011 .  When enacted, the Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Bill 2012 will re-insert this subheading, effective on 1 January 2012.

 

Listing of Serbia as a Developing Country

 

Schedule 1 of the Customs Tariff lists those countries and places that are accorded preferential rates of duty under the Australian System of Tariff Preferences (ASTP).  The listing of Serbia as a Developing Country will accord it a reduction in customs duty on a defined range of goods imported into Australia and is consistent with Australia’s approach to other states which were formerly part of Yugoslavia and listed as developing countries.

 

Correction of technical errors

 

When enacted, the Bill will also correct minor technical errors in the Customs Tariff.

 

Human Rights implications

 

This legislative instrument does not engage, impact on, or limit in any way, the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in the definition of human rights at section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Conclusion

 

This legislative instrument does not raise any human rights issues.

 

Minister for Home Affairs



CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (2012 MEASURES No. 1) BILL 2012

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

1.         This clause provides for the Bill, when enacted, to be cited as the Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Act 2012 .

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

2.         Subclause (1) provides that each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table in that subclause commences, or is taken to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table. This subclause also provides that any other statements in column 2 of the table has effect according to its terms.

 

3.         Item 1 of the table in this clause provides that sections 1 to 3 and anything in the Act not covered elsewhere in the table will commence on the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

4.         Item 2 of the table provides that items 1 and 2 of the Bill commence on 1 March 2012.  See paragraphs 16 and 20 below for an explanation of this commencement date.

 

5.         Item 3 of the table provides that items 3 to 6 of the Bill commence on the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

6.         Item 4 of the table provides that items 7 and 8 of the Bill commence on 1 January 2012.  See paragraphs 16 and 33 below for an explanation of this commencement date.

 

7.         Item 5 of the table provides that item 9 of the Bill commences on the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

8.         This clause is the formal enabling provision for the Schedule to the Bill and provides that each Act specified in a Schedule is amended or repealed in accordance with the applicable items in the Schedule.  In the Bill, the Customs Tariff Act 1995 is being amended.

 

9.         Clause 3 also provides that any other items of the Schedule have effect according to their terms.  This is a standard enabling clause for transitional, savings and application items in amending legislation.

 

 

 



CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (2012 MEASURES No. 1) BILL 2012

 

Introductory comments

 

10.       The Customs Tariff Proposal mechanism is used for effecting alterations to the Customs Tariff, particularly when such alterations are required to have effect in a short time frame that cannot be achieved through a Customs Tariff Amendment Bill.  Customs Tariff Proposals are used most commonly for introducing new items, for changing rates of duty or for restructuring items in the Schedules to the Customs Tariff.

 

11.       When the Parliament is sitting, Customs Tariff Proposals are tabled in the House of Representatives, specifying alterations to the Customs Tariff.

 

12.       When the Parliament is not sitting for a period exceeding 7 days, section 273EA of the Customs Act 1901 provides that the Minister may publish a notice in the Commonwealth Gazette , specifying alterations to the Customs Tariff.  Section 273EA requires that, when such a notice is published in the Gazette , a Customs Tariff Proposal must be tabled in the House of Representatives, within seven sitting days.

 

13.       Following the introduction of a Customs Tariff Proposal in the House of Representatives, the alterations contained in the Proposal are incorporated in a Customs Tariff Amendment Bill that is introduced into and debated by the Parliament.

 

14.       The Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Bill 2012 amends the Customs Tariff to incorporate two alterations that were contained in Customs Tariff

Proposal (No. 1) 2012, tabled in the House of Representatives on 16 February 2012, as follows:

 

·          listing of Serbia as a Developing Country for the purposes of the Australian System of Tariff Preferences.

 

·          re-insertion of subheading 5308.10.00 applicable to coir yarn; and

 

15.       Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2012 also contained an alteration to the Customs Tariff to extend the SPARTECA - TCF Scheme to December 2014.  The SPARTECA - TCF Scheme provides for the duty-free entry of certain textiles, clothing and footwear from Forum Island Countries covered by the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement and is administered through present item 68 in Schedule 4 (concessional provisions) of the Customs Tariff.  As the extension of the Scheme requires an amendment to an item in Schedule 4, this alteration has been incorporated in the Customs Tariff Amendment (Schedule 4) Bill 2012, tabled in the House of Representatives

on 21 March 2012.  This Bill would incorporate the above alteration in the Customs Tariff.

 

16.       When a Customs Tariff Proposal is incorporated in a Customs Tariff Amendment Bill, the commencement provisions of the Bill reflect those of the Proposal.  As there is a time lag between the tabling of a Proposal in the House of Representatives and the passage of a Bill incorporating the Proposal through the Parliament, the commencement provisions of the Bill are necessarily retrospective.

 



Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Customs Tariff Act 1995

 

Items 1 and 2 - Listing of Serbia as a Developing Country

 

Item 1 - Schedule 1 (Division 1 of Part 4, after table item relating to Saudi Arabia)

 

17.       Schedule 1 of the Customs Tariff lists those countries and places that are accorded preferential rates of duty under the Australian System of Tariff Preferences (ASTP).  Part 4 of this Schedule lists certain countries that are accorded preferential rates of duty for developing countries.

 

18.       Item 1 of the Bill lists Serbia in Part 4 of Schedule 1.  This listing provides Serbia with Developing Country status for the purposes of the ASTP and accords it a reduction in customs duty on a defined range of goods imported into Australia

 

19.       The listing of Serbia as a Developing Country is consistent with Australia’s approach to other states which were formerly part of Yugoslavia and that have previously been listed in Part 4 of Schedule 1.

 

20.       The listing of Serbia as a Developing Country was given effect through the tabling of Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2012 in the House of Representatives on

16 February 2012, with effect from 1 March 2012.

 

Item 2 - Application provision for item 1

 

21.       Item 2 of the Bill is an application provision that provides that the amendment in item 1 of the Bill, relating to goods imported from Serbia applies to goods entered for home consumption on or after 1 March 2012, and to goods imported into Australia before 1 March 2012, where the time for working out the rate of import duty on those goods had not occurred before that date.  For example, this application provision will apply to goods from Serbia that were warehoused on importation before 1 March 2012 and not entered into home consumption until on or after that date .

 

Items 3 to 6 - Correction of technical errors in the Customs Tariff

 

Introductory comments

 

22.       Items 3 to 6 correct a number of technical errors that have occurred in the Customs Tariff as a result of drafting and clerical mistakes These corrections maintain the quality of the text of the Customs Tariff and ensure that Australia’s Customs Tariff is correctly aligned with the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System).  See further comments about the Harmonized System under items 7 to 9 below.

 

23.       These corrections do not affect the classification of goods or customs duty payable.  The commencement provisions of the Bill provide that these corrections will take effect on the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

 



Item 3 - Schedule 3 (Chapter 13, paragraph (ij) of Note 1)

 

24.       Chapter 13 of the Customs Tariff applies to resins and vegetable extracts.  Note 1 to this Chapter lists goods that are excluded from the Chapter.  Item 3 of the Bill removes an unnecessary semi colon from paragraph (ij) of this Note.

 

Item 4 - Schedule 3 (heading 4202, the description of goods in column 2)

 

25.       Heading 4202 in the Customs Tariff applies to a range of bags, cases and containers etc including bags for beverages.  Item 4 amends the reference from “beverage bags” to “beverages bags”.  This amendment aligns Australia’s Customs Tariff with the international Harmonized System terminology.

 

Item 5 - Schedule 3 (subheading 4408.10.12, the description of goods in column 2)

 

26.       Subheading 4408.10.12 specifies certain sheets of wood for veneering, but excluding certain tropical woods.  Item 5 removes an unnecessary comma in the text of this subheading.

 

Item 6 - Schedule 3 (Chapter 48, Subheading Note 7)

 

27.       Chapter 48 in the Customs Tariff applies to paper and paper products.  Subheading Note 7 defines “light-weight coated paper” for the purposes of subheading 4810.22.00.  However, the correct reference should be to “4810.22” as this subheading is further subdivided.  Item 6 makes this correction in the Subheading Note.

 

Items 7 to 9 - Correction to align the Customs Tariff with the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System)

 

Introductory comments

 

28.       Australia is a signatory to the Harmonized System.  Since 1988, the Harmonized System has formed the basis of Australia’s commodity classifications for traded goods, both imports and exports.  The administering body, the World Customs Organization (WCO), reviews the Harmonized System every five years to reflect changes in industry practice, technological developments and changes in international trade patterns.

 

29.       The Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Harmonized System Changes) Act 2011 contained approximately 800 amendments (the HS2012 changes) to the Customs Tariff to incorporate changes that resulted from the fourth review of the Harmonized System by the WCO.  These amendments took effect on 1 January 2012.

 

30.       Items 7 to 9 of the Bill make two further amendments to the Customs Tariff in connection with the HS2012 changes.  Those amendments ensure that Australia’s Customs Tariff is correctly aligned with the Harmonised System.

 

 



Item 7 - Schedule 3 (before subheading 5308.20.00)

 

31.       One of the HS2012 changes, referred to above, incorrectly repealed subheading 5308.10.00, applicable to coir yarn.  Coir yarn is derived from the husks of coconuts and is commonly used in the manufacture of mats and rope.  Without corrective action to re-insert this subheading, Australia’s Customs Tariff would be inconsistent, to that extent, with those of our trading partners.

 

32.       Prior to the commencement of the HS2012 changes, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service arranged for the publication of Customs Notice (No. 1) 2011 in the Commonwealth Gazette GN 50 of 21 December 2011, in accordance with the provisions of section 273EA of the Customs Act 1901 .  This Notice re-inserted subheading 5308.10.00 in the Customs Tariff, with effect from 1 January 2012.

 

33.       As required under section 273EA, this alteration was also tabled in Parliament in Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2012 on 16 February 2012.  The alteration is now included in item 7 of the Bill, also with date of effect of 1 January 2012.

 

Item 8 - Application provision for item 7

 

34.       Item 8 of the Bill is an application provision that provides that the amendment in item 7 of the Bill, relating coir yarn, entered for home consumption on or after 1 January 2012, and to those goods imported into Australia before 1 January 2012, where the time for working out the rate of import duty on those goods had not occurred before that date.

 

Item 9 - Schedule 3 (subheading 5601.2, the description of goods in column 2)

 

35.       The HS2012 changes, inter alia , omitted subheading 5601.10 applicable to sanitary towels and other sanitary articles, of textile wadding.  These goods transferred to new heading 9619 (sanitary articles).

 

36.       Following this omission, the wording of the following subheading, 5601.2 “Wadding; other articles of wadding”, was no longer meaningful in the revised context.  Consequently, the WCO has subsequently requested that signatory parties to the Harmonized System amend the wording of subheading 5601.2.

 

37.       Item 9 of the Bill amends the text of this subheading to read “Wadding of textile materials and articles thereof”.  This amendment gives effect to the WCO request, for the purposes of the Australian Customs Tariff. 

 

38.       The commencement provisions of the Bill provide that this correction will take effect on the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.