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Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill 2013

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2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (Incorporation of Proposals) BILL 2013

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(C irculated by authority of the Minister for Home Affairs

the Honourable Jason Clare MP )

 



CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (Incorporation of Proposals) BILL 2013

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) 2013 Bill (the Bill) is to amend Schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff) to incorporate amendments that were contained in a Customs Tariff Proposal, tabled in the House of Representatives on 14 February 2013, as follows:

 

  • Custom Tariff Proposal (No.1) 2013, to amend items 20, 21, 27, 30 and 35 of Schedule 4 to the Customs Tariff.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The 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 (INCORPORATION OF PROPOSALS) BILL 2013

 

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:

 

  • Specifically reference goods as part of a batch repair process in item 20.

 

  • Remove reference to “industrial processing” in item 21.

 

  • Remove reference to “value” and “amount” in item 27.

 

  • Re-insert “wheelchairs” and remove reference to “invalid carriages” in item 30.

 

  • Re-insert “tons” and remove reference to “tonnes” in item 35.

 

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 (Incorporation of Proposals) BILL 2013

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

1.         This clause provides for the Bill, when enacted, to be cited as the Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Act 2013 .

 

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 have effect according to its terms.

 

3.         Item 1 of the table 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 Schedule 1 of the Bill commences immediately after the commencement of Schedules 1 and 2 to the Customs Tariff Amendment (Schedule 4) Act 2012, that is 1 March 2013.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

5.         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.

 

6.         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 (Incorporation of proposals) BILL 2013

 

Introductory comments

 

7.       The Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill 2013 contains several amendments to Schedule 4 to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (Customs Tariff). Schedule 4 lists a range of goods and circumstances for which concessional rates of import duty are granted. 

 

8.       Following a review of the Schedule by the Better Regulation Ministerial Partnership, the Customs Tariff Amendment (Schedule 4) Act 2012 was passed by the Parliament in 2012.  This Act commenced on 1 March 2013.

 

9.       The Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill 2013 (the Bill) will give effect to minor amendments to items 20, 21, 27, 30 and 35 in the revised Schedule 4. These amendments were previously given effect through the tabling of Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2013 in the House of Representatives on 14 February 2013.

 

10.    The Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) 2013, will give affect retrospectively to the amendments to Schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act 1995 that were brought about by the tabling of Custom Tariff Proposal (No.1) 2013 , in the House of Representatives on 14 February 2013.

 

11.    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.

 

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

 

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 (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill 2013 amends the Customs Tariff to incorporate five alterations to Schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff that were contained in the aforementioned Customs Tariff Proposal.



 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Customs Tariff Act 1995

 

Item 1 - Schedule 4 (paragraph (a) of the cell at table item 20, column headed “Description of goods”)

 

15.            Item 20 of the new Schedule 4 combines previous items 20A and 20B. Item 20 applies to goods exported for repair or renovation, subject to certain conditions. Whereas old Item 20B applied specifically to goods subject to a batch repair process.

 

16.            A batch repair process provides for goods to be exported for repair or renovation, that are then replaced with goods already repaired or renovated, rather than waiting for the same exported goods to be repaired and then returned. This concession is subject to the repaired or renovated goods not being new or upgraded versions of the defective exported goods, and not replacing goods that have reached the end of their effective operational life.

 

17.            It was always intended that the redrafted item 20 would apply to goods subject to a batch repair process, however, “batch repair” was not specifically mentioned in the item. Thus, potentially leading to confusion as to whether goods subject to a batch repair process have access to the concession or not. Therefore, this Bill will amend item 20 to specifically reference “batch repair” in the item.

 

Item 2 - Schedule 4 (paragraph (a) of the cell at table item 21, column headed “Description of goods”)

 

18.            Item 21 previously applied to goods that are imported for repair, alteration or industrial processing that are to be exported having undergone one or more of these processes.

 

19.            However, following consultation with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, this Bill will give effect to the removal of “industrial processing” from item 21. This amendment will better reflect Australian Government policy that encourages all goods imported for industrial processing and subsequent exportation, to use the Tradex Goods Scheme under item 21A. Goods specified in a Tradex Order under the Tradex Scheme Act 1999 can then be better recorded and monitored for industry assistance purposes.

 

20.            The amendment to item 21 in the Bill will provide a better regulated pathway for those goods imported for industrial processing and subsequent exportation under item 21A, while still maintaining the integrity of and accessibility to item 21 for goods imported for repair or renovation and subsequent exportation. 

 

Item 3 - Schedule 4 (table item 27, column headed “Description of goods”)

 

21.            Item 27 of the new Schedule 4 will apply to representative samples of goods to be sold in Australia.

 

22.            Item 27 originally stated: “Samples, as prescribed by by-law, whose value is less than the amount prescribed by by-law”.



 

23.            However, the sheer scale of possible samples makes it administratively problematic to prescribe a numerical amount for each sample. Further, a subjective “negligible value” is unnecessarily ambiguous.

 

24.            As a result, the Bill will give effect to an amendment that removes all references to “value” and “amount” from the item. Such an amendment would then allow the nature of representative sample goods that have access to this concession to be defined more clearly in the associated by-law(s).

 

Item 4 - Schedule 4 (table item 30, column headed “Description of goods”)

 

25.            Item 30 applies to components or materials for use in the manufacture of invalid carriages.  The text of item 30 was amended in the Schedule 4 Act to replace the reference to “invalid carriages” with “wheelchairs”.

 

26.            However, this change had the unintended consequence of reducing the application of the item to only wheelchairs and excluding other forms of invalid carriages, such as mobility scooters. 

 

27.            The Bill will give effect to the amendment of item 30 that replaces “wheelchairs” with “invalid carriages”, thus returning the item to its intended scope and application.

 

Item 5 - Schedule 4 (table item 35, column headed “Description of goods”)

 

28.            Item 35 applies to parts and materials for use in the construction, modification or repair of vessels exceeding 150 gross construction tons. The Customs Tariff calculates duty paid on vessels in accordance with the measurement “gross construction tons”.

 

29.            However, a typographical error was made in the drafting of item 35 which changed gross construction “tons” to gross construction “tonnes”.

 

30.            The Bill will give effect to the amendment to item 35 that reflects the current Customs Tariff terminology, “gross construction tons”.

 

Item 6 - Application Provision

 

31.            This item provides that the amendments made under Schedule 1 of the Bill will apply to goods imported into Australia on or after the commencement of Schedule 1 and will also apply to goods imported before that commencement where the time for working out the rate of import duty on those goods had not yet occurred, including:

 

  • Goods imported before commencement, but not entered for home consumption until after commencement; and

 

  • Goods imported and entered into warehouse before commencement and not entered for home consumption until after commencement.