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Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013

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2013

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

                                                                                               

 

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional provisions) Bill 2013

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for the Environment,

the Hon Greg Hunt MP)



T able of contents

Glossary.............................................................................................................. 1

General outline and financial impact............................................................ 3

Chapter 1               Transitional provisions for importers of synthetic greenhouse gas          6

 

 



The following abbreviations and acronyms are used throughout this explanatory memorandum.

              Abbreviation            

Definition

Bill

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013

Clean Energy Legislation

Clean Energy Act 2011;

Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011;

Climate Change Authority Bill 2011;

Clean Energy (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011;

Clean Energy (Unit Shortfall Charge - General) Bill 2011;

Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charges - Fixed Charge) Bill 2011;

Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charges - Auctions) Bill 2011;

Clean Energy (Charges—Excise) Bill 2011;

Clean Energy (Charges—Customs) Bill 2011;

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment Act 2011;

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment Act 2011;

Clean Energy (Excise Tariff Legislation Amendment) Act 2011;

Clean Energy (Customs Tariff Amendment) Act 2011;

Clean Energy (Fuel Tax Legislation Amendment);

Clean Energy (Household Assistance Amendments) Act 2011;

Clean Energy (Tax Laws Amendments) Act 2011;

Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates Amendments) Act 2011;

Clean Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2012;

Clean Energy Amendment (International Emissions Trading and Other Measures) Act 2012 .

Main Repeal Bill

Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013

SGG

Synthetic Greenhouse Gas

Ozone and SGG (Import Levy) Act

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Act 1995

Ozone Import Amendment Bill

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013

Ozone Manufacture Amendment Bill

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013



Background

Repealing the carbon tax

The Australian Government has a clear commitment to repeal the carbon tax to:

•        boost Australia’s economic growth, increase jobs and enhance Australia’s international competitiveness;

•        remove the cost of living pressures on households resulting from the carbon tax;

•        remove the cost pressures faced by business as a result of the carbon tax; and

•        remove unnecessary, burdensome and costly regulation.

 

Date of effect:

Sections 1and 2 and anything in the Bill not elsewhere covered in section 2 commence on the day the Bill receives the Royal Assent.

Sections 3-7 commence at the same time as section 3 of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Act 2013 (Ozone Import Amendment Bill) commences.

 

Proposal announced:  

The Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, and the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced the Government’s plan to repeal the carbon tax on Tuesday, 15 October 2013, reflecting the Coalition parties’ longstanding and public commitment to this policy.

 



 

Financial impact:

The financial impact associated with this Bill is reflected in Fiscal Table 1 below.

Fiscal Table 1: Impact on Underlying Cash Balance ($ million)

                           

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Total

Total Impact on Fiscal Balance:

0.0

-10.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-10.0

Total Impact on Underlying Cash:

0.0

0.0

-10.0

0.0

0.0

-10.0

Regulation Impact Statement

Transitional arrangements - Regulation impact on business

The Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for the transitional arrangements is available at http://ris.finance.gov.au .  The RIS was prepared by the Department of the Environment and has been assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

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

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013

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

Overview of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013

The Bill allows for a transitional exemption from carbon charge component of the levy imposed by the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Act 1995 (Ozone and SGG (Import Levy) Act).

Human rights implications

The Bill engages the right to privacy under Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 17 prohibits unlawful or arbitrary interferences with an individual’s privacy. It provides that individuals have the right to the protection of the law against such interference. An interference with privacy will not be arbitrary if it is not inconsistent with the provisions, aims and objectives of the ICCPR and is reasonable in the circumstances. Reasonableness, in this context, incorporates notions of proportionality to the objectives sought to be achieved.

The Bill engages the right to privacy because clause 7 of the Bill would require import licensees who claim the benefit of the proposed levy exemption to provide information to the Minister about the quantity and kind of SGGs which are subject to the exemption, and some of the licensees may be individuals. 

To the extent that an individual’s right to privacy is affected by the Bill, the impact is not arbitrary. It is reasonable, necessary and proportionate to the object of providing a tax exemption to require the taxpayer to provide information which verifies the entitlement to the exemption. The Bill requires provision of no more information that would be necessary to verify the entitlement.

Conclusion

The Bill is compatible with human rights because its only potential limitation on human rights relates to the right to privacy and involves a reasonable, necessary and proportionate requirement for an import licensee to provide information to the Minister to verify the licensee’s entitlement to the proposed levy exemption.

 

Greg Hunt

Minister for the Environment



C hapter 1     

Transitional provisions for importers of synthetic greenhouse gas

Outline of chapter

1.1                   This chapter describes the arrangements necessary to allow for a transitional exemption from the carbon charge component of the levy imposed by the Ozone Protection and SGG (Import Levy) Act.

Context of amendments

1.1                   The Clean Energy Legislation introduced an equivalent carbon price, which applies to the import or manufacture of synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) and import of products containing these gases. The equivalent carbon price is applied and calculated at the point of import or manufacture.

1.2                   The equivalent carbon price will be repealed through the Main Repeal Bill, the Ozone Import Amendment Bill and the Ozone Manufacture Amendment Bill. The equivalent carbon price will be repealed on no longer apply from 1 July 2014.

1.3                   There is a small risk of potential shortages of SGGs in the lead-up to the repeal of the equivalent carbon price on 1 July 2014 due to:

·          reduced SGG imports in anticipation of the lower SGG levy from the 1 July 2014 repeal date; and

·          domestic business reducing the levels of SGG inventories in order to delay purchases of SGGs until after repeal of the carbon tax.

1.4                   Any shortages in SGGs could impact on critical cooling needs for end users such as hospitals, computer server facilities and electrical infrastructure.

1.5                   To address this risk, an exemption from the equivalent carbon price will be made for the import of SGGs between 1 April and 30 June 2014 if certain conditions are met. This transitional approach is included to reduce the risk of shortages of SGGs in the period prior to 1 July 2014.

Detailed explanation of new law

Transitional provisions for SGG importers

1.1                   The provisions of the Bill will not come into effect unless the Ozone Import Amendment Bill receives Royal Assent. They will commence on the same date as section 3 of the same Bill. Once enacted it will be called the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Act 2013 [Sections 1-2]

1.2                   The Bill includes provisions to exempt Controlled Substance Licence holders from the carbon charge component of the levy imposed by the Ozone and SGG (Import Levy) Act where the SGG is imported after 1 April 2014; and the SGG is entered for warehousing (within the meaning of the Customs Act 1901 ); and the SGG is not removed from the warehouse for home consumption (within the meaning of the Customs Act 1901 ) before 1 July 2014. All these conditions must be satisfied to obtain the exemption and the exemption is transitional in nature and will only operate for the quarter starting 1 April 2014. [Sections 3-5]

1.3                   The Bill includes provisions for the Commonwealth to refund overpayment of the levy imposed by the Ozone and SGG (Import Levy) Act during the quarter beginning 1 April 2014 provided the overpayment is wholly attributable to section 5 of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Act 2013 . [Section 6]

1.4                   Further, the Bill includes provisions on the reporting requirements for importers of SGGs relating to the quarter beginning 1 April 2014. Currently, importers of SGGs are required to provide reports on their import activity during each quarter to the Department of the Environment. Under the Bill, importers claiming the exemption from the equivalent carbon price will be required to provide reports on the quantity and kind of SGG that is covered by the exemption. [Section 7]

Further, the Bill includes provisions on the reporting requirements for importers of SGGs relating to the quarter beginning 1 April 2014. Currently, importers of SGGs are required to provide reports on their import activity during each quarter to the Department of the Environment. Under the Bill, importers claiming the exemption from the equivalent carbon price will be required to provide reports on the quantity and kind of SGG that is covered by the exemption. [Section 7]