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Customs Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2000

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1998-99

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 3) 1999

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (C irculated by the Authority of the

Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator

the Honourable Amanda Vanstone )





CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT BILL (nO. 3) 1999

 

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The purpose of this Bill, which includes three schedules of amendments, is to enact a range of amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 .

 

Schedule 1 inserts in Chapter 57 of Schedule 3 to the Tariff Act an Additional Note to ensure that all textile mats, rugs, and the like are classified within that Chapter.

 

Schedule 2 reinstates a 5% rate of duty on a range of goods in Chapter 90.  The rate of duty on these goods was reduced to free on 1 September 1998 following the implementation of recommendations of the Industry Commission report on the Medical and Scientific Equipment Industries.

 

Schedule 3 implements the Government’s decision in relation to the tariff recommendations contained in the Industry Commission’s report on Packaging and Labelling.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The reinstatement of duty on goods classified in Chapter 90 and contained in Schedule 2 of this Bill is expected to raise an additional $809,000 per annum in revenue.

 

The reduction of duty on tinplate and the provision of a concessional item for the duty free entry of certain aluminium sheet is expected to reduce revenue by $1 million per annum.

 

The change to Chapter 57 in Schedule 1 of this Bill is revenue neutral as it reinstates the previous classification principles.



 

CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 3) 1999

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 , and for related purposes.

 

Clause 1   - Short Title - Customs Tariff Amendment Act (No. 3) 1999.

 

Clause 2   - Commencement

 

         Subclause 1 - Clauses 1, 2 and 3 commence on the day on which this

                                Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

         Subclause 2 -  Schedule 1 is taken to have commenced on 22 July 1999.

 

         Subclause 3 -  Schedule 2 is taken to have commenced on

3 September 1999.

 

         Subclause 4 -  Schedule 3 is taken to have commenced on 1 October 1999.

 

Clause 3   - Schedules

 

This clause is the formal enabling provision for the Schedules to the Bill, providing that each Act specified in the Schedules is amended in accordance with the applicable items of the Schedules.   The clause also provides that the other items of the Schedules have effect according to their own terms.

 

Schedule 1 - The amendment in this Schedule is taken to have effect from

22 July 1999.

 

.     Covers -   This amendment was notified in a Special Commonwealth Gazette of 21 July 1999 and tabled in the House of Representatives on 25 August 1999 as Customs Tariff Proposal No. 3 (1999).  It inserts an Additional Note in Chapter 57 to confirm that textile mats, rugs, and the like are classified within Chapter 57 of the Customs Tariff.

 

                                    An importer of certain textile car/bath/door mats objected to the goods being classified as “floor coverings” in Chapter 57 of the Tariff Act and appealed the classification to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  The Tribunal originally found in favour of Customs but after an appeal to the Federal Court and a re-hearing, the Tribunal found in favour of the importer. 

 

                                    The classification of any textile mat outside of Chapter 57 is inconsistent with the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the international convention for classifying



goods.  As a signatory to this convention, Australia’s classification of goods must accord with the international harmonized interpretation.

 

                                    The insertion of an Additional Note in Chapter 57, to direct importers that textile rugs, mats, and similar articles are considered to be floor coverings for the purposes of that Chapter, ensures Australia’s compliance with the international Harmonized System.

 

Schedule 2 - The amendment in this Schedule is taken to have effect from

3 September 1999.

 

.     Covers -   These amendments were tabled in the House of Representatives on 2 September 1999 as Customs Tariff Proposal No. 4 (1999).  They reinstate the 5% customs rate of duty on certain goods of Chapter 90 to the Customs Tariff.

 

                                    The customs rates of duty on goods classified to tariff headings 9013 to 9033 in Schedule 3 to the Customs Tariff were reduced to free on 1 September 1998 following implementation of the recommendations of the Industry Commission’s report on the Medical and Scientific Equipment Industries.

 

                                    Following implementation, some Australian manufacturers of non-medical and non-scientific goods covered by headings 9013 to 9033 informed Government that this removal of tariff assistance had affected their manufacturing viability and profitability. 

 

                                    In light of these representations, the 5% rate of duty was reinstated from 3 September 1999 on:

 

·             Certain drawing, marking-out and mathematical calculating instruments of subheading 9017.20;

·             Certain rules of wood or plastic and steel tape measures of subheading 9017.80;

·             Certain gas, electrical and liquid meters of subheadings 9028.10, 9028.20 and 9028.30; and

·             Certain machines for balancing mechanical parts and electrical test benches of subheadings 9031.10 and 9031.20.

 



Schedule 3 - The amendment in this Schedule is taken to have effect from

1 October 1999.

 

              .     Covers -   These amendments were tabled in the House of Representatives on 22 September 1999 as Customs Tariff Proposal No. 5 (1999).  They implement the Government’s decision on the tariff recommendations contained in the Industry Commission’s report on Packaging and Labelling.

 

                                    The 1996 Report on Packaging and Labelling recommended the removal of customs rates of duty from steel tinplate and aluminium cansheet.  The Commission found that Australian producers of tinplate and cansheet were internationally competitive and that the removal of tariffs would enhance the performance of the user industries without significant adverse effects.  The Commission said the major industries that would benefit from the removal of tariffs would be the canned food and canned beverage industries.

 

                                    The Government accepted the Industry Commission recommendation to remove these tariffs, and the amendments contained in this Schedule implement that decision.

 

                        The removal of customs duty applies to tinplate classified in tariff subheadings 7210.11.00, 7210.12.00 and 7212.10.00.  In the case of cansheet, the removal of customs duty applies to three cansheet products: bodystock, endstock and tabstock used in the manufacture of aluminium cans.  These products are classified to tariff subheadings 7606.12.00 or 7606.92.00.  However, the tariff classification does not distinguish between general aluminium sheeting and cansheet products.  Since it is not the intention to remove the tariff on general aluminium sheeting, a Schedule 4 concessional item was created to provide duty free by-law entry of cansheet, the specifications of which were defined in the by-law.