WE ARE sure that you are familiar with the new regulation changes in Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) in regards to the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) that became effective as of July 1st 2016. Seabridge takes safety and compliance of relevant regulations seriously and the following is an outline of how we will handle the VGM requirements in regards to Less than Container Load (LCL) cargo.
As previously discussed, the VGM regulation requires that every container that is loaded onto a ship engaged in an international voyage must have a declared VGM. The VGM includes the entire packed container (including any packing materials, as well as cargo items).
SOLAS amendments in regard to mandatory Verified Gross Mass (VGM) declarations came into effect on 1 July, with a three-month transitional period until 30 September 2016.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has advised that this should not be interpreted as a postponement of the effective date. Rather, it is a transitional period to allow for transshipment containers that were loaded prior to 1 July 2016 without a VGM.
THE AUSTRALIAN Tax Office (ATO) has recently provided guidance that should offer clarity for importers and exporters over what constitutes “GST Free” international freight, and what does not.
In the guidance, the ATO has put aside convoluted rules and said that regardless of the terms of the contract, freight forwarders can treat the supply of international freight as ending at the Australian port of arrival, with any other service (such as domestic transport) being a domestic supply that attracts GST.
THE 'soft-start' compliance period for the recent illegal logging regulations has been extended from its original end date of 30 May 2016. It is not clear at this stage just how long it has been extended for, though it is expected to be until late 2016 or early 2017.
On 25 February 2016, the Australian Government released the final report of the KPMG led "Independent Review of the Impact of the Illegal Logging Regulations on Small Business". The review proposed a number of regulatory and non-regulatory reforms to minimise the costs of complying with the Regulation for small businesses.
ON THE 16 JUNE the Quarantine Act 1908 was repealed and replaced by the Bio-security Act 2015.
The changes have occurred in an effort by the government to regulate for the future by strengthening and modernising Australia’s biosecurity regulatory framework. Primarily, the change is a shift towards risk-based biosecurity and aims to promote efficiency by focusing resources on areas where risk of non-compliance is highest and the consequences the most severe.
NEW AIR CARGO regulations will come into effect on 1 July 2016, with exporters having until 1 July 2017 to comply.
The need for new regulations has risen as a recent audit by the US Transportation Security Administration found that Australia did not meet security requirements for inbound cargo to the US. In order for Australian exporters to comply with TSA standards, examination has to happen at the piece level (the smallest size of cargo that can be effectively examined) by x ray, explosive traces detection or physically. This can become a labourious task as consolidated cargo needs to be de-consolidated in order to be examined.
THERE IS less than a month until the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) container weighing regulations come into force and it appears that many stakeholders are still underprepared. There has been an increase in the level of information made available about the compliance requirements, however, there is still a lack of standardisation and coordination.
Those expecting a smooth transition to the new regime on July 1 may have cause for concern as many shippers are not yet ready to comply with the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rule. Planning for contingencies is critical to avoid disruptions and compliances process need to be finalised as many carriers are expecting port and logistics delays.
THE Australian Trusted Trader Programme is a voluntary accreditation programme that acknowledges secure and compliant industry supply chain practices, offering tailored trade facilitation benefits to accredited businesses. It aims to streamline and facilitate trade and enhance supply chain security.
The Programme will be open to all Australian Business Number (ABN) holders that are actively involved in the international supply chain. This includes brokers, importers and exporters, domestic and international freight companies, ports and airports.
CHANGING freight forwarders can be a time consuming and laborious task. Both time and effort are spent in researching possible candidates, and then further expense and time is spent training specific procedures and service requirements. Due to the time spent engaging in and developing a relationship, assessment of whether the service being provided is ideal for a specific business’s needs can often be neglected.
As freight forwarders have a huge impact on a company and its future business prospects it is important that assessment is made. When reviewing the forwarder, pay attention to these four main service areas.
ALTHOUGH regulation banning the import of all types of asbestos and products containing asbestos has been in place for over a decade, increased overseas manufacturing means businesses are now at risk of importing the mineral fibres.
Recently Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency CEO Peter Tighe brought attention to the issue by stating he was aware of 64 sites where concrete fibre sheeting containing asbestos has been used in construction. It is believed that the building materials containing the banned substance were imported from China.
The importer of any given material is fully responsible for ensuring the materials are asbestos free before they reach Australia. The penalty for non-compliance is large, either three times the value of the goods or 1000 penalty units of $180 each, making a total of $180,000.