Bills Digest No. 180  1997-98 Customs Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 1) 1998


Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History
Purpose
Background
Main Provisions
Endnotes
Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Passage History

Customs Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 1) 1998

Date Introduced: 2 April 1998

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Customs and Consumer Affairs

Commencement: The proposed amendments reducing the rate of customs duty on aviation gasoline are taken to have commenced on 3 July 1997, and those allowing the importation of prescribed goods by, or on behalf of, non-Australian Olympic and Paralympic family members on 1 March 1998.

Purpose

The major amendments proposed by the Bill:

  • reduce the rate of customs duty on aviation gasoline from $0.18003 per litre to $0.17403 per litre from 3 July 1997; and
  • allow the importation of prescribed goods by, or on behalf of, non-Australian Olympic and Paralympic family members for use in, or for purposes related to, the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games and certain related events.

Background

As there is no central theme to the Bill, a brief background to each major amendment will be outlined below.

Main Provisions

General Note: Customs tariffs can be altered by two methods, namely by direct legislation or through the introduction of Customs Tariff Proposals which are subsequently supported by legislation. When Parliament is sitting, notice of tariff changes may be by means of Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives. When Parliament is not sitting, notice of tariff changes is by publication in the Commonwealth Gazette. Notifications are subsequently introduced into the House of Representatives as Customs Tariff Proposals. Customs Tariff Proposals are enacted by means of legislation which alters the Customs Tariff Act 1995.

Customs duty is payable upon the importation of goods into Australia. Most goods which are imported attract a rate of customs duty.

Amendments relating to aviation gasoline

Customs Tariff Proposal No. 5 (1997) proposed a reduction, with effect from 3 July 1997, in the rate of customs duty payable on aviation gasoline (AVGAS) from $0.18003 per litre to $0.17403 cents per litre. The amendments proposed by Schedule 2 of the Bill seek to give legislative effect to Customs Tariff Proposal No. 5 (1997).

The customs duty on AVGAS assists in recovering Airservices Australia costs of providing certain services to the aviation sector, including terminal and navigational services.

While Government information sources are more circumspect in indicating the source of the proposed reductions in the customs duty payable on AVGAS proposed by the Bill, Airservices Australia indicate the source to be the rationalisation of services provided by Airservices Australia.

The Government states in the Second Reading Speech to the Bill that:

In reviewing the costs of providing these services for 1997-98, Airservices Australia proposed a reduction in the duty of 0.6 cents per litre on AVGAS.

In Airservices Australia (AA) Annual Report 1996-1997, AA states:

[the reduction in duty] is the result of anticipated savings in costs following the rationalisation of services at a number of General Aviation Airport Procedures (GAAP) aerodromes.(1)

Amendments relating to the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games and certain preceding events.

The amendments proposed by Schedule 4 of the Bill give legislative effect to Customs Tariff Proposal No. 2 (1998) which allowed, from 1 March 1998, the importation of prescribed goods by, or on behalf of, non-Australian Olympic and Paralympic Family members for use in, or for purposes related to certain events, including:

  • the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games; and
  • the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.

The rationale given by the Government in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill for the proposed amendment is commitment to the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

It is unclear from both the Second Reading Speech and Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill what constitutes a 'Family member'. However, the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill states:

By-laws will prescribe the scope of non-Australian Olympic and Paralympic Family membership ... . It is proposed to exclude alcohol and tobacco products, items of equipment which are more appropriately handled under the temporary importations provision, and potential high revenue items such as vehicles and digital communications equipment.(2)

The cost of the proposed amendments to Commonwealth revenues is stated by Government in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill to be inestimable.

Endnotes

1. Airservices Australia, Annual Report 1996-97, 35.

2. Customs Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 1) 1998, Explanatory Memorandum, 8.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Ian Ireland
20 April 1998
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members
and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1328-8091
Commonwealth of Australia 1998

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1998.



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