Bills Digest No. 186  1998-99 Customs Amendment (Temporary Importation) Bill 1999


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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
Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Passage History

Customs Amendment (Temporary Importation) Bill 1999

Date Introduced: 31 March 1999

House: Senate

Portfolio: Justice and Customs

Commencement: On Royal Assent

 

Purpose

To provide that customs duty is not payable where goods are imported on a temporary basis for use in the Sydney 2000 Olympic games and related events where the goods are exported by the end of 2000, and to provide for applications to be made for the delivery of such goods in Australia to ensure that there is sufficient information for customs purposes.

 

Background

Section 162A of the Customs Act 1901 (the Principal Act) allows for regulations to be made allowing for the duty free importation of goods where security is provided to cover the duty payable on the goods if they are not exported from Australia or an undertaking is given that this amount will be paid if the goods are not exported. Duty will be payable if the goods are not exported within 12 months of importation or such longer period as is allowed. In the later case, an application must be made seeking the exemption from duty. Regulation 125A provides for the section 162A duty free importation to apply to goods used in, or for a purpose related to, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, certain events in the Sydney Cultural Olympics and a number of events leading up to these Olympics.

As noted in the second reading speech for the Bill, potential problems arise in relation to goods that are not exported within 12 months of importation as duty will be payable on the goods unless an extension of this time is allowed following an application from the importer. When a large number of imported goods are under consideration, such as goods for use in the Olympics, this has the potential to cause an increased workload where each application has to be made and considered on an individual basis. It is therefore proposed to exempt such goods from this requirement for individual consideration where they are exported before the end of 2000 (by which time the various events will have concluded).

The 1997-98 Annual Report for the Australian Customs Service states:

During the year, the Ministerial Committee on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games agreed to introduce certain import concessions for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games and associated test events. To achieve this, development commenced of a concessional package that will include:

  • a new regulation to facilitate the temporary importation of goods; ....

As noted above, regulation 125A has implemented this process. However, changes to the Principal Act are necessary to facilitate the process as described above.

The other matter addressed by the Bill is the provision of information regarding goods where information is not provided regarding the goods that are temporarily imported into Australia. The provision of information for such goods is currently dealt with in agreements between Australia and other countries that provide for the temporary importation of goods. However, this will not apply where the goods are temporarily imported for use in the Olympics or related events and there is no power to demand information when it is not supplied under an agreement, although this may be grounds for refusing delivery of goods temporarily imported duty free. The amendments will insert a specific power to demand information prior to delivery of the goods.

 

Main Provisions

Proposed subsection 162A(5A), which will be inserted into the Principal Act by item 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill, provides that duty is not payable in relation to goods imported under regulation 125A (see above) unless the goods are dealt with in contravention of the regulations (eg used for a purpose other than one related to the Olympics or associated events) or if the goods are not exported before 31 December 2000 and no extension of time has been applied for and granted. This amendment will apply to goods delivered before or after the commencement of the proposed subsection (item 2).

The Collector of Customs may grant permission for a person to take delivery of temporarily imported goods if they are covered by a security or undertaking and are not accompanied by documents in accordance with an agreement between Australia and another country relating to temporary duty free importation only if an application is made under proposed section 162AA (item 5). Similarly, proposed subsection 162A(6A) provides that such goods are not be exported without an application being made under proposed section 162AA (item 6).

Proposed section 162AA provides that where an application is required to be made it may be made by document or computer and is to contain the information required (item 7). It may be noted that the information that may be required is not restricted to that required for tracing the goods.

 

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Chris Field
25 May 1999
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 1999

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, 1999.

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