Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Honourable Alex Hawke MP)
The purpose of the Customs Amendment (Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement Amendment Implementation) Bill 2017 (the Bill) is to amend the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) to give effect to new Chapters in the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) inserted by the Agreement to Amend the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (the Amendment Agreement). The first mentioned Agreement as amended is hereon referred as the "amended Agreement".
In particular, the Bill will:
- introduce new rules of origin for goods that are imported into Australia from Singapore;
- introduce new procedures to claim preferential tariff treatment for goods that are Singaporean originating goods; and
- extend the record keeping obligations that apply to goods exported to Singapore that are claimed to be the produce and manufacture of Australia to also apply to Australian originating goods that are exported to Singapore.
To give effect to the preferential entry of goods under the amended Agreement, the amendments contained in the Bill provide new rules for determining whether goods are Singaporean originating goods. These new rules of origin will operate as an alternative to the framework for goods claimed to be the produce or manufacture of Singapore for a transitional period of three years, after which the latter framework is repealed and only goods that are determined to be Singaporean originating goods are subject to a preferential rate of customs duty.
The amendments contained in the Bill will be operative the later of the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent and the day on which the Amendment Agreement, done at Canberra on 16 June 2017, enters into force for Australia.
A separate complementary Customs Tariff Amendment (Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement Amendment Implementation) Bill 2017 (the Customs Tariff Amendment Bill) will amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff Act) to make complementary amendments to set out the preferential rates of customs duty for Singaporean originating goods.
FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT
Implementing the amended Agreement is expected to have negligible cost to revenue over the forward estimates.
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.. Not zero, but rounded to zero.
STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS
A Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights has been completed in relation to the amendments in this Bill and assesses that the amendments are compatible with Australia's human rights obligations. A copy of the Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights is at Attachment A.
REGULATION IMPACT STATEMENT
A regulation impact statement has been completed for the Bill and a copy of it is at Attachment B.