Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, the Honourable Angus Taylor MP)
The purpose of the Customs Amendment (Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus Implementation) Bill 2018 (the Bill) is to amend the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) to introduce new rules of origin for goods imported into Australia from a Party to the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (the Agreement).
The Agreement is a comprehensive World Trade Organisation consistent regional economic integration agreement, which covers goods, services and investment and established rules and commitment between the Parties to the Agreement.
Australia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu signed the Agreement in Nuku'alofa on 14 June 2017. Vanuatu signed the Agreement in Apia on 7 September 2017.
The amendments contained in the Bill will enable eligible goods that satisfy the new rules of origin to be entered into Australia at preferential rates of customs duty. The amendments will also impose obligations on exporters of eligible goods to a Party to the Agreement for which a preferential rate of customs duty is claimed, and on people who produce such goods.
Complementary amendments will also be made to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 by the Customs Tariff Amendment (Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus Implementation) Bill 2018 to give effect to the preferential treatment of customs duty in accordance with the Agreement.
The amendments contained in this Bill will be operative on the later of the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent and the day on which the Agreement done at Nuku'alofa on 14 June 2017 enters into force for Australia.
Financial Impact Statement
The 2017-18 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook estimated that implementing the Agreement would have a 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 in respect of the amendments contained in the Bill is at Attachment A. The Statement assesses the amendments to be compatible with Australia's human rights obligations.