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Changes to biosecurity cost recovery - Increase to Customs Processing Fee

Posted on 15 November 2022

Changes to biosecurity cost recovery

15 November 2022

Who does this notice affect?

Customs brokers and importers of consignments over $1000 imported as sea cargo.

What has changed?

Australia’s biosecurity system is becoming more complex and like industry and the rest of the world, the department is continuing to respond to changing global and domestic travel, trade and climate patterns.

The demand for our regulatory activities has also increased, together with industry expectation of faster clearances and efficiencies at the border.

The department is progressing three related bodies of work to ensure it can fund existing and future regulatory activities, meet industry expectations, and continue to manage biosecurity risk effectively into the future.

This advice notice sets out details of this work which includes:

  • Proposed implementation of cost recovery to manage the risk of hitchhiker pests and diseases
  • A comprehensive review of the biosecurity cost recovery arrangement
  • Development of a sustainable funding and investment model for biosecurity.

Proposed commencement of cost recovery to manage the risk of hitchhiker pests and diseases – Sea FID charge increase

In the 2021-22 Budget, the Australian Government committed $96.9 million over 4 years to better manage the risk of hitchhiker pests and diseases that can cause considerable cost and disruption to agricultural production, the environment, and the way of life of all Australians. The program is to be funded through a combination of existing departmental sources and cost recovery from industry.

This commitment reflects the growing risk posed by hitchhikers because of rising trade volumes, supply chain complexities, and the concurrent movement of pests and diseases around the world.

The program addresses the risk of major hitchhiker pests, for example khapra beetle and brown marmorated stink bug, that can be carried in and on containers and their contents (around 2.5 million containers arrive each year). Noting that it is not possible to check all containers and that increased screening effort potentially causes delays at ports, the funding aims to better manage the threat of hitchhiker pests through working with industry to design and introduce innovative ways to better profile risk and enable more rapid screening.

The department advised its intent to cost recover for its increased efforts to manage hitchhiker risks through the 2021–22 Biosecurity Cost Recovery Statement (CRIS), published on 25 March 2022. It has also been raised at various industry forums such as the Department’s Cargo Consultative Committee.

To achieve this, we intend to increase the Full Import Declaration charge for sea cargo (Sea FID) for each declared consignment arriving by sea from $49 to $58, commencing 16 January 2023. [Note from D&D Worldwide: This will mean your standard Customs Processing Fee will increase from $201 to $210 per entry]. 

Billing arrangements will remain the same with the proposed increase applied to Sea FIDs lodged on or after 16 January 2023.

A draft Biosecurity (Hitchhiker) CRIS 2022-23 sets out the details of this proposed change to the Sea FID and is available on the department’s website.

Please contact the department at: BioCRIS@agriculture.gov.au if you have concerns or need support managing the transition to the new price.

Review of the biosecurity cost recovery arrangement

The arrangement was last reviewed in 2015 and since then, only minor increases to specific regulatory fees and charges have been imposed.

The department is reviewing all current regulatory charging for biosecurity activities. Through this review, a new cost base will be determined to align fees and charges with the costs to deliver existing biosecurity regulatory activities to industry.

From late November the department intends to commence industry consultation on the outcomes of the review including proposed changes to existing fees and charges. This engagement will be supported by a consultation paper with opportunity for industry to provide feedback.

Further details on the consultation process will be released soon.

Sustainable Funding and Investment for Biosecurity – Public Consultation

Consistent with Commonwealth Biosecurity 2030 and stakeholder comments received in developing the National Biosecurity Strategy, the department commenced a program of work in August 2022 to support the development of the sustainable funding and investment model for biosecurity.

The department is seeking comments and practical ideas on options for long-term, sustainable funding to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system. This work invites interested parties to provide views on future reform.

An initial public consultation process commenced on 1 November 2022 with the release of a discussion paper on the department’s ‘Have Your Say’ platform. We are seeking the views of all system participants and interested parties, including on options raised previously.

Submissions can be made on the Have Your Say’ platform by 4 pm (AEDT) on 21 November 2022.

Information on the public consultation - 217-2022: Sustainable Funding and Investment for Biosecurity – Public Consultation - DAFF (agriculture.gov.au)

Further information

Proposed Sea FID price increase or review of the biosecurity cost recovery arrangement

Contact Biosecurity Cost Recovery at: BioCRIS@agriculture.gov.au

Sustainable Funding and Investment for Biosecurity

Contact Biosecurity Sustainable Funding Taskforce at: secretariatbsf@agriculture.gov.au

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