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New Australian Customs Trusted Trader Program Aiming to “Shrink the Haystack”

Posted November 19, 2014

The Australian Customs & Border Protection Service (ACBPS) announced plans this summer to develop a “trusted trader program” (TTP) as set out in the Blueprint for Reform 2013-2018 which called for the Service to shift its approach from one of control to trust-based regulation and shared responsibility.
ACBPS Emblem
According to officials, the aim of the TTP’s “intelligent intervention” into the trade environment is to “shrink the haystack” by removing entities with an accredited compliance profile from traditional transaction-based border risk assessment.

The move is considered long-overdue by Australian businesses eager to realize tangible benefits from such a program of self-regulation including: faster release of cargo to partners with a strong security and compliance history; decreased customs clearance administrative and regulatory burdens; “front of queue” services for formal ruling and examinations; and increased market access and economic competitiveness.

In a discussion paper released in July, ACBPS established that the TPP will consist of two schemes: the Import Trusted Trader Scheme (ITTS) for select trusted overseas exporters, supply chain participants, and Australian importers; and the Export Trusted Trader Scheme (ETTS) with a supply chain security focus emphasizing mutual recognition of exporters with Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status by Australia’s foreign trading partners.

Details of the new program are currently still under development, but hopes are that a final proposal will be put to the Abbott government for review in early 2015 with initial implementation sometime later that year.