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Henning Harders February Newsletter

Henning Harders Advisory continues to actively represent our customers and our industry:

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE)

Recently, the Inspector General of Biosecurity (Mr. Rob Delane) released the following comprehensive review titled Adequacy of department’s operational model to effectively mitigate biosecurity risks in evolving risk and business environments”.

The entire report can be accessed through the following link: Adequacy of department’s operational model to effectively mitigate biosecurity risks in evolving risk and business environments (igb.gov.au)

The review highlighted 19 recommendations. From those, Henning Harders Advisory are paying particular attention to the following.

Recommendation 1 
The department should address the major root causes of the ‘regulator versus facilitator’ confusion – principally through actions that will improve its regulatory maturity and regulatory delivery – and communicate to both staff and industry in practical language its ongoing improvement as Australia’s national biosecurity agency.

Recommendation 3 
The department needs to re-establish frontline (risk pathway based) partnerships with industry, with urgent agenda items including streamlining biosecurity risk mitigation through expanded and improved co-regulation arrangements; and modernised cost recovery arrangements for biosecurity regulatory delivery.

Recommendation 6 
The department should establish commodity and pathway specific working groups for importing sectors, with relevant reporting to an overarching group such as a re-formed Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Cargo Consultative Committee (DCCC) and potential linkage to the ministerial Biosecurity Futures Group. All (re-)established groups need a strong focus on co-creation of ways to achieve better biosecurity results more efficiently, with appropriate funding arrangements.

Recommendation 7 
The department should provide advice through the Biosecurity Futures Group on options to establish and communicate a contemporary ‘biosecurity partnership’ approach based on parties at each point in the biosecurity continuum accepting appropriate responsibilities and supporting others in delivering on their contribution to better biosecurity outcomes.

Recommendation 9 
In line with the recommendation to establish practical industry partnership groups based on risk pathways or industry sub-sector, the department should ensure that key personnel from industry representative organisations have direct contact details for relevant technical, operational and policy/strategy managers.

Recommendation 10 
The department needs to engage with import sector representative organisations to identify a priority plan for rollout of expanded co-regulation arrangements. This should be done as quickly as improved resourcing, regulatory maturity, and compliance and enforcement capability allows.

Recommendation 14 
The department needs to establish a 3-year plan to address the strategic priorities identified in this review, which will enable the department to optimise staffing levels and capabilities; it should not continue to reduce operational staffing in isolation of underpinning capabilities, as it will result in impeded import trade and exacerbated biosecurity risk.

Recommendation 17 
The department needs to establish sound governance arrangements for continuous improvement programs in areas directly affecting the import sector, with those programs directly involving industry representatives wherever practical.

Advisory Summary
We see all these recommendations as further enhancing and co-developing the work we are doing with the Department around Shared Responsibilities and Accountability. Our major focus is around Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), and the ability for our clients to manage their own supply chain against such hitch hiker pests without necessarily having to treat every container! This has enormous cost avoidance benefits, environmental impacts and provides a high level of supply chain certainty.

If this is of interest to you, kindly contact Andrew Crawford or Steven Butler and they will be delighted to discuss the Safeguarding Arrangement program with you.

Australian Border Force (ABF) –Australian Trusted Trader Update

Program update
By mid-November 2020, 780 Australian businesses had been accredited as Trusted Traders, with a further 330 progressing towards accreditation. In total, more than 1100 businesses are actively engaged in the program.

Trusted Trader accreditation is open to Australian businesses that can demonstrate a secure international supply chain and sound trade compliance practices. With the COVID-19 global pandemic having an on-going impact on trade, the ABF is working with Trusted Traders to reduce business costs and to develop a genuine partnership with the Federal Government. This takes the form of various benefits to Trusted Traders, involvement in forums such as the Industry Advisory Group and events including the Australian Trusted Trader Symposium.

Validations and Revalidations
Both validations of ATT applicants and revalidations of accredited entities provide assurance to the Australian Government and industry that Trusted Traders maintain secure, and compliant supply chains. Due to Government health restrictions many validations and revalidations were postponed in 2020. Validations and revalidations have recently resumed in some parts of Australia. To maintain a safe environment for industry and ABF officers, validation process changes have been implemented to meet COVID safe guidelines.

Who should Join?

  • Any business that has been active in the International Supply Chain for at least 2 years.
  • Is financially solvent.
  • Has an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Any business that wants to establish a relationship with ABF and be treated as a “Trusted Trader”  and receive priority processing and treatment at the border and cash flow advantages through “Duty Deferral”
  • Want to differentiate themselves against their competitors. (You want to be a Trusted Trader not an Untrusted Trader!)

Here are the summarised Benefits

  • Account manager
  • Priority processing
  • Priority treatment of goods at the border
  • A seat at the table and exclusive invitations
  • Use of logo
  • Mutual Recognition Arrangements
  • Data reports
  • Simpler TSS visa process
  • Easier access to APEC Business Travel Card
  • Consolidated Cargo Clearance​​​​​
  • Consolidated Cargo Reporting
  • Australian Government partnerships
  • Duty Deferral
  • Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) Origin Advance Ruling
  • Origin Waiver

The ABF ATT webpage provides additional for each of the benefits https://www.abf.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/trustedtrader/benefits          

Alternatively, contact Andrew Crawford or Steven Butler and the Advisory team will explain how they can assist you in:

  • How the benefits and Scheme can positively impact on your business.
  • The application processes.
  • The companion guide interpretation.
  • Preparation, GAP analysis and auditing.
  • Pre-validation.
  • Validation, right through to approval.

Landside Logistics

Terminal Updates
Some mixed news from the terminals in the past four weeks with DP World finalizing its Enterprise Agreements at all four container terminals around the country. This has been made possible due to some stability at its terminals in the last couple of months and reduced terminal congestion. Confirmation from DP World is that all terminals are operating normally and without berthing delays.

VICT in Melbourne was put on notice by the MUA in mid-February with planned industrial action over the weekend of the 19th to 22nd.  The terminal took this to the Fair Work Commission and an interim order suspending industrial action was made effective from Saturday 20th at 6.00am. A mid-March hearing is scheduled at the FWC and we wait to see if further action will commence.

Container throughput at Port Botany hit an all-time high in January where *247,894 TEU’s where handled in Sydney. This represented a *14.93% increase from the same time in 2020.

These increased numbers were fueled by pandemic buying as the imports of miscellaneous manufactured items increased almost 30% in January to *26,119 TEU’s. 

Vessels calling into Port Botany totalled *92 of which *21 of these had a capacity of over *6000TEU, seven more larger vessels than this time in 2020.

*data provided by NSW Ports

More Wharfage Fee Woes
Only two months since DP World and VICT flagged increases in container booking fees, Patrick and Hutchison terminals have increased landside terminal access fees effective 1st March 2021.

Patrick increase equates to 2.9% on the east coast terminals and 7.68% in Fremantle. 

Hutchison Ports Australia is increasing infrastructure levy by over 50% making it the most expensive of the terminals around Australia.

To rub salt into the wounds, Patrick has announced an additional charge to industry, the Patrick ‘Long Vehicle’ Fee. This fee will apply to all vehicles entering their Sydney and Brisbane terminals that are over 26m in length from the 1st March.  Most trucking companies utilize Super B-Doubles and A-Doubles to enhance productivity for customers by using less movements in and out of the port.

Industry has called Patrick to remove this fee and to provide justification on its implementation, however, to date the terminal has refused to sit down with any industry stakeholders.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your Key Account Manager on how these charges may affect your shipments.

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