The Australian Border Force has implemented a Voluntary trade facilitation initiative, which is open to all Australian Business active in the International supply chain, that have an ABN, with a two year trading history and that are financially solvent.
This programme recognises businesses with a secure supply chain and have compliant trade practices, once a business is accredited, they are rewarded with a range of trade facilitation benefits. To become accredited, your business must firstly complete an expression of interest, followed by completion of a self-assessment questionnaire. Depending on the size of your business the Australian Border Force (ABF) suggest this could take between 20 hours and 200 hours , an ABF officer will also visit your business premises to conduct an Onsite validation, the purpose of which is to verify the information provided in the Self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) .
The SAQ asks for information relating to:
- Structure, operations, and personnel.
- Organisational governance.
- Trade compliance.
- Financial Standing.
- Commercial record keeping.
- Communications and Information Communication technology (ICT) environment.
- International supply chain security.
The benefits of becoming an accredited trusted Trader are :
- A dedicated Account manager, will assist with ATT process.
- Priority Trade services , specifically to do with rulings, valuations, drawbacks, refund of duty.
- Differentiated examinations, accredited ATT will be formally recognised as low risk by the ABF.
- Mutual recognition arrangements, namely customs to customs agreements made between Australian government and trading partners.
- Use of the Australian Trusted Trader logo.
Once your business has been validated, your business might be offered the opportunity to enter into an ATT agreement and become a trusted Trader. There will be ongoing obligations for your business will need to meet in order to access the benefits of the programme, and once accredited you will be assigned a dedicated Account manager , who will be your single point of contact between your business and the ABF.
At a recent seminar we attended a figure of $32000 was quoted as the costs incurred by business to complete the SAQ and on site validation process. We believe that the ATT is designed for large business with a corporate governance that may require them to have ISO accreditation , our view is that programme would not suit smaller to medium size business when you consider the cost recovery versus the benefits offered by the programme.