The benefits of reporting cargo destined for Australia 24 hours prior to loading overseas has become clearer as a result of a recently completed Customsledmultination investigation.
“The conclusion from talking with many stakeholders in Europe and the US is that the current North American 24-hour prior reporting systems provide an excellent model if Australia eventually adopts this regime,” said Llew Russell, CEO of Shipping Australia.
Discussions were held with Customs representatives, carriers, industry associations, shippers and freight forwarders/ customs brokers and port authorities in Brussels, London, New York, Washington and Los Angeles. Representatives of the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia joined the delegation in Washington.
Russell said that the EU is considering introducing a 24-hour prior reporting model from mid-2009, but it is much more complicated than the existing US and Canadian systems and does not, in his view, assist in achieving the enhanced security outcomes possible under the North American model.
He pointed out that advantages other than allowing Australian Customs more time to profi le the risks involved, include the potential to signifi cantly upgrade the effi ciency of our logistics systems in Australia and overseas for cargo destined for Australia. Better planning at ports as a result of more timely information as well as enforced ‘best practice procedures’ in terms of cargo handling will increase Australia’s international competitiveness.
According to Russell, the US is considering amending its system, which has been in operation for almost fi ve years. If implemented, the requirement to provide information currently held by importers, freight forwarders and customs brokers could eventually lead to cargo being cleared before arrival in Australia. Carrier supplied information is also being expanded.