Australia’s export community has been quick to embrace the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) program, launched on July 1 last year.
Since the launch more than 400 applications have been received to join the program, administered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
ATT Communications Officer Angela MacDonald says feedback from participants has been very positive, especially in relation to the ATT benefits, designed to help businesses trade more efficiently.
To date, there are 13 Trusted Traders, including some of Australia’s largest importers and exporters, including Ikea, Target Australia and IBM Australia.
How does it work?
ATT is a voluntary trade facilitation initiative operated by the Australian Border Force (ABF). ATT works by accrediting businesses against international standards relating to supply chain security and trade compliance. In return, businesses are rewarded with a number of trade facilitation benefits.
ATT is free to join, and open to all Australian businesses that are:
▶▶ Active in the international supply chain
▶▶ Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
▶▶ Have two years of trading history, and
▶▶ Are financially solvent.
What are the main benefits of the program?
Trusted Traders are rewarded with a number of trade facilitation benefits including:
▶▶ A dedicated ABF Account Manager
▶▶ Use of the ATT logo
▶▶ A lighter touch at the border
▶▶ Faster clearance in export markets through Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) with key trading partners
▶▶ Prioritised service and access to advanced ruling requests on the application of tariffs, valuation and origin to certain goods.
Future benefits include:
▶▶ Duty deferral; and
▶▶ Streamlined reporting.
Is Australia working with key trading partners?
Many of Australia’s key trading partners also operate Trusted Trader programs, including China, the US and the EU. By establishing Mutual Recognition Arrangements with countries which have similar programmes, Australian Trusted Traders will be extended trade facilitation benefits in the country of export. This means that Australian Trusted Traders will receive faster clearance in export markets.
In July last year, the Department signed its first MRA with the New Zealand Customs Service. The Department is also in discussions with China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Canada and Thailand.
Has it improved the international supply chain for participants?
Australian Trusted Trader helps businesses to strengthen supply chain security and compliance – meaning that businesses have more surety on the security and movement of their goods. Participants also see great value in the trade facilitation benefits offered to Trusted Traders, many of which improve efficiency and reduce red tape within the supply chain.
What do members see as the advantages of the program?
The ATT provides businesses with access to a range of trade facilitation benefits, which reduce red tape and administrative burden. Pacific Brands joined the programme to increase its international competitiveness. Tyrone Tapusoa, Head of Logistics at Pacific Brands, said a primary reason the company joined the programme was to increase speed and reduction of lead time of the products coming into Australia.
“It was a natural progression for Pac Brands to move from the Bonded Warehouse into the Trusted Trader programme,” Mr Tapusoa said. John Langbridge, Manager, Corporate and Industry Affairs at Teys Australia firmly believes that being in the Trusted Trader programme “will give us a competitive advantage, in that it will underpin the brands of our higher quality products, giving consumers confidence and therefore the expectation they would be prepared to pay a premium for that.”
How can a business apply to join the program or learn more about it?
To become a Trusted Trader, a business needs to:
▶▶ Visit www.border.gov.au/trustedtrader and obtain a login
▶▶ Complete an expression of interest (EOI)
▶▶ Complete the self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ)
▶▶ Be verified through an on-site validation
▶▶ Enter into an ATT agreement.
First published on pages 22-23 of Autumn 2017 International Business Today.