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Importers, customs brokers and freight forwarders Biosecurity Import Levy will not proceed – Next Advocacy Steps In line with our advocacy addressing “cash flow” relief measures for the import sector during the current COVID-19 crisis, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) welcome the announcement from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment that the controversial Onshore Biosecurity Levy (previously referred to as the “Biosecurity Import Levy”) will not proceed.
At a briefing held this morning, the Department has confirmed that this decision is a result of the work of the Onshore Biosecurity Levy Industry Working Group, which highlighted the issues in designing an equitable levy that did not create unreasonable regulatory impost. It also acknowledges the pressures Australian industry is currently facing due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Industry representatives were further advised that activities proposed to be funded by the levy will now paid for from general revenue. It was emphasised that this result will in no way diminish the government’s biosecurity focus.
FTA / APSA COVID-19 STATUS REPORT – AVAILABLE HERE
DEPARTMENT MEDIA RELEASE ADVISING STATUS OF THE ONSHORE BIOSECURITY LEVY – AVAILABLE HERE
FTA / APSA – NEXT ADVOCACY STEPS
FTA / APSA will engage with: the Department of Agriculture Cargo Consultative (DCCC) members on any changes to existing cost recovery measures with a focus on ensuring that any increases translate to a commensurate sustained improvement to the paying sectors of industry; the Hon. David Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management) and peak industry executives involved in Biosecurity Futures – advice has been received that the group will soon convene to provide strategic industry advice on matters relevant to Australia’s biosecurity system; and federal government (that has now led by example recognising cost impacts on shippers) to address other exorbitant supply chain costs, specifically regulation on stevedore-imposed Terminal Access Charges. A great feeling at this difficult time to deliver more positive news !!