“An apparent attempt to smuggle more than a tonne of molasses tobacco, 810,000 cigarettes and other banned products has led to charges being laid against a 48-year-old man from the Perth suburb of Scarborough.

According to the Australian Border Force, the illicit cargo was concealed inside a sea container from India and the value of evaded duty on the molasses tobacco and cigarettes amounted to more than $1.84m.

Officers at the ABF WA Container Examination Facility scrutinised container the after it arrived from India on 18 February.

A sharp-nosed detector dog sniffed out the tobacco.

It is alleged that behind a ‘cover load’ of food and household products were:

  • 1104kg of molasses tobacco
  • 810,000 cigarettes (40,500 packets)
  • 77.6kg of chewing tobacco
  • 1200 Kamini pills

Kamini pills, which contain opium poppy, and chewing tobacco are banned in Australia.

On 6 March 2019, ABF officers raided an Osborne Park business premises and a Scarborough home.

Several tobacco products were located and seized at the business

The man was arrested at the business and charged with one count of importing tobacco products with the intention of defrauding the revenue.

He was bailed ahead of another appearance in Perth Magistrates Court.

The ABF is also investigating a second container allegedly sent from the same consignor in India to the same consignee in Perth.

The amount of duty allegedly evaded is allegedly more than $2.14m.

ABF Acting Regional Commander for Western Australia Emma Newman praised the officers at the container examination facility.

“These seizures will put a significant dent in the supply of illicit tobacco in Western Australia,” Acting Commander Newman said. “People who engage in this kind of behaviour – whether it’s growing, importing, supplying or buying black market tobacco – not only put money into the hands of organised crime, but take away potential tax dollars from the Australian community.”

Article Credit of The Daily Cargo News – March 15th 2019


Paul Damkjaer, CEO of the CBFCA (Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia) has criticised the Australian Governments proposed Bio-Security Levy in a recent ‘Letter to the Editor’ on the Daily Cargo News Website.

“Agriculture minister David Littleproud recently established a bio-security levy steering committee to make recommendations on the implementation of this new levy.

The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia has a long history of working with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on biosecurity policy.

The CBFCA is one of the peak industry associations representing service providers in international trade logistics and supply chain management, in particular those service providers who undertake border clearance activities through the departments of Home Affairs and Agriculture, these being licensed individual customs brokers or licensed corporate customs brokerages where the individual licensed customs broker is a nominee for that corporate entity.

Licensed customs brokers are accredited by DAWRS under the Broker Accreditation Scheme to undertake in co-regulatory arrangement documentation assessment activities for non-commodities/ commodities, and freight forwarders are accredited under the Approved Arrangements Scheme.

In this capacity, the CBFCA has provided commentary to a variety of Government and regulatory inquiries as to policy, equity, compliance, cost recovery and process improvement on biosecurity matters.

The CBFCA as an active member of the Department of Agriculture Cargo Consultative Committee and the Import Industry Finance Consultative Committee and works with the Department on a variety of idealistic biosecurity process outcomes, is very disappointed with the Minister and his advisors for excluding the CBFCA and other key industry associations and stakeholders from the steering committee.

What is interesting to note is the CBFCA was involved in past biosecurity import levy meetings and industry workshops but was still overlooked, despite our long history working with the Department.

During departmental workshops we often heard from industry that their preferred collection model was via the Full Import Declaration which is currently in place and is facilitated by the customs brokers and freight forwarders who pay the fees and pass on to their clients. If the new committee is to push for this collection model the CBFCA is most qualified to represent and make commentary on behalf of members. In the absence of the CBFCA we question if our specific industry sector will be appropriately represented.

The CBFCA understands that the Australia’s border biosecurity protects our food supply, agriculture industry and our way of life. However, we have concerns about whether the money collected will even be used for biosecurity, as the current cost recovered Imports Program is in desperate need of additional resources to manage the brown marmorated stink bug.

The CBFCA strongly opposes this proposed new tax as unfair, wrongly targeted and highly inefficient, however we support adequate funding for biosecurity.

The Department claims that biosecurity is a “shared responsibility”. This is often spoken about, but unfortunately not practiced enough. The CBFCA believes any additional funding should provide a modern, seamless border clearance that also manages biosecurity risks, as only in partnership with industry the biosecurity risks can be better managed.”

Article credit of The Daily Cargo News – Letter to the Editor 13th of March 2019


“Opposition infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese has hit out at the government over its handling of the proposed bio-security levy, describing the controversial policy as “a revenue grab”.

Mr Albanese, a former minister, was a keynote speaker at the Australian Logistics Council Forum 2019, held in the conference facilities at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

He noted the levy arose from the review of the inter-governmental agreement on bio-security.

“The review proposed a levy of $10 on all shipping containers to take effect from July 1,” Mr Albanese told the gathering.

“But the government is attempting to impose a general import levy based upon volume on all shipping movements – this appears to be a revenue grab,” he said.

“It has created understandable concern about whether the money collected will even be used for bio-security because of course, it is no hypothetical – no tax ever really is.”

Mr Albanese said bio-security was important and had to be paid for.

“But the government has completely botched this process by failing to consultant or produce a regulatory impact statement.”

Agriculture minister David Littleproud this week announced the composition of a steering committee to examine the levy and its implementation.

Mr Albanese also criticised the government over inland rail, accusing it of failing to include the cost of the 38-kilometre Acacia Ridge – Port of Brisbane section. He reiterated Labor plans to revitalise Australian-flagged shipping and an Australian-flagged fleet of tankers to provide fuel security.

The proposed levy would be imposed on all cargo imported to Australia by sea. The government proposes to charge $10.02 per TEU and $1 per tonne for non-containerised cargo.”

Article credit of The Daily Cargo News – March 6th 2019


“Agriculture is expected to be a big winner from the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The agreement (also known as an FTA or FTP) was announced by trade minister Simon Birmingham, but agriculture minister David Littleproud was quick to enthuse over the concept.

“Our farmers will export more produce because of this deal,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re giving our farmers more options and creating competition for Australian produce.”

“Beef and sheep farmers are big winners – tariffs will disappear and more cattle will be exported.”

According to Minister Littleproud, all tariffs on beef and sheep meat are to be eliminated over five years with most eliminated immediately. They currently sit at 5%.

“The first 575,000 head of live male cattle are now duty free, growing to 700,000 over six years,” he said. “Sugar tariffs will be slashed from a maximum 12% to 5%.”

“The first 500,000 tonnes of grain per year will also be duty free and that will grow by 5% a year.”

“Improved duty free quotas will also be put in place for citrus and horticultural products.”

“Our farmers will export more produce because of this deal,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re giving our farmers more options and creating competition for Australian produce.”

“Beef and sheep farmers are big winners – tariffs will disappear and more cattle will be exported.”

Mr Littleproud said they were also increasing work and holiday visas for Indonesians from 1000 to 5000, helping producers who require seasonal workers.

“Preferential deals will be put in place or duty will be removed for more than 99% of exports to Indonesia,” he said.

“Since coming to government, the Coalition has delivered six major free trade agreements.”

“These are key to realising our ambition of a $100 billion agricultural industry by 2030.”

Fast Facts:                                                                                      

• Indonesia is Australia’s fourth largest agricultural export market, worth $3.35bn in 2017

• In 2017, Australia’s top exports to Indonesia were wheat ($1.3b), live cattle ($602m), sugar ($328m) and beef and veal ($284m)

• Agriculture, fisheries and forestry totalled $54bn in export earnings in 2017-18

• Australia imported $833m of agricultural commodities from Indonesia in 2017. Source: Office of David Littleproud”

Article Credit of The Daily Cargo News – March 4th 2019


Credit Fremantle Ports

According to the latest trade statistics available from Fremantle Ports, “throughput at the Port of Fremantle remained relatively unchanged in January, compared with December.

Total throughput for January 2019 was reported to be 65,757 TEU, a 2% decrease on the same month in 2018, but just 369 TEU less than Fremantle’s December throughput.

Of January’s total throughput, 30,170 TEU was exported; of that, 4% was coastal trade, the rest headed for overseas. Containerised imports into the port were slightly more even. Of the total 35,587 TEU, 17% was coastal, the remaining 83% was imported from overseas.”

A detailed copy of the report is available from the Fremantle Ports website: https://www.fremantleports.com.au/trade-business/container-traffic-reports

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“A container from China marked “beverages and toilet paper” was actually carrying an illicit cargo of tobacco, the Australian Border Force says.

The ABF says it has smashed an organised criminal syndicate following multiple raids in Sydney’s west. Earlier this month, ABF officers at the Sydney Container Examination Facility targeted a container from China.

The consignment was described as containing ‘beverages and toilet paper’, but an examination revealed it was filled entirely with illicit tobacco products. ABF officers found 1.87m cigarettes and 12 tonnes of loose leaf tobacco, a total evaded duty of $15.9m.

On 7 February 2019, ABF investigators raided a storage facility in Greenacre, apprehending two people allegedly in the process of unpacking the container.

A 46-year-old man and a 49-year-old man were arrested and taken to Bankstown Police Station, where they were charged with multiple offences.

ABF regional investigations NSW A/g Superintendent John Fleming said the result should send a clear message to organised crime groups.

“This was a brazen attempt by a sophisticated organised crime syndicate to defraud the Commonwealth of $15.9 million of legitimate revenue,” A/g Superintendent Fleming said.

“Individuals must realise that when they buy a packet of illegal cigarettes, they are supporting a market dominated by criminal syndicates who use the profits from illicit tobacco to fund other illegal activities.”

The maximum penalty for tobacco smuggling is 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to five-times the amount of duty evaded. During the last financial year, the ABF reported more than 110,000 detections of illicit tobacco at the border. The illicit tobacco market in Australia is worth about $600m a year in evaded revenue.”

Article Credit  David Sexton – The Daily Cargo News 14th February, 2019

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