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Category Archives: Uncategorized

A reminder regarding imported products containing asbestos

The Australian Border Force (ABF) would like to remind all importers, particularly importers of motor vehicles, that Australia has a zero tolerance policy towards the import and use of anything containing asbestos. Products containing any level of asbestos, regardless of age, are prohibited from import into Australia, the ABF actively targets products suspected of containing asbestos, and if a product being imported is found to be containing asbestos, they will take up the matter with the freight forwarder and importer responsible, penalties may then apply.

Don’t take the risk, ensure all your imports are asbestos free and that you have supporting documentation which can verify this.

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Containers lost at sea


The International Shipping Industry carries upwards of 120 million containers annually with an estimated value upwards of U$4 trillion. No matter what precautions are taken, hundreds of containers are lost at sea every year due to rough seas, severe weather, grounding, collisions and structural failures.
In two separate studies, the World Shipping Council surveyed the carriers who account for roughly 70% of global box movements, and made the assumption that loss figures for the remaining 30% of the market would be similar. They established that for the years of 2008/9/10 there were roughly 350 containers lost each year in non-catastrophic events. For the years 2011/12/13 the figure had risen to an average of 730 containers lost at sea each year.
When catastrophic conditions are taken into account (catastrophic is when vessels are lost) the average figure for 2011-13 rose to 2683 containers per annum, mainly down to the loss of the M/V Rena off New Zealand and the MOL Comfort in the Indian Ocean, where 900 and 4293 containers were lost respectively.
Recent legislative changes, including amendments to the SOLAS Convention in 2016, will help to reduce the number of containers lost at sea. However, the problem will never go away completely and it is imperative that importers and exporters adequately protect themselves from damage to, or loss of goods, but also from the potential costs which may arise when a “general average” is called.
For those companies who ship regularly an annual marine cargo policy is a must. For companies shipping on an ad-hoc basis, either select to insure on a shipment by shipment basis, or purchase annual cover. Your freight forwarding company is usually able to organise, or recommend a reputable Insurance Company who specialise in Marine Insurance. They should be able to give you good advice to make the best choice for your circumstances, and ultimately give you peace of mind.

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Foreign Currency Payments

Did you know that not only can we accept payments from you in Australian Dollars, but we can also accept payments in US Dollars, Euros and Great British Pounds. If you want our account details for each, or all currencies, please ask one of our team members for further information.

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DP World Infrastructure Charges

DP World have advised that from April 17th, 2017 they will be introducing a flat Infrastructure Fee of $21.14 per container on all containers entering their terminals in Sydney, and increase their Melbourne Infrastructure Fee from $3.50 to $32.60 on the same date. DP World states that, among other reasons, the surcharge is necessary due to the introduction of competition, privatisation, and the consolidation of the shipping industry. They also quote increases in the cost of occupancy, including higher rent, land tax and council rates. The Infrastructure Fee (where levied) will be passed on at cost on our invoices.


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India launches service tax on prepaid cargo

The Indian Ministry of Finance has recently implemented a service tax of 4.5% on prepaid import shipments into India. Prepaid shipments were previously not included in the service tax scheme, but have now been captured. It is now a requirement for all foreign-owned shipping lines to collect the tax on behalf of the Indian Government, and the 4.5% levy will be charged on all prepaid freight and ancillary charges.


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Maltacourt Melbourne – opening February 1st 2017!

Maltacourt Australia will be opening an office in Melbourne on Wednesday February 1st. Our new Melbourne phone number is 03 9608 6300 and our Fax number is 03 9310 3122. We look forward to working closer with our customers in Melbourne and across the Victorian market.


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Chinese New Year 2017

Chinese New Year arrives early this year!

The holiday period in China will run from the 27th of January to 2nd February so please ensure that any urgent shipments are expedited by your suppliers in good time before the ports close down.

We wish all of our customers, our agents and their staff a very Happy Chinese New Year, in this the year of the Rooster.

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USA import sea freight rate increases

Shipping Lines operating from the USA West Coast to Australia have amended their January 2017 tariffs as follows-

Bunker & Additionals increase from U$359.00 to U$418.00/20′ and from U$718.00 to U$836.00/40′. In addition, a General Rate Increase has been implemented which will increase rates by U$200.00/20′ or U$400.00/40′.

Our LCL rates from the USA will be increased by U$10.00 per cubic metre on February 3rd to cover the above FCL rate increases.








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No more “raw prawns”!

The Director of Biosecurity has suspended imports of both raw and marinated Uncooked Prawns, and Uncooked Prawn Meat, for a period of 6 months, with effect from Monday January 9th 2017.

More detailed information is available at the DAWR website,


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Australia signs agreements to streamline trade

Customs authorities in Australia and New Zealand have signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement that accepts each other’s supply chain security programmes and provides reciprocal benefits to the other country’s trusted partners.

The Australia-New Zealand Agreement will ensure that members of the recently launched Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) programme and the NZCS Secure Exports Scheme receive preferential border treatment and trade facilitation benefits when conducting trans-Tasman trade.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection anticipates that the MRA will allow up to 13 per cent of New Zealand import volume to Australia – totalling $3 billion – to be fast tracked, along with $7.5 billion of Australian exports by 2020.

“This combined $10.5 billion of trans-Tasman trade facilitated and secured through the MRA demonstrates a significant return on investment that will increase the international competitiveness of industries in both countries,” the Department said.

Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg, and NZ Customs Comptroller, Carolyn Tremain, met at the World Customs Organization’s Council sessions in Brussels to sign the Agreement on Friday, 15 July.

“The MRA provides benefits to trusted traders of both countries and provides border agencies greater end-to-end assurance of imports and exports. Reducing the regulatory duplication between the two schemes will make it easier for Australian and New Zealand businesses to trade with each other and boost the international competitiveness of both countries,” said Commissioner Quaedvlieg.

NZ Customs Comptroller Carolyn Tremain said the two agencies already work closely together and this arrangement will provide further assurance over trans-Tasman trade for both countries.

“The MRA means New Zealand’s Secure Export Scheme members will benefit from a faster and smoother border experience with our closest neighbour, and gives traders on both side of the Tasman a competitive advantage,” Ms Tremain said.

At the Council sessions, the Department also formally agreed to work towards mutual recognition of respective supply chain security programmes with the Canada Border Service Agency, Hong Kong Customs and Excise and Singapore Customs. These agreements were made through the signings of Statements of Intent and Action plans. The Department also reaffirmed Authorized Economic Operator cooperation with China with the signing of the latest schedule of the Strategic Partnership Program.

Meanwhile, Australian Trusted Trader began on 1 July 2016 and is progressing well. Over 200 Australian businesses have expressed their interest in the programme since the beginning of July. Teys Australia Beenleigh Pty Ltd is the first accredited Trusted Trader and 31 businesses are currently in the process of becoming accredited.

Article courtesy of Lloyds List, July 20th 2016.

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