Friday, 9 September 2016

Australia signs agreements to streamline trade

A recent update from the Department of Immigration & Border Protection highlights the Mutual Recognition Arrangement between Australia and New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS), signed during the recent World Customs Organisation’s council session in Brussels in July.

The MRA formally recognises supply chain security programs between customs agencies and provides reciprocal benefits to each country’s trusted partners. The MRA will also provide Australia and New Zealand’s border agencies with greater end-to-end assurance over imports and exports.

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

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Not just talking the talk – Retail embracing social as well as environmental issues

Not just talking the talk – Retail embracing social as well as environmental issues

We all know that in order to stay on top of your game, you have to adapt. Sometimes moving forward and embracing a strategy that initially has no positive impact on your top or bottom lines can turn into a the “best idea we ever had”.

Of the top 20 brand leaders in 1999, only seven remain in the top 20 today. A very sobering statistic, but one common factor for those that have remained in that top 20 (Cadbury, Google, Dyson, Lego, Sony, Virgin) is their ability to introduce social and environmental matters into their strategy as well as their offering.

A 2016 survey of more than 1800 CEOs in the retail industry found that 52% of CEOs believe their customers choose brands not solely on price and features but also on the basis of social and environmental issues.

In response to consumer concerns, and hoping to be among the brand leaders topping the list in 15 years from now, these companies are offering healthier options, minimising CO2 output and water usage, collaborating with local non-governmental organisations to improve the environment and economic conditions.

Retail giants Costco and Starbucks have led the way in adopting above-minimum-wage pay, a trend that is currently under the microscope here in Australia, and one that some consumers say “heavily influences” their purchase decisions.

So, what are the implications? Consumer goods and retail companies are learning that they need to better represent their customers’ broader needs and values. The few leading brands that have embraced social issues for many years will become part of a much larger club as their competitors and peers scramble to embrace the changes.

Stronger alliances with public health and environmental organisations will take center stage. Companies will invest in political lobbying and government-relations resources to help articulate their point of view on any number of high-profile public policy issues.

At 20Cube, one of our key values is to ensure we have a positive impact on our environment. If you would like to understand how 20Cube can help your business have a positive impact on the environment, please contact us.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Amazon can test drones in the UK, but they may cause 'supply chain nightmares'

Retail giant Amazon is set to use small drone technology to deliver its parcels to UK customers, following the permission of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority to start its Prime Air research and development programme. While the CAA is keen to support innovation, drone delivery posits significant questions about redefining traditional supply chain routes. Read More


Monday, 1 August 2016

Shipping Giant Shows Why We Are in Deep Water on Deflation

It is a sign of stunted investor expectations when an 89 per cent slide in quarterly profit triggers a 3 percent share price jump. Read More

Source: Chris Bryant | Bloomberg Gadfy

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

2016/17 Measures to Manage Stink Bugs

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has developed the following measures to manage the seasonal risk of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) infestations in break bulk and containerised sea cargo shipped from the United States. Read More

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Australia and New Zealand Sign Arrangement to Streamline Trade

Australian Border & Protection

Trusted Trans-Tasman exporters will be rewarded with fast-tracked customs processing at Australian and New Zealand borders under a new arrangement between the two countries.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and New Zealand Customs Service (NZ Customs) signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) last Friday, to recognise the supply chain security programmes of both countries.

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

Commissioner Quaedvlieg said the arrangement would benefit members of the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) programme and the NZ Customs Secure Export Scheme (SES).

“It is anticipated that the MRA will allow $3 billion of New Zealand exports to Australia to be fast tracked,” Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.

“As we increase membership of the ATT programme, we expect that $7.5 billion of Australian exports to New Zealand will benefit from the MRA by 2020.

“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.”

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.

Source: Australian Border & Protection 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

ANL, Coscon and OOCL under A3 alliance to launch Asia-Oz loops

OOCL has unveiled the joint services it will operate in conjunction with partners ANL and Coscon under the newly formed Asia Australia Consortium (A3) that will focus on the trade between North East Asia and Australia.

The A3 will launch three dedicated services, namely the Northern Express, Central Express and Southern Express, connecting 10 major North East Asia ports with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Subject to regulatory approval, the A3 plans to launch the new services starting from September or October.

The port rotation for the weekly Northern Express is Yokohama, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and back to Yokohama.

The Central Express is also a weekly service, with the following port rotation: Shanghai, Ningbo, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and back to Shanghai.

The port rotation for the weekly Southern Express is Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Shenzhen-Shekou, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and back to Kaohsiung

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Illegal Logging Laws: Extension to 'soft-start' compliance period

On 25 February 2016, the Australian Government released the final report of the KPMG led Independent review of the impact of the illegal logging regulations on small business.

The report proposed a package of regulatory and non-regulatory reforms to minimise the costs of complying with the Regulation.

In light of this process and the potential for further changes to the Regulation, the department has decided to extend the initial 'soft-start' compliance period until any amendments from the KPMG review have been finalised. This is expected to extend the soft-start period until late 2016 or early 2017.

​A further Compliance Advice Notice will be released to advise when the 'soft-start' compliance period will end.​

20Cube are available to discuss further and assist clients with ensuring they comply with the Regulations.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Changes to Import Requirements for Used Machinery, Used Equipment & Used Parts

The Department of Agriculture & Water Resources has issued an industry advice notice regarding the importation of used machinery, equipment and parts.

Importers, customs agents and brokers have been advised that from 16 June, 2016, an import permit will no longer be required, a change that coincides with the commencement of the Biosecurity Act 2015.

How does this affect you?
If you're an importer of used machinery, equipment and parts, then you will no longer need to obtain a permit. The aim of the new arrangment is to reduce costs and regulatory burden to importers.

BICON was updated on 16 June to reflect the change.

Your opportunity to contribute to revised import conditions
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has commenced a review into the management of biosecurity risks associated with imported used machinery and equipment, which may result in further changes to import conditions​ for these goods. 

A discussion paper is expected to be released in July/August 2016 outlining the proposed changes and affected stakeholders will be invited to provide comment.   
Further information
Any enquiries regarding this change, please contact your 20Cube team for more information.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Reminder: Import permits required prior to arrival of goods

With the commencement of the new Biosecurity Act 2015 on 16 June 2016, importers are reminded of the need to obtain any relevant import permits prior to the arrival of goods in Australia.

If you intend to import goods into Australia that require import permits eg fertilizer products, you must comply with the new legislation.

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, the department cannot issue an import permit for goods that have already landed. In the past, the department has facilitated imports that have landed without a permit by allowing importers to apply for a permit. This will no longer be the case.

For more information, please visit the DAWR website.