Monday, 29 February 2016

Know Your International Commerce Terms

20Cube has worked with Spanish video designer, Valeria Castano, to develop a quick visual illustration of the International Commerce Terms (IncoTerms).

Led by Project specialist, Alberto Coll, the idea was to make Incoterms easy to understand.

"There are many ways to explain Incoterms and I have seen many videos on the subject, but we wanted to deliver the information succinctly and clearly," says Alberto. "Valeria has done a great job for us in a easy to understand narrative."

Friday, 26 February 2016

Australia continues with Free Trade Negotiations

2016 looms as another significant year for those in the Australian part of the international supply chain.

Industry is still monitoring ChAFTA with more clarity on the approach by the DIBP to implementation of the ChAFTA, given that there have been some recognised "teething problems".
We now wait to see which of the proposed FTA will be actioned next.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will see the elimination of 98 per cent of tariffs among 12 countries and was formally signed by Trade and Investment Minister Robb on 4 February 2016 in Auckland.

The TPP is the world’s most significant trade and investment agreement finalised in more than two decades, with member countries accounting for around 40 per cent of global GDP.

Trade Ministers from Australia and 11 other countries issued a joint statement welcoming the TPP as an agreement that sets a new standard for trade and investment in one of the world’s fastest growing and most dynamic regions.

We can expect some difficulties with this process.

Not only will it require approval in many of the contracting countries but our recent experience with ChAFTA gives some indication of the sort of debates and political movements which will be required to ensure that the TPP is implemented. It may well be that the TPP is not implemented until 2017 (if at all).

The other significant movement will surround the completion of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and India, which is believed will be signed signed by the last quarter of 2016, along with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and PACER Plus, which is also close to being completed.

20Cube will continue to update our clients as information is received.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Illegal Logged Products | Due Diligence and Importer Responsibilities

Further to our previous announcements, the Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013 is law and its requirements c​a​me into effect on 30th November 2014.

From this date, importers of certain timber or timber products (as defined in the Regulation) ​need​ to assess and manage the risk that the timber has been illegally logged.

Importer obligations to carry out due diligence
Under the illegal logging laws, businesses importing regulated timber products into Australia will have to carry out ​​due diligence on these products before import.​ These products include wooden articles and certain paper / paperboard products.​

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has released further Information, fact sheets, guidance and news on the progress of Country & State Specific Guidelines​, with the full effect of the regulations taking force this year.

Australian Government Compliance Actions

DAWR has been assessing how businesses are complying with the regulatory requirements.

They ​have initially assessed​ businesses that are importing large amounts of regulated timber, paper or wooden furniture products and are ​now assessing businesses that have volunteered for a compliance assessment as a "health check" of their due diligence practices.​

Importers may now receive letters of ​Request For Information from DAWR, which will require evidence that Due Diligence has been done when identifying the use or non-use of illegally logged timber.

​Should you receive any such request, or need to discuss further on your responsibilities, please contact please contact us.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Asian Steel Makers to Face Anti-Dumping Enquiry

The Australian Government has ordered an enquiry into the dumping of steel into the Australian market, as announced by Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne.

Announcing the beginning of the next stage of reform, the report comes Amid concerns about dumping behaviour by Asian manufacturers, particularly of steel and aluminium, the minister said that while the Government strongly supports free trade and open markets, free trade must also equal fair trade.

“In recent times I have expressed my ongoing concern about the negative impact Asian steel and aluminium markets are having on Australian manufacturers,” Mr Pyne said.

“Accordingly I have asked the Anti-Dumping Commissioner to prepare a report which will:

  • identify trends in dumping and circumvention behaviour in Asian steel and aluminium markets
  • identify existing dumping duties across all steel and aluminium products
  • make recommendations on the most effective measures where there is evidence of these activities.
“Input into the reforms from stakeholders will also be critical so we’ll be out seeking feedback and ideas from Australian industry groups, manufacturers and producers over the coming months,” he said. 

The report is expected to be delivered by mid-April.

Trading practices like systemic dumping, circumvention and subsidies are unfair on Australian businesses. When they occur, Australian law provides for remedies consistent with World Trade Organization agreements.

Tranche one of the anti-dumping reforms, implemented last year are already having an impact.
The reforms have also increased pressure on uncooperative exporters, established a new investigations unit which is up and running and provided additional support to Australian businesses engaging with the anti-dumping system.

The reforms also addressed the practice of overseas businesses that avoid paying dumping duties by slightly modifying their products and improved the way the Anti-Dumping Review Panel undertakes merits review of anti-dumping decisions.

The newly-established Anti-Dumping Information Service (ADIS), within the Anti-Dumping Commission, will prepare the steel and aluminium report.