Payment plans and leniency measures for import and trade businesses

The Department of Home Affairs, which manages revenue and payment of liabilities on imports, has confirmed that they will consider requests for payment plans and other leniency measures related to COVID-19.

The Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) received correspondence following its advocacy for duty payment relief.

As a part of correspondence received by FTA, a departmental executive stated that requests will be assessed on a “case by case” basis.

“We recognise the impact of the current situation on businesses and cash flows and are responding accordingly,” the departmental executive said.

“We remain interested in the experiences of your members and their clients through the disruption from COVID-19, and please continue to keep us informed of any developments.”

Sal Milici, Head of Border & Biosecurity at FTA said the alliance sees this as a practical and welcomed outcome.

“We are very grateful for the positive engagement we have had with the Federal Government and relevant Departments throughout the COVID-19 economic crisis.”

The economic crisis translated to delays in payments of services throughout the supply chain.

FTA stated in a May status report that focus turned to the need to make up front payments of statutory import charges before goods can be released from customs’ control and the potential threat of congestion at our airports, ports and depots.

The correspondence from the Department of Home Affairs follows formal advice to the FTA received from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on May 11, that the statutory import charges that are passed on as an “agent” are not deemed as a supply made by the freight forwarder or customs brokerage and is not included in turnover.

FTA stated that the result being eligibility for many members providing a level of welcomed financial relief.

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