Australian Border Force clarifies exporting concerns

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has stated that as of 26 March, the ABF has not issued any advice relating to goods prohibited for export in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Carla Giuca, ABF Assistant secretary said in a statement on Thursday night, the ABF will continue to exercise its general examination powers under the Customs Act 1901 to inspect consignments of goods, including goods relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said It has been brought to ABF’s attention that there are documents in the public domain purporting to be advice from the ABF in relation to changes to goods prohibited for export. 

“We are also aware of information suggesting that offences would apply where the ABF detects export consignments of items including infant formula, toilet paper, hand sanitisers and surgical masks,” Carla said.

The Federal government also announced on Thursday night that it has decided to implement measures to restrict individuals from hoarding and profiteering on certain products that are essential to help combat COVID-19, such as personal protective equipment and medical products. 

Carla said these measures will include limitations on the way these products can be exported.

“The new measures will not affect legitimate exporters from continuing to trade in products essential to combatting the pandemic, including commercial trade and exports in support of humanitarian efforts,” she said.

“Nor will they have any impact on regular ongoing trade in other products.”

Carla said the Government remains committed to ensuring international trade can continue to flow during these difficult times.

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