Whilst a number of countries around the world have already implemented Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programs aimed at strengthening trade in goods security and facilitation, Australia has failed in its previous attempts to attract industry participation.
Customs states the TTP will enhance the existing self regulating environment by creating trust-based partnerships and shared responsibility between Customs and Industry and has suggested the program will broadly deliver:
- faster release of cargo to partners with a strong security and compliance history
- decreased customs clearance administrative and regulatory burdens
- 'front of queue' services for formal ruling and examinations
- increased market access and economic competitiveness for Australia’s exporters.
The question remains as to whether these benefits will eventuate. Over the past two decades there has already been significant reduction in cargo clearance times. Furthermore, the current timeframes for customs rulings has increased from 28 days to over 45 days.
The proposed TTP will consist of:
- Importer trusted trader scheme (ITTS): for select trusted overseas exporters, supply chain participants and Australian importers
- Exporter trusted trader scheme (ETTS): supply chain security focused emphasising mutual recognition of Australia’s exporters by Australia’s major trading partners.
The ETTS is proposed to be implemented by July 2015, with the ITTS to follow shortly afterwards.
It is currently uncertain as to how the proposed benefits will translate through to TTP partners. However, importers and exporters should familiarise themselves with the program in order to determine what, if any, benefits will be received by becoming a Trusted Trader.