Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill 2021; Second Reading
That this bill be now read a second time.
The Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill 2021 will amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (Customs Tariff Act) to incorporate three customs tariff proposals which provide for a 'free' rate of customs duty for a range of imported goods. Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2021, Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 2) 2021 and Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 3) 2021 were tabled in parliament in February, March and May of this year, respectively. The measures contained in these proposals have supported the availability of health and hygiene products in the Australian community, contributed to Australia's ability to fulfil international defence commitments and facilitated continued research and development in the automotive sector.
The incorporation of the measure contained in Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2021 extends, from 31 December 2020 to 30 June 2021, the 'free' rate of customs duty for imported prescribed medical and hygiene products capable of use in combating the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Temporary concessional item 57 of schedule 4 to the Customs Tariff Act commenced on 1 February 2020, and, with industry support, the end date of the concession was previously extended from 31 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. As we continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government remains committed to protecting the health of all Australians. This further extension will ensure that individuals and businesses continue to have access to the essential supplies required to keep themselves and other members of the community safe. Under this measure a 'free' rate of customs duty will apply to masks, gloves, gowns, soaps and certain disinfectant preparations, and protective eyewear.
The second measure in this bill incorporates the measure contained in Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 2) 2021. This will insert new item 58 into schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act. This concessional item provides a 'free' rate of customs duty for imported goods that are for use in the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Program. This measure supports Australia's participation under the Joint Strike Fighter Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed in 2006 and gives effect to the commitment to achieving tax neutrality made by Australia under the memorandum of understanding.
Lastly, this bill incorporates the measure in Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 3) 2021 to insert new concessional item 39A into schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act. This item provides a 'free' rate of customs duty for imported prescribed motor vehicles and motor vehicle components imported by an automotive service provider who was previously registered under the Automotive Transformation Scheme (within the meaning of the Automotive Transformation Scheme Act 2009), where the time for working out duty is between 1 April 2021 and 30 June 2025. These goods must be imported for use in the testing, quality control, manufacturing evaluation or engineering development of motor vehicles designed or engineered in Australia under security. Item 39A extends the treatment previously provided to these goods during the operation of the Automotive Transformation Scheme. With the end of the second stage of this scheme, the concessional item ensures that companies previously registered under the scheme can continue to access the customs duty concession and are not subject to additional regulatory burden.