House debates

Thursday, 30 November 2023


Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill (No. 2) 2023; Second Reading

10:20 am

Photo of Clare O'NeilClare O'Neil (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Home Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Customs Tariff Amendment (Incorporation of Proposals) Bill (No. 2) 2023 will amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 to incorporate the measures contained in four Customs Tariff Proposals that were moved in the 2023 winter and spring parliamentary sittings. The measures relate to the support of space activities, the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup soccer and extending existing measures that were put in place following the invasion of Ukraine.

The first measure is the expansion in the scope of concessional item 9 of schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act 1995 to cover the types of goods specified in the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the European Space Agency for a Co-operative Space Vehicle Tracking Program. The amendment inserts a new paragraph into concessional item 9 to cover goods covered by this agreement. This will enable the duty-free entry of equipment, materials, supplies and other property that are for the European Space Agency and are for use in 'Agreed Activities' under the agreement and imported by persons employed or engaged by the European Space Agency. This will also enable the duty-free entry of personal and household goods imported by those persons. The European Space Agency is currently undertaking an expansion of their facility in Western Australia to include a new 35-meter diameter deep space antenna for communicating with various space science missions and a Biomass Calibration Transponder to support the 2024 Biomass mission which aims to provide critical information about forests globally and improve our understanding of the role forests play in the carbon cycle. Goods for this project and future projects will be eligible for a 'Free' rate of customs duty where they are imported on or after 1 December 2022.

The second measure extends the duration of the temporary duty reduction for Ukrainian goods for a further twelve months. The amendment replaces paragraph (1)(b) of section 18B of the Customs Tariff Act 1995 to extend the end date for the measure. As a demonstration of Australia's ongoing support for the people of Ukraine who have borne a terrible cost from Russia's brutal invasion of their country, the 'Free' rate of customs duty will continue to apply to goods, other than alcohol, tobacco, petroleum and fuel products, that are the produce or manufacture of Ukraine, to 3 July 2024.

The third measure in this bill enables certain goods to be imported with a 'Free' rate of customs duty if they are for use in connection with an international sporting event. The amendment inserts new schedule 4 item 59 into the Customs Tariff Act 1995, which enables the application of concessional treatment where goods are imported from 1 January 2022 and are prescribed by by-law for a specified international sporting event. The first event prescribed was the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. Co-hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 was an amazing occasion for Australian sport, and getting to share in the Matildas' inspirational journey has changed the game for women's sport in our country forever. However, the concessional item will have broad application for international sporting events that Australia may host in the future.

The final measure is the extension of the temporary additional duty for Russian and Belarusian goods for a further twenty-four months. The amendment for this measure replaces the end date in paragraph (5)(b) of section 18A of the Customs Tariff Act 1995. The additional duty rate of 35 per cent will, therefore, continue to apply to goods that are the produce or manufacture of Russia or Belarus in addition to the general rate of customs duty that applies to these goods. The additional duty applies to goods that are entered for home consumption between 25 April 2022 and 24 October 2025, other than those that are eligible for a schedule 4 concessional item or left for a direct shipment to Australia from a place of manufacture or warehouse prior to 25 April 2022.

The measure is a direct response to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus.

As Russia continues to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and undermine the rules based international order, this measure is necessary for Australia's essential security interests. Australia is committed to upholding these principles, and they are essential for Australia's international, regional and domestic stability and security. Australia joins like-minded members of the international community in applying this economic measure, which is a necessary part of our response to this flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.