Australia: Official Australian Trusted Trader Programme Questionnaire registered

Last Updated: 2 August 2015
Article by Russell Wiese and Lynne Grant

A key element of the Australian Trusted Trader Programme will be satisfactory completion of a self-assessment questionnaire. This is the first major step towards obtaining full Australian Trusted Trader accreditation.

The questionnaire has been officially registered. While the information required from each applicant will differ, the content of the questionnaire is the best guide as to what is required to be accredited as a Trusted Trader.

For brokers, freight forwarders and traders looking to become involved in the Australian Trusted Trader Programme, reviewing the questionnaire will focus your attention on potential areas of weakness that should be addressed prior to the programme being fully implemented in 2016.

What is the Australian Trusted Trader Programme and how does the questionnaire fit in?

The Australian Trusted Trader Programme will provide its participants with trade facilitation benefits in exchange for demonstrated commitments to trade compliance and supply chain security. It is open to importers and exporters, as well as services providers such as brokers and freight forwarders.

Inclusion in the programme is neither compulsory nor automatic. Initial assessment of eligibility will be via review of the self-assessment questionnaire; which covers all areas of the business' international trade activities and procedures used to control compliance and supply chain security risk. Satisfactory completion of the self-assessment questionnaire will lead to the provisional status of trusted trader, pending a physical review by the Trusted Trader Branch.

Accessing the questionnaire

The self-assessment questionnaire is a legislative instrument and needed official approval under the Customs Act. The official approved document can be accessed here. It is expected that a further version of the questionnaire with explanatory notes will be made available in due course.

Key considerations

The self-assessment questionnaire covers a range of topics and it is important to note that it is not intended that all questions will be applicable to all applicants. For instance, if you are a customs broker that does not physically handle goods, questions relating to the physical security of your premises will not be relevant.

The questionnaire contains 39 questions, many of which have 3-4 sub-questions. To highlight the need to review the questionnaire, we have set out below examples of some key questions with our commentary for consideration around potential "issues".

Question Number

Question

Issues

Internal controls
17(a)

Does your business have internal controls in place for the management of trade compliance and supply chain security? Y/N. If yes, briefly describe how your business' internal controls for the management of trade compliance and supply chain security are implemented and managed.

It is crucial that you have some internal review process in place that is compliance focused. This should be a process that is systematic/periodic and not merely reactive to issues raised by the Australian Border Force. While many brokers will have an advisory team reviewing past entries for refund opportunities, many will not have formal procedures in place to identify compliance risks.

Information relating to goods moving in the international supply chain
22(a)

Does your business have procedures (documented or otherwise) in place to ensure that any communication made to your business from another party about goods moving through the international supply chain is complete, accurate and traceable? Y/N. If yes, briefly describe these procedures.

Customs brokers are very reliant on the accuracy of information provided to them by importers. Information as to the identity of parties in the supply chain and the goods themselves can be easily falsified for a security or trade advantage. While it is difficult for brokers to verify client information, procedures can be developed around identity and the provision of supporting documentation such as licences and permits. It is also reasonable to insert contractual terms allowing brokers to request additional documents to support the value of goods or their classification.

Business partner security
35(b) & (c)

Does your business have procedures (documented or otherwise) for identification and selection of business partners in your international supply chain? Y/N. If yes, briefly describe these procedures.

Does your business have procedures for international supply chain business partners to ensure that their procedures are consistent with the supply chain security standards of the ATT? Y/N If yes, briefly describe these procedures.

Very few businesses are able to provide all services required to move, clear and store goods. It is likely you will contract or subcontract with international carriers, stevedores, warehouse operators and domestic transport companies. Each one of these companies represents a potential risk in the supply chain which you have limited opportunities to control. As a minimum we recommend considering what are the key factors that are important to you in choosing a business partner and document these factors in a formal policy. All service providers can ask their business partners for copies of their own policies aimed at increasing supply chain security. Where you have significant negotiating power, you can insist on the development of such policies and obtain rights to ensure compliance with those policies.

Personnel training and personnel security
37(a) and 38(a)

Does your business provide training for employees in roles relating to international supply chain security or trade compliance activities? Y/N. If yes, briefly describe the training.

Does your business have procedures (documented or otherwise) in place to screen prospective employees and to periodically check current employees? Y/N If yes, briefly describe these procedures.

The level of pre-employment screening and periodic review of current employees required will depend on their role and the sensitivity of information they have access to or control. For any party that has a role in undertaking the duties of a customs broker police checks and verified references are likely to be a minimum.
Employment contracts should also be reviewed to ensure that the employer has the right to undertake integrity checks periodically throughout the employment.
Ongoing training is also crucial. This training should not just go to the performance of the individuals role but also as to the business' values and ethics, identifying non-compliance and procedures for reporting security risks.

While the questions differ in topic, very often the risk assessment follows this pattern:

  1. Is there an internal procedure in place to control the risk;
  2. Is that procedure documented;
  3. How is compliance with that procedure reviewed; and
  4. What is the maturity level of the internal control and monitoring environment?

Service providers who are asking these questions now about their own areas of trade compliance and supply chain security risk will be best placed to obtain the competitive edge that Australian Trusted Trader accreditation will bring.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Russell Wiese
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.