Our e-alert of 17 June 2009 drew attention to the issue of
Australian Customs' Notice No. 2009/25
("ACN") by the Australian Customs and
Border Protection Service ("Customs")
and the impending close attention by Customs to the use of the
Enhanced Project By-law Scheme ("EPBS").
The e-alert also referred to concerns that there may have been
revenue "leakage" from misuse of concessional entry
schemes such as the EPBS and that such misuse would also
disadvantage local manufacturers.
These concerns have now found new shape at the ALP National
Conference on 30 July 2009 with the announcement of a new $2.1
billion plan ("Plan") for the steel and
According to various press reports, the Plan contains the
A "harder" line in scrutinizing Australian content in
big projects to determine that the relevant content is truly
entitled to concessional treatment. This is seen as a move away
from the "self-assessment" of Australian content under
the Australian Industry Participation Framework established by the
Changes to the Tariff Concession Order
("TCO") and EPBS arrangements.
Presumably this will also have an impact on industries other than
the steel industry.
A new "Steel Industry Innovation Council" comprising
employers, unions, industry bodies, Government and the CSIRO.
The appointment of a "Steel Supplier Advocate" to
promote Australian industry participation in major projects.
Clearly, we await with interest the details of the reported
proposed changes to the TCO and EPBS arrangements and we will keep
you informed of those changes as soon as they are announced. In the
meantime, as noted in our e-alert of 17 June 2009, parties should
be taking extreme care as to past and current use of the EPBS.
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.
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