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Import subsidy reduced

8 November 2001 Media Statement

Import subsidy reduced

The Government is to reduce the subsidy for imported goods by $15 million a year, Acting Customs Minister Jim Anderton announced today.

“Efficient and business-friendly clearance services for imported goods currently cost the Customs Service approximately $21 million a year. Some component of that is for public services such as drug detection. The remainder is a subsidy for having goods cleared in a fast, straight-forward and efficient way.

“The reduction of this subsidy will put everyone on a level playing field.”

From 1 July 2002, a subsidy reduction of $16 plus GST will apply to import entries and import declarations for goods with a duty liability greater than $50. Private import declarations under the value of $1000 will not be affected.

“The existing subsidy for imports is inconsistent with the practice of some of our major trading partners. Australia’s cost recovery programme imposes a fee for import transactions ranging between A$27.10 and A$51.40 per transaction. US import processing fees range between US$25 and US$ 485 per transaction. New Zealand importers will still pay much less than our exporters pay.”

“Our Customs Service provides one of the most efficient, business-friendly border clearance services in the world. It has efficient and modern systems and paperwork can now be completed on-line, in an average of 12 minutes, instead of requiring a visit to the Customhouse and up to 10 days processing time.”

An amendment to the Customs & Excise Act 1996 will shortly be introduced.

ENDS

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