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CUSTOM AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 1999 (NO. 1) 1999 NO. 35EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
STATUTORY RULES 1999 NO. 35
Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs
Customs Act 1901
Custom Amendment Regulations 1999 (No. 1)
Section 270 of the Customs Act 1901 ("the Act") provides in part that the GovernorGeneral may make regulations not inconsistent with the Act prescribing 91 matters which by the Act are required or permitted to be prescribed for giving effect to the Act.
Section 68 of the Act provides for the entry of imported goods. It also provides that these entry requirements do not apply to certain goods (paragraphs 68(1)(d) to (i)). In particular, paragraphs 68(1)(e) and 68(1)(t) of the Act provide that the entry requirements do not apply to certain goods "other than prescribed goods" imported through the Post Office or otherwise.
Section 163 of the Act provides that refunds, rebates and remissions of duty may be made in respect of goods generally, or in respect of the goods included in a class of goods, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions and restrictions as are prescribed. Regulation 126 of the Customs Regulations 1926 ("the Customs Regulations") prescribes the circumstances for section 163 of the Act Regulation 128AA provides for those situations where them is an entitlement to a refund of duty without the need to make an application or pay an application fee.
Purpose of the Regulations
The purpose of the Regulations is to amend the Customs Regulations by:
a) prescribing that certain alcohol and tobacco products will be required to be
entered for home consumption (item 1 of Schedule 1); and
b) inserting a 12 month time limit in regulation 128AA within which a person
must tell the Collector of the grounds on which the person believes be or she is
entitled to a refund of dirty. At present, no time limit is prescribed (item 2 of Schedule 2).
In the Supreme Court of Queensland on 3 March 1999, Justice Muir held that a rate of Customs duty could not be ascertained on 25 cartons of cigarettes, with a value of $180, imported from Norfolk Island, and therefore no customs duty was payable in respect of the importation of these goods.
Justice Muir held that since section 132 of the Act provides that the rate of any import duty payable on goods is the rate of duty in force when the goods are entered for home consumption, and these goods were not required to be entered for home consumption, then no rate of duty could be determined in relation to them..
This was not the intention of the legislation. In order to address the effects of the decision as soon as possible to minimise the effect on the revenue, these regulations provide that certain tobacco and alcohol products will now have to be entered, and hence duty will be payable on them.
The revenue implications of the judgment are potentially substantial. Section 68 of the Act requires all imported goods to be entered unless they are within one of the express exceptions. There was clearly no intention that these exceptions be used to allow commercial arrangements to operate on a duty free basis.
Regulation 1 - provides for these Regulations to be named the Customs Amendment Regulations 1999.
Regulation 2 provides that these Regulations commence on gazettal.
Regulation 3 provides that the Customs Regulations 1926 are amended as set out in the Schedule 1.
Item 1 of Schedule 1 provides for a new regulation 3 1 AA to be inserted into the Customs Regulations 1926. This regulation prescribes the alcohol and tobacco products that now have to be entered for home consumption by reference to their description in Schedule 3 to the Customs Tariff Act 1995.
Alcohol and tobacco products that would not have been liable to duty if they had been entered under subsection 68(2) of the Act still do not require an entry. This covers such alcohol and tobacco products as unsolicited gifts of a non-recurring nature, and those that otherwise attract a "free" rate of duty.
Item 2 of Schedule 1 provides for an amendment of regulation 128AA, to insert a 12 mouth time limit within which a person must tell the Collector of the grounds on which the person believes he or she is entitled to a refund of duty. At present, no time limit is prescribed. Regulation 128AA provides for those situations where there is an entitlement to a refund of duty without the need to make an application or pay an application fee.
The Regulations commenced on gazettal.