Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Select Legislative Instrument 2005 No. 77

Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs

Customs Act 1901

Customs Amendment Regulations 2005 (No.      2)


Subsection 270(1) of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act) provides in part that the Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with the Act prescribing all matters which by the Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or as may be necessary or convenient to be prescribed for giving effect to the Act or for the conduct of any business relating to the Customs.


On 24 October 2003, Australia and the People’s Republic of China (China) signed the Trade and Economic Framework between Australia and China (the Framework).  The Framework provides, in part, that a joint decision by the two Parties to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement will only follow Australia's formal recognition of China’s full market economy status.


The Governments of Australia and China have now reached a joint decision to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement.


The main purpose of the amending Regulations is to add China to the list of countries that are not subject to the additional anti-dumping provisions that apply to countries that have an economy in transition.  This amendment gives effect to Australia’s decision to recognise China’s full market economy status.


Under Part XVB of the Act, anti-dumping measures may be taken in respect of goods whose exportation to Australia involves a dumping of those goods that injures, or threatens to injure, Australian industry. Goods are taken to have been dumped if the export price of those goods is less than the normal value of those goods.


Section 269TAC of the Act sets out how the normal value of goods exported to Australia is to be calculated.  Where the country of export has an economy in transition, that is, a formerly centrally-planned economy moving towards a market economy, subsection 269TAC(5D) sets out a different basis for determining the normal value of goods.


Subsection 269TAC(5J) provides that the regulations may disapply subsection (5D) to a country.


Schedule 1B to the Customs Regulations 1926 (the Principal Regulations) lists those countries that are recognised as full market economies. 


Item 3 of Schedule 1 to the amending Regulations adds China to Schedule 1B to the Principal Regulations to ensure that the ‘economies in transition’ provisions in subsection 269TAC(5D) of the Act do not apply to China.


The following groups were consulted about this amendment: the Australian Industry Group, the Anti-Dumping Task Force, the Minerals Council, the Services Roundtable, the Plastics and Chemical Industries of Australia, the National Farmers Federation, the Australia Steel Association, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Council of Australia.


The amending Regulations also removes references to a subsection of the Act that has been repealed, but which is still referred to in the Principal Regulations. 

Subsection 269TAC(5D) was repealed and replaced, and subsection 269TAC(5G) was repealed, on 19 December 2003, by the Customs Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2003


Items 1 and 2 of Schedule 1 to the amending Regulations repeal and substitute regulation 182 and the title to Schedule 1B to reflect these amendments to the Act.


No consultation was undertaken in relation to items 1 and 2 as they are of a minor or machinery nature and do not substantially alter existing arrangements.


The amending Regulations commences on the day after they are registered.



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