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CUSTOMS AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2006 (NO. 1) (SLI NO 80 OF 2006)
Select Legislative Instruments 2006 No. 80
Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs
Customs Act 1901
Customs Amendment Regulations 2006 (No. 1)
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.
The purpose of the Regulations is to amend the Customs Regulations 1926 (the Principal Regulations) to extend the time in which a person may apply for, or notify a Collector of Customs that the person believes he or she is entitled to, a refund of customs duty, from 12 months to 4 years.
Section 163 of the Act provides, in part, that refunds, rebates and remissions of customs duty may be made in such circumstances, and subject to such conditions as are prescribed. Regulations 126 and 126B of the Principal Regulations set out the circumstances in which refunds, rebates and remissions of customs duty are payable. Regulations 128A and 128AA set out the time in which a refund, rebate or remission application must be made. In most circumstances an application must be made within 12 months of the customs duty being paid.
The Customs Legislation Amendment and Repeal (International Trade Modernisation) Act 2001 (the ITM Act) extended the time in which the Chief Executive Officer of Customs can recover duty that has been short levied or erroneously refunded from 12 months to 4 years. At the time the Bill for that Act was introduced into Parliament, it was announced that the time for making a refund application would also be extended from 12 months to 4 years.
Details of the Regulations are set out in the Attachment.
No consultation was undertaken in relation to the amending Regulations as they are of a minor or machinery nature and do not substantially alter existing arrangements.
The Regulations commence on the day after they are registered.
Regulation 1 provides that the Regulations are the Customs Amendment Regulations 2006 (No. 1).
Regulation 2 provides that the Regulations commence on the day after they are registered.
Regulation 3 provides that Schedule 1 amends the Customs Regulations 1926 (the Principal Regulations).
Subregulation 4(1) sets out the definitions of amended Customs Act, unamended Customs Act and unamended Customs Regulations for the purposes of regulation 4.
Subregulation 4(2) provides that the extended refund application times only apply to goods entered under the amended Customs Act (which is the Act as amended by the ITM Act) and goods that were subject to information provided to Customs under section 71AAAB, which relates to personal or household effects of a passenger of a ship or aircraft, or 71AAAF, which relates to certain low value goods, of the amended Customs Act..
Subregulation 4(3) makes it clear that the Principal Regulations without the amendments in Schedule 1 to the Regulations continue to apply to all other goods, that is goods that were entered under the unamended Customs Act and goods that were the subject of information provided to Customs under section 71 of the unamended Customs Act. This section relates to personal or household effects of a passenger or crew of a ship or aircraft, goods consigned through the post with a value not exceeding $1000, and goods with a value not exceeding $250 that are not consigned through the post and transported in the same ship or aircraft.
Items 1 and 2 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations extend the time in which an application for a refund of customs duty can be made from 12 months to 4 years after the duty was paid subject to the exceptions described below.
Subregulations 128A(1), (2) and (3) will continue to require applications to be made within 14 days after customs duty was paid for the circumstances in paragraphs 126(1)(a), (b), (c) and (d). Similarly, the time for making applications under paragraph 126(1)(ea) will continue to be unlimited.
Applications made under paragraphs 126(1)(eb), (f) and (r) currently can be made within 12 months of specified events (eg the making of a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the making of a Tariff Concession Order). Under subregulations 128A(4) and (5), applications have to be made within 4 years of the customs duty being paid. However, if one of the relevant circumstances (eg the making of a decision by the Administrative Appeal Tribunal) occurs more than 3 years after the duty was paid, the owner will still have 12 full months from the date of the relevant circumstance to apply for a refund. This ensures that an owner of goods covered by these circumstances is not disadvantaged by these changes.
Item 3 of the Schedule 1 extends the time in which the owner of imported goods that were not entered, or reported to Customs electronically on a self-assessed clearance declaration, can notify a Collector of Customs that the person believes he or she is entitled to a refund from 12 months to 4 years after the duty was paid.