Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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CUSTOMS REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT) 1991 NO. 384

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

STATUTORY RULES 1991 No. 384

CUSTOMS ACT 1901

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT)

ISSUED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND CUSTOMS

Section 270 of the Customs Act 1901 ("the Act") provides in part that:

"(1)       The Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with this Act prescribing all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed ... for giving effect to this Act or for the conduct of any business relating to the Customs, ..."

The Statutory Rules amend the Customs Regulations ("the Regulations") to:

i)       repeal regulations 167 and 168 of the Regulations;

ii)       amend Schedule 2 to enable

(a)       plaster cast and post operative footwear, and

(b)       vehicles specially designed to be driven by disabled persons while seated in a wheel chair,

to be eligible for duty free importation via Tariff Concession Orders; and

iii)       amend Schedule 2 to reflect the changed definition of "light commercial vehicles" in the Customs Tariff Act 1987.

Background

i)       Repeal of regulations 167 and 168

Regulations 167 and 168 became redundant due to the repeal of the detention and search sections of the Customs Act 1901 to which they relate.

Regulation 167 prescribed the form for an order of a magistrate under section 196 of the Customs Act 1901. Section 196 was repealed and new detention and search provisions (sections 219L to 219ZL) inserted by the Customs (Detention and Search) Act 1990 (No. 79 of 1990). Regulation 3.1 omits the regulation.

Regulation 168 prescribed the form for a certificate of a medical practitioner for the purposes of section 196B of the Customs Act 1901. Section 196B was inserted by section 6 of the Customs Amendment Act 1979 and pursuant to subsection 2(2) of that Act was to come into operation on a date to be fixed by proclamation. No date was ever fixed and section 6 of the Customs Amendment Act 1979 was repealed and replaced by the new detention and search provisions in Act No. 79 of 1990. Regulation 4.1 omits the regulation.

ii)       Amendments to Schedule 2

Schedule 2 to the Regulations lists goods in respect of which Tariff Concession orders shall not be made, by specifying the tariff heading or sub-heading of the restricted goods in Column 2 of Schedule 2. Column 3 of Schedule 2 lists goods that are exceptions to the restriction provided for in Column 2.

(a)       Plaster cast and post operative footwear

On 22 July 1991 the Government approved a request that plaster cast and post operative footwear be removed from the class of goods excluded from eligibility for a Tariff Concession Order.

Regulation 5.1 amends the Regulations to enable a Tariff Concession Order to be made in respect of plaster cast and post operative footwear.

(b)       Vehicles specially designed to be driven by disabled persons while seated in a wheel chair

On 9 September 1991 the Government approved a request that vehicles specially designed to be driven by persons while seated in a wheel chair be removed from the class of goods excluded from eligibility for a Tariff Concession Order.

Regulation 5.2       amends the Regulations to enable a Tariff Concession Order to be made in respect of those vehicles.

iii)       Amendments to Schedule 2

On March 12 1991, as part of its Industry Statement, the Government announced that import duty credits earned through the Motor Vehicle Plan's Export Facilitation Scheme could be applied to the importation of light commercial vehicles (LCVs).

As administrative arrangements for the new scheme were being developed it became apparent that the definition of LCVs under previous Customs Tariff Legislation (i.e. having an upper weight limit of 2.72 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW)) was inconsistent with the European standard of 3.5 tonnes GVW. As the 3.5 tonne standard is currently used in Australian Design Rules for vehicles in Australia and is applied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the government recommended amendments to the Customs Tariff legislation to effect this definitional change for consistency in Australia's treatment of such vehicles.

Regulation 5.3 amends the relevant items in Schedule 2 to the Customs Regulations to effect the definitional change, and to reflect the new definition of LCVs in Schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act 1901. Specifically, where the weight "2.72 tonnes" appeared in Column 3 of items 38 to 40 of Schedule 2 was replaced with "3.5 tonnes".

The Statutory Rules in particular provide as follows:

1.       Commencement

Regulation 1.1       provides for a commencement date of 22 July 1991 for subregulation 5.1 which enables plaster cast and post operative footwear to be eligible for duty free importation via a Tariff Concession Order.

Regulation 1.2       provides for a commencement date of 9 September 1991 for subregulation 5.2 which enables vehicles specially designed to be driven by disabled persons while seated in a wheel chair to be eligible for duty free importation via a Tariff Concession Order.

       These retrospective commencement dates do not offend subsection 48(2) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 as they confer the benefit of eligibility for duty free entry. The 22 July 1991, and 9 September 1991 commencements are the dates of the Government's decisions to grant Tariff Concession eligibility to these goods.

2.       Amendment

Regulation 2.1       is a formal machinery provision which provides that the Customs Regulations are amended as set out in these regulations.

3.       Regulation 167 (Search of suspected persons (Magistrate's Order))

Regulation 3.1       provides for regulation 167 to be omitted from the Regulations.

       The detention and search regime to which this regulation applied was replaced by the detention and search regime inserted into the Customs Act 1901 by the Customs Detention and Search) Act 1990, (No. 79 of 1990) and Statutory Rules No. 450 of 1990. This Regulation has become obsolete.

4.       Regulation 168 ( Search of suspected persons (medical practitioner's certificate))

Regulation 4.1       provides for regulation 168 to be omitted from the Regulations.

The repeal is for similar reasons to those set out in Regulation 3 above.

5.       Schedule 2 (Goods in respect of which concession orders shall not be made)

Regulation 5.1       enables plaster cast and post operative footwear to be eligible for a Tariff Concession Order by including those goods in Column 3 of Schedule 2 (Item 29) to the Regulations.

Regulation 5.2       enables vehicles specially designed to be driven by disabled persons while seated in a wheel chair to be eligible for a Tariff Concession Order by including those goods in Column 3 of Schedule 2 (Item 38) to the Regulations.

Regulation 5.3       effects the definitional change to light commercial vehicles by substituting "3.5" for "2.72" tonnes in Column 3 of Schedule 2 (Items 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42) to the Regulations.


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