Carrot and stick approach to customs declarations
More carrots and bigger sticks for the customs broking industry have been promised by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry assistant secretary Tim Chapman.
Mr Chapman told the recent CBFCA conference in the Yarra Valley he wanted to give this crucial industry “something to think about” and possibly even provide some business opportunities.
“If you are excited by more carrots, we want to work with you,” Mr Chapman told the conference.
“If you are worried about the bigger sticks, there’s some targeting coming up,” he said, to some laughter.
Nonetheless, Mr Chapman said it was essential to coordinate with industry.
“That’s a constant theme that comes up when we talk about shared responsibility and partnerships,” he said.
“I actually reckon it’s generally pretty good, but there’s a whole lot more we can do to on both sides.”
Mr Chapman said there was a need to take into account each other’s objectives.
“In our case.... our key objective, the one that matters most to us.... is how do we manage bio-security risks?” he said.
He talked of the issues of potential conflict for industry between good bio-security and keeping costs low and efficiency high.
“The challenge that we [the department] face is that there are people who would like us to inspect everything,” he said.
“In senate estimates [hearings], if something gets through the border, I have an entertaining time with senators saying ‘that’s a massive failure, how did that happen?’”
He used the example of Chinese soil which came in a shipment of bagged fertiliser.