Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, VIC
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today, the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation, and pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
I would also like to acknowledge the Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today.
I welcome the more than 50 newly accredited Australian Traders in the room who I have the pleasure of formally recognising this afternoon.
This event is a celebration of the continued success of the Australian Trusted Trader Program.
The program is an integral element of the Australian Government’s trade modernisation agenda.
It simultaneously secures international trade supply chains, facilitates trade, and offers a trusted environment to test and trial new trade modernisation initiatives.
The Australian Government’s trade modernisation agenda seeks to advance Australia’s economic competitiveness and trade interests by reforming border management to better connect Australia to the contemporary global economy.
As a recognised Trusted Trader, you and your businesses have demonstrated excellence in trade compliance and supply chain security.
Having successfully undergone our accreditation process—each of the businesses represented here today are at the forefront of trade modernisation in Australia.
And in return, you are rewarded with a multitude of benefits.
Research shows that Trusted Traders save an average of 150 inspection hours each—ensuring that their goods reached their markets faster than those operating outside of the program.
Trusted Traders currently have access to eight Mutual Recognition Agreements—streamlining the clearance of goods at the border with Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and, most-recently, Japan whose arrangement was implemented last month.
And befitting the Australian Trusted Trader program’s enduring growth, additional benefits for accredited traders were announced during the Trusted Trader Symposium earlier this year.
This includes the Origin Waiver benefit that saves importers from obtaining Certificates of Origin under some of our Free Trade Agreements.
This benefit reduces red tape for Trusted Trader importers and facilitates better access to the benefits of Australia’s Free Trade Agreements—saving businesses like yours time and money.
During the Symposium, I also had the opportunity to speak with many business representatives and was pleased to hear numerous positive stories on how the APEC Business Travel Card is making international travel easier.
But, perhaps most importantly from the perspective of those in the room, the collective benefits afforded to our Trusted Traders since inception equates to a figure that runs well into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The benefits of the Trusted Trader program truly flow both ways.
In the context of Australia’s continuing prosperity and security, Trusted Traders represent the lowest risk entities in trade. This allows our world leading border law enforcement agency—the Australian Border Force—to focus their attention on those who present a higher or unknown risk.
Anecdotally, and as a former Law Enforcement Officer myself, I find this particularly interesting, we have found that Border Watch referrals provided by our Trusted Traders tend to result in more positive finds.
Ladies and gentlemen, Australian Trusted Trader exemplifies what can be achieved when Government partners with industry; and is a demonstration of the mutual benefits we can obtain through these partnerships.
The program ensures the ongoing prosperity of Australia through the protection of its supply chains; and reduces red tape and other barriers to trade for accredited businesses.
Once again, I welcome and congratulate our newest accredited Trusted Traders.