Friday, 19 August 2016
Address at the Launch of Australian Trusted Trader Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne

Address at the Launch of Australian Trusted Trader, Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne


Well Andrew, thank you very much. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for being here today.

I'm really pleased to be here with my colleague, the Honorable Keith Pitt who is the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. This is a great collaboration between DFAT and between our Department – across government really – to provide the services that you would expect in an economy like ours in the 21st century.

In particular I want to say thank you very much to the work of the Department, Australian Border Force, Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg here today, thank you Roman for your leadership and to all of those involved in the programme. At a Departmental level I want to say thank you very much for the work that you have done, particularly through the pilot phase.

I want to acknowledge the 41 pilot partners for their participation in the pilot phase of Australian Trusted Trader, as well as our first four fully accredited companies – Target Australia, Pacific Brands, Techwool Trading, Teys Australia from Beenleigh in the great state of Queensland but to many other people involved in the success of this particular programme.

I'm preaching to the converted here today but I want my words to be heard by businesses across the country because today marks a very significant milestone within the programme with the official launch.

Globalisation of course continues to change the nature of international trade, with the manufacture of goods now relying on multiple border crossings.

This has led to large increases in trade volume, complexity of supply chains and risk for the Australian community.

Trusted Trader is one of Australia's most significant international trade reforms and modernises how we facilitate trade and manage the volume, complexity and the risk at the border.

It represents the Government's commitment to supporting Australian businesses to be as economically competitive on the world stage as possible, whilst ensuring the integrity and security of our border.

The programme has been designed and developed in partnership with industry – and we thank you all for your co-operation in that process.

It is through that co-operative partnership we now have a programme providing mutual benefit to the Government and industry, and this is highlighted by the 300 entities that have already expressed interest in joining the Trusted Trader programme since the 1st of July.

Through Trusted Trader, we join 74 other countries, including Australia's major trading partners, in implementing Authorised Economic Operator initiatives.

As Mutual Recognition Arrangements are entered into between nations, our traders will be able to access trade facilitation benefits of these partner countries, reducing the customs burden on Australian exporters entering foreign markets.

We have already entered into an MRA with New Zealand and are already working towards further MRA's with Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and China.

Domestically, Trusted Trader builds on our intelligence-led, risk based approach to managing our border – enabling our authorities to work more efficiently and effectively and intelligently as cargo volumes increase over the coming years.

It is based on the principle that Australian businesses who can ensure the security of their imports and exports – and the accuracy of their information – pose a reduced risk to Australia.

From the Commonwealth's perspective, this will allow our Border Force officers to be deployed more effectively, focussing their attention on the high-risk cargo movements, ensuring we keep our communities safe by stopping illicit goods at the border.

From your perspective, as traders, you gain access to a suite of benefits to ensure your trade is free of red tape, faster and more efficient through expedited movement of cargo, streamlined reporting, accelerated border clearances and the option to defer duty.

By improving your competitiveness, and ability to trade, we ensure that you and the Australian economy is able to grow, providing the opportunities for more jobs and more investment in our nation.

Trusted Trader sets a new international benchmark for Authorised Economic Operator programmes, by accrediting businesses that can demonstrate both secure supply chain and trade compliant practices.

It is structured around five pillars:

It is inclusive. ATT is open to all Australian businesses that conduct international trade – big or small.

In fact, over a third of applications for Trusted Trader since 1 July have been from small businesses across the country seeking the benefits that the programme has to offer.

It also incentivises compliance to better secure our border, and represents the ongoing partnership between government and industry to share responsibility for border management.

It better facilitates legitimate trade by rewarding accredited businesses with a range of benefits that reduce the time, and cost of trade. In turn, this provides significant benefits to our broader economy.

It provides an opportunity to securely test new trade initiatives using an entirely accredited supply chain.

This minimises risk to government, and promotes our goal in co-designing initiatives with industry.

It moves us closer to a seamless border service, providing us with the opportunity to align with other government agencies that also administer trade facilitation, industry assistance and supply chain security programmes.

While the Australian Trusted Trader programme will deliver benefits at our border, it will also deliver a significant and important boost, as I say, to our nation's economy – increasing the value quite dramatically of Australian exports.

In his final address last week as Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Glenn Stevens AC highlighted the limitations in the ability of monetary policy alone to boost growth. That's why the Government is looking at other ways to promote growth over the longer term, helping to support our pathway back to a balanced budget.

This is the primary driver behind the Australian Trusted Trader programme, working hand-in-hand with our recently negotiated free trade agreements, to deliver increased trade and bolster the Australian economy.

Trusted Trader is a key part of the Turnbull Government's broader agenda to improve Australia's trade facilitation performance and forms part of Australia's G20 Growth strategy.

Boosting our trade linkages with countries in our own region, as well as removing trade barriers are vital in supporting the transition of our economy from mining investment-led growth to broader-based growth.

This is why, as Andrew pointed out before, we invested $70 million in the last federal budget – because we know the economic returns over the next decade will dwarf our initial investment.

Over the next decade, the Australian Trusted Trader programme is expected to deliver an increase in household consumption of $2.2 billion, as well as additional business investment of almost $1 billion.

For the Australian industry involved in the programme, partners like you, there is expected to be a substantial benefit, a direct impact of $2.9 billion and associated regulatory savings of $42.2 million.

With 50 per cent of our two-way trade value, and 30 per cent of our two-way trade volume expected to be secured through Trusted Trader by 2020, there are substantial opportunities to be realised.

Ladies and gentlemen in conclusion I do want to thank most sincerely all of those companies and individuals for their leadership and their participation and involvement in the ATT pilot programme.

You have played a crucial role in the development and design of this important initiative. So congratulations to all of those entities who are now fully accredited Trusted Traders, and to those that are currently working through the accreditation process.

Our Government is committed to supporting Australian businesses like you, and growing the Australian economy, because a strong economy, and strong trading terms promote economic growth and lower unemployment. Everyone benefits.

The programme is an initiative that is driven by these priorities; an innovative partnership between government and industry that supports the national economy by facilitating legitimate trade, while ensuring our borders remain secure.

Like you, I am looking forward to seeing Trusted Trader continue to grow and develop as more businesses come on board, and watching the benefits flow to our traders, as well as to the broader economy.

Thank you very much.