New legislation will help Australian suppliers minimise the cost of doing business in overseas markets, according to the country’s federal government.
The Export Control Bill, introduced into parliament today (7 December), is aimed at simplifying the rules governing offshore agricultural shipments. The export trade is currently regulated by 17 acts and more than 40 legislative instruments.
“Over the 35 years since the Export Control Act 1982 commenced, the legislation governing agricultural exports has ballooned into a complex web of regulation,” said Australian minister for agriculture and water resources, Barnaby Joyce.
“We need something more coherent in place so that the rules for exporting are simpler and easier to understand and comply with.”
Agricultural exports accounted for around A$48bn to the Australian economy in 2016/17.
Australia’s assistant minister for agriculture and water resources, Anne Ruston, said the new legislation would provide the sector’s exporters with further opportunities to innovate and the confidence to pursue lucrative new opportunities.
“This bill ensures that Australian agricultural exports can continue to capitalise on international markets opportunities and meet the challenges that come with changing consumer preferences,” Ruston said.
The bill has been developed in consultation with industry representatives, state and territory governments and overseas trading partners. The government will continue to engage with industry stakeholders in developing the rules, which will support the bill over the course of 2018/19.
Tony Mahar of the National Farmers’ Federation welcomed the prospect of reducing red tape in the export process.
“We look forward to the Government’s ongoing stakeholder consultation to ensure the rules and policies that support the Bill provide the best possible system that is tailored to each commodity group,” Mahar said.