The Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) is a voluntary, industry partnership scheme that was developed to recognise secure and compliant industry supply chain practices and rewards accredited Australian businesses by offering tailored trade facilitation benefits. The programme was designed to operate as a partnership network between the Australian Border Force (ABF), and private business stakeholders including importers, exporters and service providers within the international supply chain industry. In July 2016, this voluntary trade facilitation initiative opened to all Australian businesses active in the international supply chain.

What is the purpose of Australian Trusted Trader?

The main objective of this change in focus was to streamline and facilitate trade while also enhancing supply chain security. ATT offers key trade benefits that reward better supply chain management and help businesses forge new global trade links and operate with greater clarity and efficiency.

The concept of ATT has been designed to address a significant imbalance between the increasing level of two-way trade in Australia and the reduced level of ABF resources available to combat non-compliant activities. By empowering and accrediting importers and exporters who assure their supply chain practices, the ABF aim to provide greater trade facilitation by offsetting control on accredited parties and narrowed their focus on the high-risk aspects of international trade.

The ATT’s trade facilitation benefits are provided to importers, exporters and service providers that show high levels of trade compliance and supply chain security. The ATT aims to encourage high levels of voluntary compliance, allows the ABF to focus on high-risk trade and to reduce the number of transactions that require compliance monitoring; shifting from a control framework to a partnership network.

What are the benefits of the Australian Trusted Trader?

The ATT rewards accredited businesses with a range of trade facilitation benefits including:

  • Dedicated Account Manager who will be the single point of contact at the ABF
  • Priority trade services when requesting duty drawbacks, refunds, and advanced rulings
  • Use of Free Trade Agreements without the requirement for Certificates of Origin (Origin Waiver)
  • Use of the Australian Trusted Trader logo for business purposes
  • Recognition as low risk to Australian borders and subject to differentiated examinations
  • Access to Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA)
  • A monthly report on all goods imported and exported by a Trusted Trader
  • Streamlined process for Trusted Traders to become Accredited Sponsors
  • Deferral of duty payments on imported goods
  • Streamlined reporting arrangements to reduce administration

What is a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA)?

Australian Trusted Traders will have also access to trade facilitation benefits in countries where Australia has signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA). MRAs have been established between Australia and some of our key trading partners including:

  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China
  • Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department
  • Japan Customs
  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • Republic of Korea Customs Service
  • Singapore Customs
  • Taiwan Customs Administration

The MRAs provide ATT exporters with differentiated border treatment in signatory countries, and reciprocally, our MRA partners will be provided with differentiated treatment on arrival in Australia. ABF continues to work together with industry to explore a range of new trade facilitation benefits that could apply to ATT businesses in the future, including enhanced collaboration with other border agencies (Department of Agriculture), labour mobility and trade in services.

If becoming an accredited ATT participant would be beneficial to the direction your business is taking, BCR can offer a tailored partnership throughout the application process. As an accredited ATT Service Provider, BCR Australia is continuing to work with our customers to identify the security risks within their supply chain and provide action plans to mitigate these risks to their business.

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Author – Craig Cowin
National Customs Manager – BCR Australia

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