Australian Trusted Trader: a necessity for supply chain optimisation and quality assurance.

Since its launch date, the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) program has been building momentum, attracting strong interest from a variety of businesses ranging from small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to multinational corporations (MNCs), with service providers also expressing interest in applying for accreditation.

The ATT fosters an environment of global competitiveness for international traders, through providing preferential treatment when they meet supply chain security and trade compliance standards. Accredited businesses under the program will be recipient to a significant range of tangible financial and time-saving benefits – including reduced supply chain costs, improved lead times, and reduced audits – as well as simplified customs processes. Without the ATT, businesses could face a multitude of risk variables in supply chain logistics, which could result in significant disruptions to their supply chain.

One of the key benefits for businesses who have joined the program is that they are allocated a Dedicated Account Manager to provide direct access between the business and the Australian Border Force (ABF), drastically minimizing communication delays and complications. In addition, it has been confirmed that duty deferral arrangements – where payments on imported goods will be deferred for a set period – is set to commence within FY18, sometime around June.

Currently accredited Trusted Traders include organisations involved in importing and exporting, as well as supply chain logistic companies. Of these businesses, many are Australian in origin, whilst others operate as Australian subsidiaries of foreign entities. In addition, the uptake has been very strong within the wine and agricultural exporters.

For exporters in particular, their ability to gain traction within international markets is paramount to their success as a business. This is made easier by the Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) benefit of the ATT program, which provides businesses with international recognition amongst countries with equivalent programs. Exporters can expect preferential treatment at international borders due to their trusted status within the program.

The pursuit of an MRA agenda can demonstrate to overseas markets that Australian Trusted Traders meet international supply chain security standards, which increasingly drive trade competitiveness. Recognition of ATT affiliation and the ATT ‘tick of approval’ logo can facilitate the building of confidence in Australian businesses and the Quality Assurance of their international supply chain.

There have been MRAs established so far between the Australian Government and key trading partners including New Zealand, South Korea, Canada, and Hong Kong. Last year a pivotal arrangement was signed with Australia’s largest trading partner, China, which will facilitate further fast and efficient market access for accredited businesses. The MRA between Australia and China will be expected to bring a benefit of $440M to the Australian economy over the next 10 years.

The diverse nature of these applicants is indicative of the successful international appeal of the ATT, which will significantly benefit any businesses wishing to compete on a global platform.

Richard Nutt, Associate Partner – Global Trade and Customs

If you have any questions about the ATT program, please contact Associate Partner Richard Nutt from our Global Trade and Customs team at [email protected]