The STS Taskforce reports to Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Minister for Trade and Tourism
What we’ve learned from business
Overall, business have told us that Australia’s cross-border trade relies on outdated and complex regulation and ICT systems. Businesses said they face challenges navigating complicated and siloed import and export processes without a whole-of-government and user-centric approach. This costs them time, effort and money.
- A large logistics company advised they use approximately 360,000 pieces of paper each year for cross-border trade processes.
- A seafood exporter from Queensland described how they dealt with many government touchpoints each day, as they typically worked with multiple people across 2–3 government agencies, as well as state and local governments.
- A small meat exporter explained that minor errors in documentation, which can happen through manual data entry, paper forms or transferring information between ICT systems, can cost money to reprint or risk product being held up in the importing countries.
Business experience highlighted the need for an integrated, whole-of-government approach.
The STS vision
The Simplified Trade System addresses a whole-of-government reform agenda to create a simpler, more effective, and sustainable cross-border trade environment for Australia. Simpler trade will benefit Australian businesses, government and the community, including through reducing the cost of trade, increasing productivity and relieving cost of living pressures. The STS will also amplify and enable Government priorities to diversify trade, drive supply chain resilience, and ensure strong border protections.
EXAMPLES OF WHAT BUSINESS TOLD US IN RESPONSE TO THE STS CONSULTATION PAPER
“A single shipment can pass through as many as 30 different organisations, with up to 200 individual communications about that shipment. These communications are impeded if systems do not talk to each other (e.g. are using paper, making delays inevitable)”.
- International Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of Australia, (January 2022)
“Temporary practices introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic have had significant benefit to businesses, for example acceptance of certain electronic certificates for some agricultural imports and electronic signatures for Organic Produce Certificates”.
- Business Council of Australia (BCA) (January 2022)