A New Era in Trade Relations ... Japan's Economic Partnership

Prime Minister Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Abe signed the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) and its Implementing Agreement on 8 July 2014 in Canberra.

To bring JAEPA into force both countries must now complete their domestic treaty processes with the aim to exchange Diplomatic Notes early in 2015. This will signify that they are ready for entry into force of the Agreement. JAEPA will then enter into force 30 days after the exchange of notes.

Tougher Penalties from Australian Customs

Although we’ve had a system of infringement notices from Australian Customs and Border Protection (Customs) for a while now, I’ve recently had the need as a supposed expert in these matters to examine the impact of recent changes to the laws. The need stemmed from clients on both sides of the fence – importers, exporters, and customs brokers alike.

For those not too familiar, the Infringement Notice Scheme (INS) allows Customs to issue something akin to a parking ticket for what is known as a strict liability offence. Strict liability really means that Customs don’t need to prove fault other than the fact it happened.

How bad can that be you ask?