Kognition Customs & Trade Consulting services. For more information please select any below link:
Tariff Classification: (return to top)
Resolving the legally correct classification of imported goods can be a complex exercise and not only make a significant difference to duty costs, but is required of you under Customs legislation. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that’s what you pay your Broker for.
Customs legislation holds you responsible for incorrect declarations.
Kognition acts on behalf of Importers, Exporters and Customs Brokers involved in disputes concerning the correct tariff classification of a good, or simply need advice or representation on tariff related matters.
Alternately clients may need advice about penalty implications of choosing particular classifications, or undertaking certain procedures.
Valuation: (return to top)
Navigating the layers of Customs valuation legislation to correctly value your imports and legally minimise any duty exposure is a minefield. Get it wrong and you can over, or under, pay import duty or be subjected to sanctions even where the result poses no risk to revenue.
Kognition understands how the layers work together and can represent clients where dispute arises, or where certainty and predictability are needed.r be subjected to sanctions even where the result poses no risk to revenue.
Tariff Concession Orders: (return to top)
With minimal duties on most goods imported into Australia you may be deceived into believing it's not important to your business, however have you considered how much additional sales you would need to turn over to increase your bottom line profit by 5%? The answer is generally that a significant increase would be required.
Where there is no local Australian production of substitutable goods you may be entitled to make application for a Tariff Concession Order that, if granted, will eliminate your import duty exposures.
Alternately, local manufacturers of goods competing with imports may be entitled to challenge new applications, or even revoke existing concessions to ensure protection for their products.
Kognition are well versed in representing both importers and Australian manufactures alike to identify areas of opportunity or concern and to represent them in achieving their desired outcome.
Regional and Bi-Lateral Trade Agreements (and Rules of Origin): (return to top)
What trade agreements are available to your transactions, whether your goods meet the Agreement's rules of origin and what due diligence you must undertake to ensure compliance can be an obstacle to your business.
In the 2011 World Customs Organisation’s Annual Council Sessions Report, the WCO stated that “Onerous rules of origin procedures, sometimes associated with free trade agreements, have contributed to these low figures (referring to the volume of cargo using preferential trade agreements) by making the costs of compliance requirements higher than the perceived worth of the underlying preference margins.”
Kognition understands each trade agreement that Australia has, its scope and their rules of origin and can assist importers and exporters determine if their goods qualify, what documents are required for compliance and can represent you in obtaining rulings where necessary.
Transfer Pricing Effects on Customs and Compliance: (return to top)
Transfer pricing generally refers to the price of goods provided by one part of any organisation to another. It is typically seen in transactions between firms and their subsidiaries or affiliates in other countries.
A transfer pricing adjustment is an agreement between related companies of multi-national enterprises to retrospectively adjust original prices of goods sold by one related company to another with the purpose of legally maximising profit and minimising taxation liabilities. In essence, a transfer price adjustment is used to manipulate pricing in order to achieve the return on sales required by taxation departments.
The adjustment may result in either an increase or a decrease in the price of the goods depending on market forces, profitability and returns on sales achieved. From a Customs and Border Protection perspective this may mean that the Customs value of the imported goods may need to be adjusted after the importation of the goods, either up or down.
Where the values are adjusted down, a potential reason for duty refund may exist. In the alternative, where values are adjusted up, a need to tender short-paid duties may arise.
In fact, where the goods affected by the adjustment are free from import duty and, as a result, any adjustment will have no impact on government revenue, you do still have a compliance problem given the values declared at the time of import are, in fact, now wrong.
Kognition is well versed in assisting Importers in their due diligence processes to ensure their transfer price is acceptable to Customs, and to represent Importers in negotiating the best possible outcome where a retrospective adjustment has been made.
Indirect Tax (GST): (return to top)
The "simple tax" can be both complex and financially crippling in its operation when international transactions are involved.
How do I mitigate my exposure when my company is not located in Australia?
- Can I defer my GST?
- When should I include local supplies in the VoTI?
- What's the impact of an over-arching international transport agreement?
Understanding how the layers of tax legislation work, and what the impact will be to your business, is paramount to your business. Kognition is able to help you manoeuvre through this process to ensure risks are minimised and compliance is ensured.
DAFF Biosecurity: (return to top)
Biosecurity is a critical link in Australia’s supply chain. Australia has some of the most advanced legislation and systems in the world for dealing with this aspect of trade, and understanding your obligations allows planning to mitigate delays, unexpected costs, potential fines and worse.
Understanding the complex issues of biosecurity concerning packing and treatment requires specialist knowledge. Kognition only uses DAFF accredited advisors to assist you in these matters.
Litigation Support: (return to top)
In today’s complex field of international trade, lawyers and Court representatives alike are looking toward trade specialists that can assist them in their awareness and understanding of multifaceted tariff, valuation, tax and international trade disputes.
Effective support reduces the workload of your litigation team, which means lower costs to you.
Kognition provides its clients unparalleled expertise across a complete range of litigation consulting services. Complex trade litigation and regulatory matters demand knowledgeable specialists that will work closely with you and your litigation team.
Whether you're preparing your case or responding to a regulatory investigation, Kognition provides the expertise that your legal team will need.
Audit and Customs Compliance: (return to top)
To succeed in a competitive global economy demands that companies take advantage of every occasion to maximises cost reduction and ensures regulatory compliance. The Kognition audit programs will appraise your transactions and isolate where savings can be realized, or where compliance irregularities may cause financial or sanctions exposure.
The result will be customised solutions centering on the results you want to achieve.
The Government expects and demands industry to comply with Customs-related law in all transactions involving the importation or exportation of goods to and from Australia, whether or not revenue (import duty, GST etc) is at risk. Customs is currently responsible for monitoring 26 separate pieces of legislation, all of which Customs are able to audit your imports or exports against for compliance.
Kognition can review all Customs compliance related matters. Such an audit would be conducted under similar conditions, processes and methodology as would be the case should that client be audited by Customs. The results of a full compliance audit will provide a compliance rating based on Customs own audit parameters, a ranking on the Customs Compliance Continuum, and the likely Customs operational response to that client based on that ranking.
Alternately, Kognition can audit your transactions to ensure you are paying the minimal legal duty and, based on the assessment outcomes, assist you in filing claims within the appropriate statutory time frames where refunds or credits are available.
Trade Descriptions and Labelling across the Border: (return to top)
Safeguarding your products are correctly labelled and described can be a minefield of uncertainty, particularly in industries dealing in such things such as foodstuffs.
Kognition possesses the understanding to assist clients to isolate areas of concern and negotiate with the relevant authorities to attain necessary permits or licenses as well as acquire an understanding between the parties as to labelling expectations.
Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Advice: (return to top)
Australia’s international obligations and national laws prohibit importations of “dumped” goods.
When this occurs, and Customs intervenes, additional duties can be imposed equal to many multiples of the original import duty.
Whether it's assisting overseas exporters through the Customs processes, or local importers deal with the complexities Kognitioncan provide expert guidance.
Government Trade Policy and Lobbying: (return to top)
From time to time trade policy matters require review and assessment as to the potential impact on clients.
Such matters may range from a Schedule 4 policy by-law, through to advanced cargo reporting policies. In all respects Kognition have the skill set to advise our clients and represent them in negotiations.
Project By-Laws: (return to top)
The Enhanced Project By-Law Scheme provides duty relief on eligible capital goods imports for major investment projects in a range on industry sectors.
Such concessions are over and above other assistance schemes available to general importers, yet require substantial expertise to negotiate successful outcomes.
Kognition have that experience and expertise and provide services ranging from ad hoc advice to full applications.