AEP approved arrangement reform

​​​Regulatory reform is one of the key priorities for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

This information is relevant to Biosecurity Industry Participants (BIPs) and accredited persons operating under the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Class 19.2 Approved Arrangement: Automatic Entry Processing for Commodities (AEPCOMM). Our reform of this approved arrangement (AA) is an opportunity to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our existing arrangements.

This project provides key benefits for both the department and industry, and is considered a priority by both parties.

Issues identified

Of the issues recognised as limiting the uptake and expansion of AEPCOMM, three primary issues were identified:

  • low number of commodities and types of entries currently available to be processed through AEPCOMM
  • complexity of commodity pathways outlined in the Class 19.2 Requirements document (previously processes and outcome document)
  • management of non-compliance.

To address these issues, a number of process improvements have been identified to increase the current uptake of AEPCOMM and the overall volume of entries processed. Currently 50% of all entries referred to the department could be processed through AEPCOMM however only 16% are.

Improving processes

We have identified a number of process improvements which are being progressed in two phases.

More information on phase 1 and 2 changes will be provided through stakeholder engagement and Continuous Biosecurity Competency (CBC) sessions.

Phase 1 changes and implementation

Phase 1 involved:

  • identifying commodities that can be added to the current arrangement without significant IT or policy changes
  • consulting with the technical sections (commodity policy owners).

Outcome of Phase 1 is the expansion of the AEP for new commodities and the removal of three commodities due to policy changes and low uptake.

Changes that were identified are approved and we are aiming for an implementation date of April 2017.

Affected commodity groups will be C.1, C.4, C.5, C.6, C.7 and C.8, as referred to in the current Class 19.2 AEP for commodities requirements document.

If you have any feedback or questions about the changes scheduled in phase 1 email our broker accreditation team.

C.1 New Zealand Finfish

Planned changes are:

  • FCL and LCL will be added to the available cargo types for New Zealand finfish
  • the group will be expanded to include airfreight, LCL and FCL consignments of consumer ready finfish for human consumption from all countries
  • airfreight, LCL and FCL consignments of frozen molluscs (tariff 0307) will also be added to this group.

The changes will provide a greater pool of entries (approx. >5000) available under AEPCOMM.

C.4 Used passenger vehicles; used passenger vehicles processed by an approved offshore treatment provider; and new/used vehicles parts and C.5 New and used machinery; new and used non-passenger vehicles; new and used machinery parts; new and used aircraft and spacecraft

Planned changes are:

  • tariffs under C.4 and C.5 will be combined into one group.

This change will enable multi line entries of mixed tariffs from C.4 and C.5 to be processed on the same entry. This should simplify the process of processing multi line entries of machinery through this pathway. For example entries with lines classified under both tariff chapter 87 and 84.

C.6 Manufactured wooden articles and plywood and veneer articles

Planned changes are:

  • add tariffs from group 4409
  • add tariffs from group 4418
  • add tariffs under chapter 46
  • remove 'Fumigation' pathway (XDA)
  • remove 'Inspection' pathway (ND)

The changes will provide a greater pool of entries (approx. >5000) available under AEPCOMM. The removal of the inspections and fumigation pathway is to simplify the group by removing pathways that are not used in high volume. Due to the high volume of imports, the manufactured wooden articles group has been identified as presenting the department and industry with the greatest opportunity for increase benefit if uptake could be improved. Approximately 25% of total entries available for this group were processed through AEPCOMM. By simplifying the outcomes and expanding the commodities the project team aim to improve uptake due to reduced risk of error by the broker.

C.7 Plywood and veneer sheets

Planned changes are:

  • add tariff for wood – sawn or chipped lengthwise (4407).

This change will provide a greater pool of entries (approx. >3000) available under AEPCOMM.  The only pathway available will be the release on documentation pathway. For phase 1 some country of origin pathways will be excluded however, it is expected that this group will expanded to include further pathways under phase 2. Further information on the in scope pathways will be provided soon​.

New commodity group - Products of the milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten

This is a new group which will be added to the AA. This will allow some goods such as consignments of flours and starch in FCL and LCL to be processed under the AA. This pathway will only be available for products meeting all documentary requirements detailed in specified BICON cases. The only pathway available for these cases will be the release on documentation pathway.

The changes will provide a greater pool of entries (approx. >1600) available under AEPCOMM.

C.8 Milled rice

Planned changes are:

  • removal of bulk rice pathway as it has not been used since at least 2012
  • removal of rice packed in bags greater than 25kg due to changes to the import conditions and inspection process

Removal of C.9 Green coffee beans, C.10 Fresh asparagus and C.12 Fresh tomatoes of New Zealand origin

Planned changes are:

  • removal of green coffee beans due to the fact that the introduction of CBIS has substantially reduced the uptake of green coffee on AEP
  • removal of fresh tomatoes from New Zealand since nil tomato consignments have been processed through AEPCOMM since at least 2014 due to the offshore inspection scheme
  • removal of Fresh asparagus due to a change in import conditions commencing the 1st March 2017 and the implementation of the Verification of Packaging of Airfreight Perishables (VPAP) approved arrangement, also scheduled for implementation April 2017.

These commodities will be removed from the arrangement on the 1st March 2017.

Phase 2 changes and implementation

Phase 2 involves enhancing our IT systems to support more commodities and increase the uptake of AEPCOMM.  Detailed business requirements for an enhancement to the Agriculture Import Management System (AIMS) have been provided to our IT department and they are progressing these changes as a priority.

The current group of commodities available for AEPCOMM represent a substantial volume of entries that could be processed through AEPCOMM.

Data from 2015 shows that approximately 75318 entries (single line entries only) were suitable for AEPCOMM, of that 39% were lodged using AEPCOMM. This is consistent with the 2014 report prepared by Predicate Partners ‘Operating Baseline Compliance Assessment Reform’ which identifies that across the commodities available for AEPCOMM, the majority of entries are being processed outside of AEPCOMM.

AEPCOMM provides an efficient means for clearing consignments through us and reduces the load on the Assessment Service Group (ASG). As part of implementing the phase 1 changes, we would like to encourage brokers to utilise your AEPCOMM accreditation for lodgements of approved commodities.

If you require any assistance or support in using AEPCOMM please email the broker accreditation team.

Audit and sanctions policy

We are currently reviewing the audit and sanctions policy and are aiming to implement a modern auditing system that aligns with Service Delivery Modernisation initiatives by the department. As part of the reform we have identified four key principals that Audit and Sanctions policy should address:

  • simplicity
  • proportional response
  • ensuring due process
  • informed compliance.

What’s next?

We have finalised arrangements for these commodities to be added to the approved arrangement and anticipate that they will be included by April 2017.