Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement - Guide to the Agreement
6. Customs Administration
1. Purpose and structure
This Chapter deals with Customs administration and cooperation and comprises
11 articles including advance rulings, reviews of Customs decisions, cooperation
between the Parties to achieve compliance, penalties for violations, the
release of goods, and express shipments.
2. Publication of Customs laws and regulations
This article provides for the prompt publication of laws, regulations, guidelines
procedures and administrative rulings governing customs matters.
3. Administration (Article 6.2)
Each Party is obliged to administer its customs laws in a uniform, impartial
and reasonable manner, and in a way that does not create arbitrary or unwarranted
obstacles to trade.
4. Advance Rulings (Article 6.3)
Advance rulings on tariff classifications and rules of origin are to be
provided in writing and within 120 days after obtaining all necessary information.
5. Reviews of Customs determinations (Article 6.4)
Customs authorities are required to provide at least one level of administrative
review of their determinations. The option of a judicial review, following
the administrative review, must also be provided.
6. Cooperation (Article 6.5)
This article provides for the cooperation between Customs authorities on
a wide range of customs matters. In particular, the Article sets out
the obligations of a Party to provide information on particular trade transactions
when the other Party has a reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity relating
to its imports laws and regulations.
7. Confidentiality (Article 6.6)
Confidential information shared between the Party's Customs authorities
is to be protected in accordance with the general confidentiality provisions
in Chapter 22 (Article 22.4).
8. Penalties (Article 6.7)
This Article provides for Customs authorities to impose their respective
penalties for violations of their customs' laws and regulations.
9. Release of Goods (Article 6.8)
This Article provides for the prompt release of goods consistent with ensuring
compliance with customs laws, including the provision of a security as a
condition for release of goods.
10. Risk Assessment (Article 6.9)
Customs authorities are to apply risk management systems to ensure they
concentrate on high-risk areas of trade and facilitate low-risk areas of
11. Express Shipments (Article 6.10)
This Article requires Customs authorities to maintain expedited procedures
for the handling of express shipments.
March 6, 2004