In a Media Release issued today, 25th November, 2013, the Australian Customs & Border Protection Service (“ACBPS”) issued a warning to high school students, their parents and teachers, and the community in general, to beware of accepting parcels on behalf of other people whom they don’t know or are only very casually acquainted with.
ACBPS have discovered instances of students allegedly being offered a few hundred dollars to accept a package, on behalf of another person, sent from overseas through the post and then pass the package on to the person(s) responsible for the importation.
The scheme came to light when ACBPS officers were executing search warrants on a number of premises in N.S.W. with the assistance of N.S.W. Police.
The recruiting of the “mules” may have come about through social media channels, and it is alleged the people behind the scheme may have allayed any fears the students had about doing something illegal by telling them they were under adult age so they couldn’t be charged with drug importation offences. This is not correct and the ramifications for young people caught up in such schemes are far-reaching. If they are charged and convicted, they face fines of up to AUD 850,000.00 and 25 years imprisonment. Even if not imprisoned they will still carry a criminal record and this can affect future job prospects and overseas travel (many countries will not issue entry visas to people with a criminal record).
The principals of the schools attended by the 2 students so far identified have been advised of the situation by ACBPS and Police so they can alert other students not to fall for the same scam.
It is hoped that by putting this article on our web page, more people will be aware of it and so they can warn their children, friends, family, their children’s school principals of the danger.
In an article published on 22nd November, 2013, I reported the legislation to implement the planned increase to the Customs IPC did not pass through Parliament before the Federal election in 2013 and the measures must now be reconsidered by the current Government.
As predicted in that previous article, the legislation will be tabled, unaltered, by the current Government with a planned implementation date of 1st January, 2014.
In a previous article I reported the intention of the Federal Government to increase the Customs Import Processing Charge (“IPC”) effective from 1 January, 2014.
However, the legislation to implement this increase did not pass through Parliament before the Federal election in 2013. The measures must now be reconsidered by the current Government.
It’s probably fairly safe to say that, due to the budget deficit issues facing the current Government, the measures can be expected to go ahead as planned. Whether or not the legislation will be able to be tabled and passed in time for implementation of the new charges on 1 January, 2014, remains to be seen.
The Australian Customs & Border Protection Service (“ACBPS”) has provided guidance for cargo reporters, suppliers, importers and exporters, and their licensed customs brokers or other agents about acceptable standards of commercial documentation and evidence of money price paid (“EMPP”). These documents are required to support statements made in declarations to the ACBPS.
Further details are provided in ACBPS Notice 2013/46. The Notice includes an attachment listing the types of documentary evidence required.
If you have any questions regarding the guidance provided in ACBPS Notice 2013/46, please Contact Us to discuss.
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