As part of the Department of Agriculture (the department) recent review of the Minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy, the department reviewed the Annual Packing Declaration (APD) validity requirement. NNF 2015/088 also refers.
One of the key operational changes relates to the assessment, approval and endorsement of APD’s as stated under 4.6.3 Validity requirements.
4.6.3 Validity requirements Annual packing declarations are valid for 12 months from the date of issue by the packer and must be valid at the time the import declaration is assessed by the appointed officer or assessed and lodged by the customs broker.
We can confirm that accredited customs brokers are not required to forward APD’s to the department for endorsement prior to use. The department will accept the declarations and assess them in the same manner as a consignment specific declaration.
It would be a good business practice to keep records of when / who assessed and endorsed the APD for use during the 12 months validity period to ensure adequate records are kept for possible post entry audits by the department.
This is a positive outcome as we have been pushing for improved and simplified documentary assessment process that requires less intervention by the department.
The CBFCA has been instrumental in working with the department to focus less on documentation management and more on risk management of high risk biosecurity goods as this will improve the overall documentation assessment / processing and improve the service levels.