Businesses, Agents and Trade Professionals

Benefits of Australian Trusted Trader

The Australian Trusted Trader programme (ATT) rewards accredited businesses with a growing range of trade facilitation benefits to improve international market access. These benefits currently include:

  • Account Manager - a dedicated single point of contact between the Australian Trusted Trader and the Australian Border Force (ABF)
  • priority trade services when requesting duty drawbacks, refunds, and advance rulings on tariff, valuation and origin though our National Trade Advice Centre
  • priority treatment of goods at the border when importing goods
  • Trusted Trader logo usage, which is also recognised by international customs administrations
  • Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) access, receiving priority treatment of goods at the border in our partner countries
  • monthly cargo reports access on all goods imported and exported under the Trusted Trader's Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • streamlined process when applying for sponsorship accreditation under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  • consolidated cargo clearance, enabling Trusted Trader importers, or their licensed customs brokers, to lodge a single import declaration for consolidated cargo for all sea and air cargo types
  • APEC Business Travel Card – streamlined processes when applying
  • a 'seat at the table' to work in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) and the ABF
  • Trusted Trader Symposium attendance – an invitation only annual event for Trusted Traders.

Further information about these benefits is detailed below.

Exploring future benefits

We are working with industry to explore new trade facilitation benefits that could apply to Trusted Traders. Trusted Traders have the opportunity to influence the direction of the program and the development of future benefits through a range of forums, including the annual invitation only Symposium.

Australian Government partnerships

The Australian Government is progressing reforms to foster legitimate trade and provide Australian businesses with a seamless border experience. We are exploring opportunities to align aspects of Australian Trusted Trader and the Office of Transport Security's Known Consignor scheme, with a view to reducing red tape for businesses seeking accreditation.

More information on the government's border policies is available in the fact sheet New Regulatory Measures to Facilitate and Streamline Trade (232KB PDF).

Known Consignor

Known Consignor is an internationally recognised initiative that will offer Australian exporters an alternative way to meet the United States (US) legislative air cargo requirements.

Since 1 July 2017, all US-bound export air cargo needs to be piece-level examined by an approved business, or originate from a Known Consignor.

The scheme recognises businesses that use international best-practice security controls and effective measures to prevent unlawful acts against aviation. A Known Consignor is responsible for securing air cargo that originates from their business until the air cargo is provided to another regulated business.

Key differences between Australian Trusted Trader and Known Consignor:

 ComponentAustralian Trusted TraderKnown Consignor
EligibilityAny Australian importer, exporter or service provider that has been engaged in international trade for at least 2 years.Australian businesses that export cargo by air.
ApplicabilityImports and exports, by sea and air.Exports by air to the US.
ParticipationVoluntary. You may still trade without becoming a Trusted Trader.Any business seeking to export air cargo to the US must either become accredited as a Known Consignor or engage a regulated business to conduct piece-level examination of cargo on its behalf.
PurposeTrade facilitation, increased supply chain security and trade compliance.Supply chain security to meet the requirements of the US Government.
Benefits

Trusted Trader Benefits include: dedicated account manager, priority trade services, priority treatment of goods at the border, Mutual Recognition Arrangements, Consolidated Cargo Clearance, and use of the Trusted Trader logo.

Negates requirement to engage a regulated business to examine air cargo exports to the US.

To learn more about applying for accreditation under both ATT and Known Consignor schemes email the Australian Trusted Trader team at trustedtrader@abf.gov.au.

Dedicated account manager

As the single point of contact, a dedicated ABF Account Manager works with the Trusted Trader to resolve any border clearance issues impacting their supply chain or trade compliance.

The Account Manager provides Trusted Traders with the latest information on benefits, events, regulatory changes, and key information of relevance to the Trusted Trader.

Priority trade services

Trusted Trader importers and exporters receive a priority processing service through the National Trade Advice Centre. This includes:

  • advance rulings – precise and binding advice in relation to the application of tariffs, valuation and origin of certain goods
  • advance ruling reviews – access to priority tariff advice reviews
  • duty drawback – access to priority processing of customs import duty drawback claims in circumstances where imported goods are exported unused since importation, or are treated, processed, or incorporated into other goods for export
  • refund applications for customs import duty
  • remission applications for customs import duty.

Priority treatment of goods at the border

Imports from Australian Trusted Traders are assessed as low risk and may be subject to fewer interventions.

For any issues experienced at the border, such as goods held for examinations, Trusted Traders have access to their Account Manager to ensure their goods are processed as quickly as possible.

Mutual Recognition Arrangements

Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) allow recognition of Trusted Trader status, and priority treatment of goods at the border, in states where Australia has signed agreements. MRAs enable customs administrations to streamline border processing of goods, which provides Trusted Traders increased predictability, certainty, and speed to market. 

The Department has established MRAs with:

  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • Korea Customs Service
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department
  • General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China.

Trusted Trader exporters receive trade facilitation benefits at the border of our MRA trading partners, providing faster access to international markets. Recognition of the Trusted Trader logo in these countries builds confidence in Australian traders and the security of their international supply chain.

The Department continues to pursue MRAs with other trading partners.

Monthly cargo reports

On a monthly basis, the ABF provides Trusted Trader importers and exporters with a report on all goods imported or exported under their ABN.

These reports reduce the administrative burden on Trusted Traders, ensuring that accurate data is readily available to assist Trusted Traders in their supply chain management. It also reduces the risk of fraudulent transactions.

Sponsorship accreditation – Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

Trusted Traders have streamlined access to the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.  The TSS visa enables approved 'standard business sponsor' employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot source an appropriately skilled Australian.  TSS visa holders can work in Australia for up to four years, depending on their nominated occupation, visa stream and circumstances.

As potential sponsoring businesses of TSS visa applicants, Trusted Traders are assessed against streamlined accreditation criteria when applying for sponsorship accreditation and do not have to observe the standard minimum 12 month period applicable to other businesses.  Sponsors who qualify for accredited status receive priority processing of all TSS nomination and visa applications, with most applications processed in less than five days.  Certain low risk TSS nomination applications lodged by sponsors granted accredited status after 1 July 2016 will receive streamlined processing.

For more information see Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

Consolidated cargo clearance

Trusted Traders benefit from reduced red tape on importing consolidated cargo. Trusted Trader importers, or their licensed customs broker, can lodge a single import declaration for consolidated cargo for all sea and air cargo types, attracting only a single Import Processing Charge (IPC).

For more about reporting and declaration requirements, see Cargo reporting and import declaration requirements.

APEC Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) provides travellers with faster and easier entry to eligible economies within the Asia-Pacific region. The Department uses information provided through the Australian Trusted Trader accreditation process to reduce the application burden for Trusted Traders.

Streamlined applications are available to applicants who meet individual identity and criminal history requirements of the ABTC, and:

  • state in their ABTC application that their sponsoring business is a Trusted Trader, providing the ABN
  • undertake frequent travel for business purposes
  • are a senior business person, relative to the structure of the nominating business
  • are an Australian citizen employee of the Trusted Trader. 

For more information about APEC, see the APEC website.

For more information about applying for an ABTC, see APEC Business Travel Card for Australian citizens.