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Exposure Draft Customs Amendment (Controlled Trials) Bill 2021

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​As a part of the Government’s Simplified Trade System agenda, the Australian Border Force (ABF) is developing a legislative and governance framework to support trials of new practices under the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) and associated regulations. The proposed framework will enable time limited trials with approved entities in a controlled regulatory environment. The proposed amendments to the Customs Act are captured in the Customs Amendment (Controlled Trials) Bill 2021 (Controlled Trials Bill).

The Controlled Trials Bill seeks to encourage innovation in developing best practice regulation through testing new business practices and technologies before committing to legislative change. This will assist Government in simplifying the Australian customs framework whilst maintaining, and achieving, Australia’s border security objectives. The Controlled Trials Bill is an important enabler for the whole-of-Government Simplified Trade System agenda.​

The Controlled Trials Bill would amend the Customs Act to allow the Comptroller-General of Customs to waive or vary requirements under the Customs Act or create new obligations to enable a controlled trial. The new legislative framework would set out the requirements for establishing, and approving an entity’s participation in, a trial, and would also specify th​e circumstances in which an entity’s participation in a trial may be varied, suspended or revoked.

​On 12 October 2021, the Department invited public submissions on the Exposure Draft of the proposed Controlled Trials Bill​.

The Department has also prepared a supporting​ Explanatory Statement which provides additional detail on the proposed amendments.

At 5pm (AEST) on 18 October 2021, the public consultation period on the Exposure Draft closed. The Department is considering the submissions provided.​​​​