A SYDNEY fabrication business has been ordered to pay more than $67,000 in penalties and recovered duty and GST.

This followed an investigation by the Australian Border Force into the importation of Chinese aluminium products via Thailand.

The investigation by ABF Customs Compliance Operations focused on an import declaration last December for almost 15 tonnes of aluminium sections shipped into Sydney in a sea container.

The investigation found three “false and misleading statements”, which included a false declaration regarding the origin of the goods, to avoid the payment of Countervailing Duty, Dumping Duty and Customs Duty.

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The Australian Government imposes countervailing duty and dumping duty to fight the dumping of low priced overseas goods below their “normal value”.

The shipment was under-valued. According to the ABF, the false and misleading statements caused a shortfall of $35,722 in duty, and a further $4676 in GST.

As well as paying the under-declared duty and GST the company was penalised $26,791 – the equivalent of 75% of the duty shortfall. In total it was required to pay $67,189.

ABF Acting Commander Malcolm Phelps said the case was a reminder for businesses to correctly declare imports.

“At the end of the day importers who don’t pay the correct amount of duty and GST are depriving the Australian economy and ultimately Australian taxpayers,” Acting Commander Phelps said.

“In this case, considerable effort was made to route the consignment through Thailand to conceal the fact that it originated in China.”

Acting Commander Phelps said ABF Customs Compliance Operations officers worked diligently to ensure importers complied with reporting and revenue collection.

“Failure to comply can result in severe penalties, or the suspension or cancellation of licences and potentially prosecution,” he said.

As Australia’s customs service, the ABF has made trade enforcement one of its key operational priorities.

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