THE Australian Border Force is introducing new gateway clearance measures that will allow the release of cleared sea cargo from customs control in the port of discharge, regardless of the final delivery destination.

The new gateway clearance for sea cargo will be available from 1 October 2021.

ABF Commissioner Michael Outram, who is also comptroller general of customs, said this change brings customs and biosecurity release requirements for sea cargo in line with those for air cargo, and simplifies last-mile logistics.

“Gateway clearance for sea cargo will provide simplified options for traders to clear their goods into Australia. I am pleased to announce these new measures, which will cut red tape and reduce costs for importers and transport providers” Commissioner Outram said.

Previously, the ABF required even cleared consignments that listed different locations for the port of discharge and port of destination (on the sea cargo report) to move under customs control to the port of destination prior to release. This unnecessarily complicated logistics and increased costs for the last mile of a consignment’s journey.

From 1 October 2021, importers, in consultation with their logistics provider, can legally nominate the same port as both the port of discharge and the port of destination – regardless of the consignment’s final destination. With this change, a consignment with customs and biosecurity clearance can be released into home consumption from the nominated port, and movement to any final destination can be via less costly domestic freight services.

“Gateway clearance will especially benefit those importers that are distant from our major international sea ports, and importers or logistics providers importing less than a container load consignments. It will provide noticeable transport and time savings for many small businesses,” Commissioner Outram said.

“This initiative is another example of the Australian Border Force and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment working together to make customs clearance processes more efficient to support trade, industry and the economy.”