A QUEENSLAND solar wholesale business has been ordered to pay more than $1m in recovered Duty and Goods and Services Tax following an investigation by the Australian Border Force into the importation of Chinese aluminium rails used to mount solar panels.

The investigation by the ABF Compliance Audits Unit focused on a number of consignments imported into Brisbane over a four-year period.

The investigation found aluminium rails had been falsely declared as other aluminium products to avoid the payment of Countervailing Duty, Dumping Duty and Customs Duty.

The Australian Government imposes Countervailing Duty and Dumping Duty to combat the dumping of low priced overseas goods below their ‘normal value’, which causes, or threatens to cause, material injury to an Australian industry.

In this case the misleading statements caused a shortfall of $186,618 in Customs Duty, $247,823 in Dumping Duty, $564,507 in Countervailing Duty and a further $99,387 in GST.

In total, the company was ordered to pay $1,098,336.

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In a separate case, a national solar energy company based in Victoria has been ordered to pay more than $280,000 for also trying to evade Dumping and Countervailing Duty.

The investigation focused on the misclassification of solar mounting kits imported into Australia from China between 2015 and 2018.

ABF Acting Commander Susan Drennan said the ABF was targeting businesses that deliberately and deceptively tried to avoid trade remedy measures.

“Our Customs Compliance Operations officers work diligently to ensure importers comply with reporting and revenue collection requirements so there’s a level playing field for both industry and consumers,” Acting Commander Drennan said.

“Importers who don’t pay the correct amount of duty and GST are depriving the Australian economy and ultimately Australian taxpayers.”

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