The Australian Border Force (ABF) has issued duty demands of more than $15 million to combat duty evasion on aluminium from China. The ABF announced these results as part of an ongoing two year investigation into the dumping of aluminium extrusions, mostly used to mount solar panels, in the Australian marketplace.
Dumping occurs when an exporter sells goods to Australia at a price that is below the normal value of the goods and undercutting Australian providers.
ABF officers have recently executed warrants on four solar entities across Sydney and Brisbane, and issued the duty demands in response to that. Related operational activity has also occurred on vessels arriving into Fremantle in Western Australia.
ABF Assistant Commissioner Erin Dale said the ABF was committed to protecting Australian businesses by ensuring the integrity of duty measures was not undermined by dumping activity.
“Customs and trade enforcement are key priorities for the Australian Border Force, and we work closely with our national and international counterparts. This investigation aims to detect and deter the dumping of aluminium extrusions into the Australian market, undercutting Australian providers,” Assistant Commissioner Dale said.
“As a result of this ongoing operation, more than 60 containers have been examined resulting in more than two million dollars of revenue collected. Multiple companies that were deliberately created to deceive the ABF have also been shut down and several visas have been referred for cancellation.
“This investigation is very much live and ongoing – and we would like to send a strong message to those attempting to smuggle these items into Australia while avoiding duty. The ABF is aware of these attempts and is working very hard with industry and partner agencies to combat them. When you are caught, you will face the full force of the law,” Assistant Commissioner Dale said.
The attempts have allegedly included transhipping aluminium to Australia via third countries that do not attract dumping duties such as Indonesia and Singapore. Further action against those involved in this activity is likely, with the investigation continuing to uncover information on those smuggling, evading duty and providing false statements.
Anyone with information about possible illegal activity at the border is encouraged to report it to ABF’s Border Watch program by visiting www.Australia.gov.au/borderwatch. Information can be given anonymously.