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The Australian Customs Law in Light of International Trade Regulations

by Dr. Jan-Dirk kleine Holthaus

With regard to its customs and foreign trade regulations, Australia is often considered an international exemplar. Through the deregulation measures which began in 1983, Australia managed to develop from a strongly controlled national economy to one of the most liberal economies in the world. Part of this deregulation process was also the reform of the customs law, particularly the reduction of customs tariffs and the modernisation of the customs procedures law. Hence Australia is recognised as exemplary by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

The author thus examines whether the Australian customs law, particularly the customs procedures law, deserves this good reputation. In the process, he examines the Australian customs law with regard to its conformity with the WTO/WCO international regulations concerning movement of goods. At the WTO level, the study examines the regulations concerning customs value, rules of origin, transparency as well as prescriptions on trade facilitation. And at the WCO level, the emphasis is put on the Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, the Revised Kyoto Convention (1999) as well as the Framework of Standards (2005).

The book offers a well detailed description of WTO and WCO regulations concerning customs procedures. Although the WCO with its 170 member states plays an important role in the international harmonisation of customs procedures and customs system, its regulations have been up to now sparsely treated in literature. Likewise, little had been so far written on the Australian customs law. Yet the Australian customs law is a very interesting example of an effective, modern and exemplary customs administration/system which outstandingly succeeds to strike a balance between increased security interests and trade facilitation.

ISBN 3-8300-2938-1

More information is also available at (German).

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