Rebate of duties
The tariff book is a fairly blunt instrument, with each tariff code typically housing a number of different products. When removing a duty on a specific tariff code, there can therefore be unintended consequences. One way to handle this is to give an exemption of duty under certain circumstances, which is known as a rebate.
The process of applying for a rebate is the same as for a normal duty reduction, but unlike a duty reduction the scope of a rebate is more limited. Because there are fewer unintended consequences, you are more likely to succeed with a rebate application than with a normal duty reduction. A rebate either requires that:
- the imported product form part of a production process or
- the domestic industry be unable to supply to quantities at certain points in time (known as a temporary rebate because it only kicks in when local supply is not available)
If this is not the case, then you are left with either a normal duty reduction on the insertion of a new tariff code, as the only options to bring the duty down.
Rebates of duty never expire. This is important to remember as the rebate will remain in place duties will until someone applies for its removal.
No industry standing is required to make an application, so even small manufacturers can apply to have duties removed. If the importer and manufacturer of the product are 2 different companies, then both companies would typically have to make the application for the rebate.
Make the application to ITAC. It is important to submit current and relevant information as part of this application is the single most important step in the whole application process. It is also important to understand if the rebate will face any level of resistance of local manufacturers.
ITAC assessment of the information. Before anything else happens, ITAC will check all of the information submitted to determine if your application has merit. ITAC will also contact any existing manufacturers and importers who may be impacted by your application to determine the economic impact of the application.
ITAC verification. Once your application has been accepted as reasonable, it will be verified by a team of investigators from ITAC. This verification will include a factory visit and a fairly detailed review of the financial and business information supporting the application. If verification fails, the matter will not proceed.
Initiate and investigate. If ITAC decides to proceed with the investigation, the matter will be initiated and interested parties will typically have 4 weeks to respond (with a 2 week extension usually granted). Any interested parties who do not respond in time will not have their information considered for the final decision
ITAC decision. Once the investigation is complete, a decision will be implemented. That decision will remain in place until another application is received. No new application can be submitted until at least 12 months has passed from the implementation date of the decision.
It typically takes between 6 and 9 months for a decision to implemented if someone opposes a rebate application. If an application goes unopposed, then duties can be reduced within 3 months of initiation.
Want to make an application?
If you are negatively impacted by duties and wish to make an application for a rebate of duties, then drop us a note. We would love to meet to see how we can help.
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