A global tackle company based in Fremantle has hauled in tens of thousands of dollars in savings on import duties following a review by CCI’s International Trade and Investment Centre (ITIC).
Halco Tackle Company manufactures in Indonesia but uses its Fremantle head office to distribute to more than 70 countries.
Managing Director Ben Patrick says the claim back is a big catch for Halco. It not only represents a year’s worth of import duties – about 20 times the consultancy fee – but also offers future savings on every shipload arriving from its wholly-owned and managed factory in Indonesia.
Patrick says the company – which specialised in lures, jibs and terminal tackle – has always used free trade agreements for exporting but had missed the boat on its imports into Australia.
“CCI did an investigation for us and we found there were a lot of products we were bringing into Australia for which we should not have been paying import duty,” Patrick says.
“Reclaiming a year’s worth of duty has been a significant saving and all shipments going forward now are properly done. It was quite a time consuming and complex process, but it was worth doing now that everything is set up.”
ITIC’s Manager Darren Levy says the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement allows the company to bring most of its manufactured goods into Australia duty free.
“Many importers don’t realise that if the product arrives in Australia without the correct paperwork, clearing agents will simply process it and charge the import duties”, Levy says.
“It’s up to the importer to find out whether the product is eligible for a tariff discount and organise the required paperwork to arrive with the goods.”
Levy says ITIC used a complex calculation to identify which of Halco’s products were eligible for discounts under the very specific free trade agreement rules. ITIC also informed Halco’s Indonesian office how to obtain the appropriate paperwork. In this case, it was the local Chamber of Commerce office that issued the required certification.
Patrick says leveraging of the agreements has also had a spin off for Halco’s supply chain: “Now that we are taking advantage of the agreements, it’s making us look for local suppliers because it will actually minimise the amount of import duty we have to pay”.
He started working at Halco in 1997 and took over from his father Neil in 2002. Global markets have been a key driver of growth for the business and the company now turns over in two months what it used to take in a year when he bought the business.
About 11 years ago, Patrick gradually began moving manufacturing from Australia to a greenfield site on a small island in Indonesia called Batan. The decision, influenced by a Batan Chamber of Commerce delegation that came to Perth about 12 years ago, was based on four criteria:
- Maintain or improve quality, which meant the company had to make products itself
- Guarantee supply
- Protect intellectual property and
- Produce product at the same or better price.
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