Removal of obsolete concession
In April 2020, New Zealand and Singapore launched a new trade initiative, which was the Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for Combatting the COVID-19 Pandemic. One of the effects of this trade initiative was the permanent elimination of duty for goods that are classified under particular HS codes.
At that time it was impractical to undertake an amendment of Part 1 of the Tariff to provide the benefit that this trade initiative afforded. As such, 18 tariff concessions were created to allow importers to be able to gain the benefit of the eliminated duty and the actual amendment of the Tariff was incorporated into the work being undertaken around the implementation of HS2022. Information around this was made available in the specific COVID-19 section of our website, which can be found here.
The work to incorporate these 18 concessions into the Consolidated List of Approvals has been completed. This involved the removal of approx. 1,105 obsolete concessions. These 1,105 concessions were made obsolete by the permanent duty elimination and creation of the 18 concessions that brought into effect that elimination. The Tariff Concession Approvals, Withdrawals and Declines Notice (No.04) 2021 will be published as a record of which concessions are obsolete and being withdrawn.
For clarification, this activity does not mean that importers have now lost the ability to enter those goods at a 0% duty rate but rather the avenue for how this can be claimed.
In response to the question as to whether these concessions can apply to goods that are not specifically for the COVID-19 response. The answer is yes, these 18 concessions can be used for any good that is correctly classified in the area of the Tariff to which the concession has been aligned.
In the Consolidated List of Approvals, the 18 concessions will be displayed as commencing from 5/20 (1 May 2020). This is due to the document's formatting style changing the entire document to be able to display the actual commencement date, which is the 16 April 2020, would be impractical. The Introduction to the Consolidated List of Approvals does states that unless there are very special circumstances, goods imported prior to the date displayed in the document would not be eligible for concessionary entry. In this particular situation, the very special circumstance is the commencement date of the trade initiative and so these concessions can be used for goods imported from 16 April 2020.
A follow on piece of work that will be completed in the coming months, will be the amending of concessions which are aligned with multiple tariff classifications of which one of the classifications has had the duty rate reduced to 0%.
Questions around the removal of these obsolete concession can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.