The importer, not the exporter, is required to make a claim of preferential tariff treatment under the U.S.-Australian Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Australia FTA) on the basis that the good is U.S. originating. It is the importer’s responsibility to declare in writing in the importation document that a good qualifies as originating. According to the Australian Customs Authority, when importing into Australia and claiming a preferential rate of customs duty for a U.S. originating good, the importer must use the preference code “U” in the preference indicator field on the import entry.
The Australian importer should work with the U.S. exporter to ensure that a U.S. good meets the relevant rule of origin under the U.S.-Australia FTA prior to making a claim.
The U.S. exporter may be requested by the importer or the Australian Customs Service to provide information to support a claim of preferential treatment. The information required should confirm that the goods are:
1. wholly obtained or produced entirely in the United States, such as minerals extracted here, vegetables harvested here, or live animals born and raised here; or
2. produced in the United States wholly from other originating materials from either Australia or the United States; or
3. produced in the United States partly from non-originating materials, but such non-originating materials undergo processing so that the good meets the requirements of the rules of origin in Annex 4-A to the Textiles and Apparel Chapter and for other goods, Annex 5-A General Notes and Product Specific Rules. These Annexes define a level of U.S./Australian content and/or the sort of physical transformation required in the production process for the good to qualify as originating; or
4. otherwise qualify as originating under the rules of origin in the U.S.-Australia FTA.
Australian Customs officials may verify a claim of preferential treatment up to fives years after the date of importation. Therefore, it is recommended that exporters and importers maintain documents relating to the importation of the good and all supporting documentation (as noted above) for up to five years after importation, in case Australian Customs authorities seek to verify a claim. Records should also include information on:
1. the purchase, cost and value of, and payment for, the good;
2. the purchase, cost, and value of, and payment for, all materials, including indirect materials, used in the production of the goods (if value is relevant to the claim of origin); and
3. the production of the good in the form in which the good was exported.
The Australian Customs Authority provides sample statements for U.S. exporters/producers reference when generating documentation in support of a claim of preferential treatment.