The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) recognises that:
- Under the Australian Constitution, the Commonwealth has responsibility for regulating the import and export of firearms and firearm-related articles.
- The last two federal budgets have allocated funding towards work on a “Simplified Trade System” (STS) to operate across government agencies involved in the import and export of goods.
- In May 2021 the Commonwealth Government announced an additional $37.4 million for the Simplified Trade System reform program. A new Simplified Trade System Implementation Taskforce has been established which will review trade regulations and modernise outdated ICT systems.
- The Australian Border Force has established the Customs and Border Modernisation Branch to reflect the broad scope of the ABF’s border modernisation efforts.
- There is considerable scope to improve regulatory processes and reduce unnecessary burdens at the border for the Australian shooting industry without compromising public safety.
- The Australian importers and exporters of firearms and related articles have gone to great lengths over many years to assist government attempts at trade simplification and border modernisation without an outcome.
- A number of SIFA stakeholders have attained Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) status but report little to no tangible benefit from that significant investment.
- The Australian shooting industry needs government to build a trade ecosystem that is inter-connected, intuitive and solves real problems. The urgency surrounding this cannot be understated.
- Border controls related to firearms must be viewed as a part of the “cradle to grave” continuum and be fully integrated with all other regulatory systems used to manage firearms within Australia.
- Given the projected 10-year timeframe for the benefits of the simplified trade and border modernisation programs to be fully realised, the Commonwealth must establish an interagency task force to actively consider short term improvements, for example.
- An automated, rules-based method for issuing importation permits in a timely manner.
- Legislative amendments to relieve the ABF from having to physically inspect firearms upon importation, in favour of earned autonomy for Trusted Traders, saving an average of 14 days per consignment.
- The removal of sporting firearms from Defence Export Control legislation, to align Australia with all other signatories to the applicable multilateral export control regimes.
- Deregulation agenda – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)
- Best Practice Consultation Guidance Note (pmc.gov.au)
- Legislation, regimes and agreements | Business & Industry | Exports | Department of Defence