Equal playing field for exporters

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Case studies paper author Mike Brindley from Regional Development Australia.

Regional Development Australia (RDA), Tasmania recently released a Case Studies Paper analysing the effects over the first 18 months of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) being opened to exporters.

The four-year extension to the scheme commenced on 1st January 2016.   It allowed exporters to access benefits under the scheme and compete on equal terms in international markets with mainland competitors and those from other countries.

The analysis undertaken by RDA Tasmania was for the period 1st January 2016 to 30th June 2017.  The Paper was prepared to provide an understanding of the benefits of the Australian Government’s commitment to the extension of the TFES to cover exports transhipped through mainland ports and in particular, the impact the initiative has had on the Tasmanian business community.

The author, Mike Brindley, interviewed representatives from 11 businesses across many diverse sectors, providing a Case Study on each business.

The outcomes were very positive showing improved confidence in the firms’ business model, new investment in plant and equipment, additional development of international markets, diversification of a firm’s income base, less reliance on the Australian domestic market, improved employment outcomes for part time and full time workers, and, innovative product development and design for new markets.

The report concluded that the extension of the TFES is working well.   The benefits under the extension are being received well by Tasmanian exporters and the extension itself is achieving its objectives of facilitating exports and promoting broader diversification, investment and employment.

There are ongoing challenges however.   Awareness of the TFES among Tasmanian businesses remains limited including how these businesses can successfully make claims for eligible freight movements.

So my message to exporters is – where your terms of sale are ex-Tasmania and your freight leaves  by sea and is transhipped to an international market via a mainland port, ensure you understand the financial benefits available under the TFES, your eligibility to access those benefits, and, how to make a claim.   The financial assistance received which allows for lower pricing may well be the difference of entering an export market, or not.

By TCCI TradeStart Adviser Sally Chandler

For international trade and investment assistance contact the TCCI’s TradeStart Adviser, Sally Chandler, at sally.chandler@tcci.com.au or phone 1300 559 122.

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