Like several other countries, Australia has decided to show commitment to reducing greenhouse gases by implementing new laws that limit the sale and distribution of high-emissions equipment.
Therefore, as of July 1, 2018, new product emissions standards have been in effect that prohibit the importation of marine engines and outdoor power equipment. This will then be followed by a complete ban on high-polluting equipment and engines across the whole Australian market.
Whether you are an importer or a logistics partner, compliance with these new standards should be your first priority in order to keep business going. Some may not agree with the decision, but the fact is these standards are now already in effect.
With that said, here is a quick primer on what exactly you need to know and what to do:
Who is administering these standards?
The Department of Environment and Energy is in charge of handling the application fees, certifications and exemptions in relation to the new emissions standards.
Products affected by the new standards:
Spark ignition engines that are 19 kilowatts and below. These are often used in commercial and household machinery. These include, but may not be limited to:
- Brush cutters
Spark ignition engines often use by commercial marine vessels such as:
- Auxiliar boat engines
- Outboard engines
- Sterndrive or inboard engines
- Personal watercraft
You can also visit the government web page that has a full list of all items covered by the emission standards.
What you need to do.
There are essentially three things that should be your priority with regards to these standards.
More specifically, you must ensure that all products in your imports carry Australian certification or recognised international certification verifying that they meet the emission standards. Some examples of these certifications include those by the member states of the European Union or those issued by the United States Environment Protection Agency.
Secondly, you must also ensure that any customs broker who works with you is capable of properly answering the community protection question in the Integrated Cargo System. That means they must know the correct certification or exemption number of any engines or equipment you are importing.
Now, there may be very special exemptions from these standards but you must immediately report to the Department of Environment and Energy to obtain them for your imports.
The circumstances which will allow these exemptions are very limited, so please keep this in mind and make sure you have exhausted all other alternatives before seeking to acquire these exemptions.
All records that prove your products have met these standards (or at least granted exemptions) should be documented and safeguarded. That way, any future imports will have a reference to ensure that continued compliance and smooth business of all parties involved.
Remember, whenever a new import standard is put into effect, it is the responsibility of importers and logistics organisations to design the most efficient means to comply.