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David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 06/09/2012

NO.096

Low Value Parcel Processing Taskforce Report Released

The Government has publicly released the final report of the Low Value Parcel Processing Taskforce.

The Taskforce, comprised of Chair Dr Bruce Cohen, Mr Jim Marshall and Professor Caroline Chan, was commissioned to investigate options to improve the efficiency of processing low value imported parcels and has undertaken a thorough investigation of a range of very complex issues.

The final report finds that any streamlining of the processes involved in the handling of low value imported parcels, the growth in which is being driven by online retail, would require significant change.

The work of the Taskforce followed the 2011 Productivity Commission (PC) report into the retail sector, which found that the low value threshold for GST and duty on imported goods was not the main factor affecting the international competitiveness of Australian retailers. The PC did find in its report that there are in-principle grounds to reduce the low value threshold but it is currently not cost-effective to do so without significant improvements in the efficiency of processing low value parcels. 

The Government discussed the report today with the Retail Council of Australia and will continue to consult with other stakeholders to inform its response to the report – the views of retailers, consumers and the States and Territories will be carefully considered.

Australia has a strong and dynamic retail sector, employing around 1.2 million people and, according to 2010 figures, accounting for around four per cent of Australia's GDP.

Along with the establishment of the Retail Council of Australia, the Government also recently announced it will commit new funding of $2.1 million over four years to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to keep track of online spending by Australian consumers.

"I would like to thank the Taskforce for their work in preparing this report," said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury. "The Gillard Government is committed to working together with the sector to ensure a strong and prosperous future for retail in Australia."

The report is available at the Treasury Website

6 September 2012