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Gross & Becroft were retained by one of Australia’s major importers of polyethylene teraphalate (PET) which is utilised by the client to manufacture carbonated soft drink bottles, long life fruit juices and still water bottles.  We had originally been involved in the successful application for the Tariff Concession Order and were again retained by the importer when a local company claimed that it was a manufacturer of substitutable goods.  In the process of defending the application for revocation, it became quite clear that the local company did not meet the 25% local content threshold, despite claiming that it locally sourced some of the ingredients utilised in the manufacture of PET.

The matter proceeded to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  In the preliminary stages of the AAT process, we strongly challenged the assertions by the local company that it was a local producer with the resultant consequence that the AAT made various orders requiring the local company to produce detailed evidence of its claims.  Thereafter, the local company withdrew its objection.

This case provides evidence of the need to thoroughly test the material put forward by any company claiming to be a local manufacturer to properly assess whether they do in fact meet the 25% local content requirement under Section 269D of the Customs Act.

Louis Gross -  B. Juris., LL.B.

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