International Delivery Risks: The Case of Delivered Duty Paid in Australia

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The choice of delivery terms in international contracts has significant impact on both physical and financial risks for importers and exporters. This paper considers implications resulting from a recent Australian tribunal case involving transactions based on Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) terms (Incoterms). This case highlights how importers may become exposed to unexpected financial penalties caused by incorrect processes from foreign suppliers that result in duty and taxation payment shortfalls. The discussion focuses on the risk elements related to DDP for importers and the interpretation of legislation and policy documents. A chronological timeline of events is provided to explain the changes in policies and interpretation related to ownership as defined by Australian customs legislation. The conclusion is that, due to customs considerations and the decision of the tribunal in this case, DDP may no longer be a viable option for international trade transactions, not only in Australia, but also in other nations.

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