Regulatory Reform Division replaced the Deregulation Taskforce that was established in the Department of the Treasury in 2019 and moved to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on 1 July 2020.
Automatic Mutual Recognition of Occupational Licences
The Deregulation Taskforce, working with State and Territory governments, has made it easier for registered and licensed workers to work across State and Territory borders.
The Australian Government, working with state and territory governments, has made it easier for registered and licensed workers to work across state and territory borders.
The Automatic Mutual Recognition of Occupational Registrations (AMR) scheme removes the need for people to apply and pay for an additional registration or licence when working in another state or territory, saving them time and money.
AMR came into effect on 1 July 2021 and is now in place for a range of occupations in all states and territories except Queensland. This will include occupations requiring a licence in the building and construction, mining, real estate and property, security, manufacturing and automotive sectors. AMR is expected to increase the mobility of Australia’s workforce over time, and help businesses operate more seamlessly across Australia.
Safeguards in AMR build on existing standards of consumer and environmental protection, animal welfare and the health and safety of individuals and the public.
When fully implemented, it is estimated that AMR could lead to an additional $2.4 billion in economic activity over ten years as a result of savings to people and businesses, productivity improvements and extra surge capacity in response to natural disasters.
Over 168,000 people will benefit each year from these changes, including 44,000 people who will work interstate that would not otherwise have done so.
AMR is set out in the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 of the Commonwealth and is implemented by state and territory governments. More information about AMR is available on the following state and territory government regulator websites:
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- South Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
It is important that you check local arrangements with the state or territory regulator where you are intending to work to determine if you are eligible for AMR.
For more information on AMR and other mutual recognition schemes, please see the User Guide for Mutual Recognition, Automatic Mutual Recognition and Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (PDF 789KB) | (DOCX 558KB).
Following a comprehensive review of the excise and excise-equivalent goods (EEG) system in 2021 by the Deregulation Taskforce, the Government announced changes to streamline and reduce costs for business.
Better alignment with the BAS
From 1 July 2023, fuel and alcohol businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will be able to lodge and pay excise and/or excise-equivalent customs duty on a quarterly basis, by the 28th day following the end of the quarter, instead of on a weekly or monthly basis. This will better align excise with the timing of other indirect taxes on the Business Activity Statement (BAS).
Reducing the burden small businesses face from frequent lodgement and payment of excise returns will ease compliance costs by up to $6 million each year, benefiting approximately 1,200 entities.
Fuel and alcohol businesses with a turnover greater than $50 million (larger entities) will retain their current reporting and payment cycle.
Uniform Business Experience
From 1 July 2023, business dealing in both domestic and imported fuel and alcohol goods will have a more uniform business experience when dealing with regulators. The creation of a new pathway for imported fuel and alcohol products to enter directly into ATO-administered warehouses, immediately after ABF customs clearance, will make it easier for businesses wanting to defer excise payment pending either use in further manufacture or distribution as finished goods. The ABF will continue to clear goods at the border and collect tax on direct imports.
Streamlining overlapping ABF and ATO systems for excise and excise-equivalent customs duty, which cause confusion and uncertainty for businesses dealing in both domestically produced and imported goods, will save businesses around $10 million a year. More than 250 warehouses that are currently subject to overlapping licensing by both the ABF and ATO will move to being solely administered by the ATO.
From 1 July 2023, streamlined licensing requirements will make manufacturing, moving and storing goods in the excise and EEG system cheaper and easier for businesses:
- Existing renewal requirements for both excise and EEG customs licences will be removed, so that licences become ongoing. Regulators will retain the power to cancel a licence where a business is not complying with their obligations.
- Licensing fees will be removed, saving businesses $1 million a year in fees.
- Entity-level (rather than site-level) licensing will simplify licensing and movement permission arrangements for many businesses.
- The ATO will be authorised to establish and maintain a public register of excise and EEG licences and licensed premises, removing the need for businesses to contact regulators to check whether trading partners are licensed.
- There will be no requirement for onshore crude oil and condensate producers to be licensed if no duty is payable.
- The time limit to apply for a refund for excise will be extended from 12 months to 4 years from payment, to align with the arrangements for EEG and other indirect tax refunds.
Streamlined licensing is expected to save businesses up to $2 million per year in compliance costs, on top of $1 million a year in fee removal.
Fixing long-standing irritants and anomalies
From 1 July 2023, businesses in the fuel and commercial shipping industries will benefit from the removal of unnecessary regulatory burdens and double-taxation:
- Businesses will be allowed a refund for excise-equivalent customs duty on petroleum-based oils used in the manufacture of excisable petroleum lubricants, so that double duty can be avoided.
- The requirement to pay, then claim refunds for, excise or excise-equivalent customs duty on fuel used in commercial shipping vessels (‘bunker fuels’) will be removed. This will mean businesses will no longer be required to follow different excise rules between bunker fuels used in international and domestic voyages.
- Businesses will be able to calculate and claim Vapour Recovery Unit refunds based on a single rate, which will greatly simplify the administrative burden for fuel suppliers.
From 1 July 2023, hospitality venues (pubs and clubs) that are licensed under state liquor licensing laws will be able to engage in legitimate, small-scale repackaging of kegged beers into small containers (e.g. growlers or squealers) for off-premises consumption without having to be licensed for excise on alcohol and report to the ATO. A targeted exemption will be available so that venues can repackage up to a threshold of 10,000L a year, with only volumes exceeding this threshold subject to additional excise.
This will ensure takeaway beer is treated consistently with takeaway mixed alcoholic beverages, making permanent the pragmatic approach that the ATO took for cocktails and growlers during the pandemic.
Exploring cooperation between the ATO and state and territory licensing authorities
The Australian Government is working with States and Territories to remove and reduce unnecessarily duplicative regulations. National Cabinet has endorsed a Workplan to reduce the burden of overlapping regulations , which includes working with participating states and territories to develop options to streamline overlapping fit and proper person test licensing requirements to reduce the regulatory burden for businesses that produce and sell alcohol, particularly new entrants to the market.
Businesses also told the Taskforce that the excise requirements for gaseous fuels are complex and difficult to comply with relative to the revenue collected. In response to this, the Government will undertake a review to identify ways to streamline the requirements for these products.