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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

What documents are required for customs clearance?

Customs clearance of cargo is required for imports and exports.

To facilitate cargo customs clearance here are the primary documents that you require to prepare an import declaration or an export declaration.

For exported cargo:

  • The vessel name, voyage number for sea freight cargo and the flight number and departure date for air freight cargo
  • The Export Invoice for the goods
For imported cargo:
  • Bill of Lading for sea freight cargo or an Airwaybill for air freight cargo. These are issued by the carrier document showing details of the cargo and the ship or aircraft that is transporting it.
  • Suppliers Commercial Invoice to evidence the price paid for the goods and there value for import duty and GST calculation
  • If your cargo is being imported from a country where a free trade agreement exists then a Certificate of Origin needs to be provided by your supplier so that duty free concessions can be claimed. If this document is not available or your goods originate from a country where no free trade agreement exists then import duty might be payable
  • Marine Insurance Certificate if your cargo is insured
  • Packing List
  • For Quarantine Clearance of goods that might be used or of plant or animal origin to avoid treatment and inspections on arrival various treatment certificates and declarations. These include a Packing Declaration, Fumigation Certificate, Heat Treatment certificate or Biosecurity Import Permit
  • If you are a commercial importer then we need your Business Number/Registration or if this shipment is a personal importation then photographic identification would be required
This is a generalised, non-exhaustive shipping documents guide and you should contact my team at Depth Logistics or I for more specific advice about the goods you are importing or exporting to be sure you have everything you need for smooth customs clearance and delivery.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

Monday, 13 January 2020

Marine Insurance & Freight Rates Rise with Middle East Tensions

While tensions between the US and Iran have lessened in recent days the events in the Middle East have made their mark in the insurance industry in particular.

Ships are navigating longer routes to avoid dangerous areas, Ships’ crew wages will rise owing to the heightened risks of attacks to Vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, adding costs to end consumers for commodities transported globally, hampering trade.

The recent tensions are leading to insurers and reinsurers imposing new conditions in policies, significantly increasing the costs of insurance. Industry experts forecast significant increases of about 10% over the coming months.

Similarly as ships need to steam further the owners will need to recover their operating costs in this region of the world.

The attacks on two Saudi Arabian tankers, a Norwegian and a UAE flagged vessel have led to the Joint War Committee, made up of representatives from the Lloyd’s and company markets, adding the Gulf to its list of high-risk waters.

Navy vessels of various nations are now escorting merchant ships through high risk waters to reduce the risks to shipping as part of Combined Military Force. Australia has deployed HMAS Toowoomba, a frigate, to region as part of this effort.



Other participating nations include Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States

If you would like any advice on your situation on shipping through this region please contact me.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

Friday, 6 December 2019

Incoterms 2020 coming into force January 2020

The International Chamber of Commerce has made changes to Incoterms to bring them more into line with modern world trade and shipping.

Incoterms are essential for international shippers and consignees to understand and agree responsibilities for shipping arrangements, costs and liability.

The main changes flowing through into Incoterms 2020 are as follows:
  • Incoterms® 2020 provides for demonstrated market need in relation to bills of lading (BL) with an on-board notation and the Free Carrier (FCA) Incoterms® rule.
  • Incoterms® 2020 aligns different levels of insurance coverage in Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) and Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP).
  • Incoterms® 2020 includes arrangements for carriage with own means of transport in FCA, Delivered at Place (DAP), Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU), and Delivered Duty Paid (DDP).
  • There is a change in the three-letter name for Delivered at Terminal (DAT) to DPU.
  • Incoterms® 2020 includes security-related requirements within carriage obligations and costs.
If you would like more information please contact myself or my team at Depth Logistics.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

Monday, 2 December 2019

IMO Low Sulphur Regulation Compliance & Freight Increases 1 January 2020

Effective from January 1st, the new IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 Low Sulphur Regulation will come into force, requiring all sea-going vessels to comply and reduce sulphur emissions by 85%.

In order to sufficiently comply with the Regulation, sulphur in fuel oil must be reduced from 3.50% to 0.50% in addition to the 0.10% sulphur limit already enforced in Emission Control Areas (ECA).

The objective of this regulation is to reduce the amount of sulphur oxide emissions which is expected to deliver major health and environmental benefits, including improvement of air quality and reducing risks of acidification in the oceans.



Ship owners are responding to this and seeking their compliance with some or all of the following solutions:

- Using liquid natural gas-powered (LNG) vessels

- Installing IMO approved exhaust gas cleaning systems(scrubbers)

- Using compliant fuels with 0.50% or 0.10% sulphur as the main solution

The new IMO 2020 Low Sulphur Regulation is impacting the shipping industry globally, with shipping costs set to increase worldwide. The cost of the Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) is expected to be significantly higher than the present High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO).

Projections are that the VLSFO price will be at about US $531/mt in Rotterdam as compared to US $309/mt for HSFO. This equates to a 72% increase in fuel costs.

As a consequence carriers are introducing various sulphur surcharges to recover their higher operational costs. Most are using the BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor) as the primary mechanism to pass these costs onto shippers.

For RoRo carriers we are seeing Sulphur Recovery Charges from USD 0.23 to USD 35.00 per revenue tonne plus BAF between USD 5.50 to USD 13.00 per revenue tonne.

Container carriers have surcharges per TEU (Twenty foot Equivalent Unit) ranging from USD 60.00 to USD 260.00 depending on the trade lanes concerned and the vessels serving them.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like some specific advice about your own circumstances and shipping contracts.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

Monday, 8 April 2019

Filipino Sailors send home over USD 6 Billion annually

Over 400,000 Filipino sailors serve on bulk carriers, container ships, oil, gas, chemical and other product tankers, general cargo ships, pure car carriers, cruise ships and tugboats around the world. They are renowned seamen and the preferred crew of the majority of ship owners internationally.

A fairly staggering statistic is the amount of money they send back home to family. They wired home a total of 6.14 billion U.S. dollars through via banks during 2018 which was a 4.5 percent increase from 5.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.

In January this year Filipino sailors sent home a total of 533 million U.S. dollars which was up 12.7 percent from 473 million U.S. dollars in January 2018.



The Philippines Government is supportive with training and certification standards for sailors so the job prospects of locally educated ship officers should remains strong.

Depth Offshore and Depth Logistics have wonderful Filipino people in our teams in both our Australian and Clark, Philippines offices. We understand why they are in demand.

All for now,

Brad Skelton