Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have released an update regarding the current Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney's Northern Beaches and the terms for key supply chain sectors to remain 'Covid-Safe' and operational during this time.
On Sunday 20th December, the FTA received advice from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) that Biosecurity officers are not currently defined as essential workers under the NSW Government Covid-19 Public Health Order.
The immediate impact is anticipated to be minimal with the department identifying a relatively small number of booked appointments between today and Wednesday and are contacting the respective clients.
While we all remain hopeful that the current measures contain the virus, we now have serious concerns in terms of the sustainability of international trade should the Public Health Order (as currently presented) extends to Greater Sydney and other regions of NSW.
The FTA continues to advocate for the logistics and freight industry and their advocacy remains unwaivered since the initial submission in March 2020.
The FTA explains, "All importers and exporters must be treated as essential services to be able to receive and dispatch goods.
As well as stevedores, air cargo terminal operators, transport operators, licensed depots, fumigation providers and empty container parks (physical handlers of cargo), it is essential that freight forwarders and customs brokers be included as essential services.
Freight forwarders are playing a critical role in co-ordinating air and sea freight and arranging international transport, chartering aircraft and consolidation of freight. Customs brokerages are trade professionals that play an essential role of managing import compliance requirements and co-ordinating domestic transport.
Biosecurity compliance managed by customs brokers is more important than ever during these challenging times. Standards cannot be compromised as Australia cannot afford an imported pest infestation that would decimate our agriculture industry on top of a pandemic.
The entire international supply chain is fragile at the best of times, removing or limiting the capabilities of one link is not an option."
In regard to travellers, a number of states have updated their requirements for travellers from NSW.
For the latest information on each state, please refer to the below;
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
While all efforts are being made to ensure freight moves as efficiently as possible, operators are encouraged to plan ahead as some delays may be experienced and to factor this into fatigue management plans.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates where necessary.