Bangladesh is one of South Asia’s largest textile export countries, second only to China in the global textile exports arena. Specialising in the likes of knitwear and ready-made garments, Bangladesh has established itself as a key player in the global apparel industry. Shipping to Bangladesh in terms of imports coming into this SAARC country includes the likes of cotton, machinery and equipment, chemicals and so forth, which in turn helps with their export markets for shipping Bangladesh export products to Australia, United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and France to name a few. Imports from Bangladesh into Australia are usually dependent on the finished product or often for samples.
The duty and quota free access to Australia based on the Rules of Origin, and the increasing imports from Bangladesh into Australia achieving over $500mn in 2015, we foresee a steady increase in Bangladesh imports to Australia. However, the early 2016 ban of air cargo from Bangladesh, Syria, Egypt and Yemen has had impact on the supply chain management within the apparel industry due to sample lead times taking longer due to ocean cargo transport. This embargo essentially bans items heavier than 500g being transported over air cargo (whether it’s onboard or air freight).
With 88% of last year’s imports from Bangladesh accounting for the Australian apparel use, sample lead times had to be dealt with the ban in mind. The ban that came into effect in January of 2016 was then relaxed in May with air freight being screened in another country before entering Australia for security reasons. That is, imports from Bangladesh via air cargo were streamlined through hub airports such as Singapore or even Hong Kong. Australia is amongst other countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany that have established this embargo with concerns direct air cargo flights and security.
For this reason, tail-to-tail transfers would not be possible however, the cargo in itself will have to be cleared through a hub airport before reaching Australia (as the approved last port of call), where in official terms, it would show that the air cargo is shown coming through that specific airport as opposed to import from Bangladesh. Therefore, no transhipment can occur through Bangladesh as the original Airway Bill (AWB) will be used.
The Approved Last Ports of Call prior to reaching Australia with concern to imports from Bangladesh include the likes of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou. Items that are exempt from the air cargo ban include the likes of the following;
- Mail items under 500g
- Cargo under 250 grams and shorter than 5 mm
- Live animals
- Human remains
- Biological tissues
- Legitimately prepared dangerous goods
- Commonwealth government articles
- Diplomatic bags