DoHA’s Annual Time Release Studies

The Department of Home Affairs undertakes annual Time Release Studies to assess Australia’s trade facilitation performance.

The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) has undertaken annual Time Release Studies since 2007. Time Release Studies (TRS) is a method endorsed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) for assessing a country’s trade facilitation performance. It does so by measuring the average time from arrival of goods at the border until permission is given for the goods to enter home consumption.

Following the integration of the former Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in 2015*, the TRS was refined to only focus on measuring the clearance performance for air cargo and sea cargo import consignments during the standard snapshot period of one week in September. This is because the approach was more mature for data collection purposes. Cargo is considered at the lowest consignment level. For full container load (FCL) cargo, this is a container. For all other cargo types, including air cargo, it is those consignments consigned to the actual importer as opposed to an intermediary such as an international freight forwarder.

The results of the TRS highlight the success of DoHA’s risk-based cargo intervention policy, and indicate that their processes are not a significant impediment to import trade. The annual Time Release Studies:

  • provides the border agencies with a holistic view of the cargo operating environment
  • enables the measurement of year-on-year improvements on clearance times
  • enables the identification of other improvement opportunities to further streamline border clearance processes and facilitate trade
  • provides industry with a measure of border agency performance.

The Time Release Studies are available to download from:

DoHA is currently processing data from 2017 and aims to publish the 2017 TRS in the coming months.

*Note: On 1 July 2015, the ACBPS and the DIAC integrated to form the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF). The Home Affairs Portfolio was established on 20 December 2017.

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