Protecting your intellectual property is essential in this day and age as it provides a company or individual with a competitive advantage over other players in the industry. Most companies do not regard their supply base as intellectual property but they do so at their peril. Exposing your supply base to your customers can have dramatic consequences – the worst of which is the danger of your customer going directly to your supplier.


Australian retailers are well placed to deal directly with offshore manufacturers and indeed most of them have some direct supply in their product offerings. If you are currently supplying the larger retail chains with product you source from overseas you will have noticed an increased pressure to provide that product on an FOB basis rather than the traditional free into store approach. One of the dangers of agreeing to provide product on an FOB basis is the potential exposure of your supplier information to your customer – who could then quite realistically become your competitor.

Normally, when shipping goods from, say, China to Australia a bill of lading is cut with the consignor and consignee details listed on the bill. In normal circumstances the consignor would be the offshore manufacturer and the consignee would be the name of the entity that is to take delivery of the product. In the above FOB scenario the consignor would be your supplier and the consignee would be your customer. So it is easy to see that in this case your supply base is exposed. However, Magellan Logistics can help you with protecting your supplier information by manipulating the documentation to provide you with comfort that your valuable IP is being hidden.

The export documentation will be produced as normal and used for clearing the goods through the offshore Customs authority. However, once export formalities have been completed Magellan Logistics will raise a separate house bill of lading to indicate that you are the consignor and your customer is the consignee. Further, the invoice accompanying the shipment will be the FOB invoice raised by you on your customer. This documentation will be used to clear the goods through Customs in Australia. In this way, your supplier information is hidden from your customer and should go some way towards providing you with peace of mind.

As this is an extremely commercially sensitive area of concern we suggest that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) should be developed to ensure that all stake holders are fully aware of their obligations at each step of the way.

If you would like to discuss this issue further please contact Jeff Kershaw on 0418 543 994 or at



The Chinese May Day holidays are one of the major holiday periods across China. Most businesses and Government agencies will close during the period 1st May thru 3rd May inclusive (excluding Hong Kong).

Magellan’s China offices will be either closed or on skeleton staff during this time.

Please note the following when planning shipments.


Holidays from 1st May, returning  4th May.

AIR Cut off 30th April  (for both freight and documents).

SEA Cut off as follows:

ETD: 1st May , Cut-off: 27th April 18:00

ETD: 6th May , Cut-off: 29th April 18:00

Most other China offices will also be closed in line with Shanghai.


Holidays from 1st May, returning 4th May.

AIR Cut off 30th April  (for both freight and documents).

SEA no change,  schedules remain unchanged.


Holidays 1st May only.

AIR Cut off 30th April (for both freight and documents).

SEA no change, schedules remain unchanged.

Should you need clarification, or options available for freight movement around this holiday period, please contact the Magellan Customer Service team on 1300 651 888 or

Traditionally, fashion companies have used buying agents or sourced resident teams to undertake quality control procedures at the manufacturer’s premises – either in-line or final quality control (Q/C).

However, this process has not always proved to be totally effective and product is often determined to be out of specification once it has arrived in Australia. Australian importers then need to engage in lengthy and costly discussions with their suppliers about who pays for what.



Magellan can provide quality control facilities in its offshore warehouses that allow for detection of issues BEFORE the goods are exported. In the event of any non-compliance the goods are returned to the supplier for correction and re-delivery. This approach eliminates claims and the onus is put squarely on the supplier to get the product right BEFORE it leaves the country of manufacture.

Experience has shown that suppliers learn very quickly that if they deliver non-compliant product this will disadvantage them economically. It follows that self regulation becomes an imperative for them.


  • Needle detection
  • Button and stud testing
  • Swing Tag confirmation
  • Labelling confirmation
  • Thread snipping
  • Re-ticketing
  • Technical Q/C – (provided by client)


So, if you want to eliminate claims for non-compliant product in the future contact Jeff Kershaw at or call on 0418 543 994.



Please be advised of the below Public Holidays in Australia - ‘Easter Holidays’ -

Friday 3rd of April 2015 and Monday 6th of April 2015.

As a result Magellan’s Offices will be closed on these days..

Our offices will resume normal work operations on Tuesday 7th of April 2015.

Please also note that China/Hong Kong will also celebrate Ching Ming Festival together with the Easter Holiday this year, therefore their offices will be closed as follows:


Saturday 4th April 2015 returning Tuesday 7th April 2015

Hong Kong

Friday 3rd April 2015 returning Wednesday 8th April 2015

The Magellan team warmly wish you and your families a Happy Easter.

For enquiries, contact our office on +61 3 8318 9600 or


What are Production Assist Costs?

Production Assist Costs relate to tangible and intangible assistance provided to a foreign supplier by an Australian buyer of imported goods. If this assistance is provided free of charge or at a reduced cost then the cost of this assistance (to the extent it is not already included in the price) needs to be included in the value declared to Customs upon importation. The production assist costs that fall within this description are commonly referred to as “Assists”.

Categories of Assists

a) materials, components or other goods that form part of the imported goods;

b) materials consumed in the production of the imported goods;

c) tools, dies, moulds or other machinery or equipment utilised in the production of the imported goods;

d) art work, design work, development work and engineering work (including models, plans and sketches) – the design of which has been undertaken outside Australia;

e) inputs in the production of the goods referred to in (a) to (d) above;

f) overseas transportation and packing costs relating to (a) to (e) above;

g) foreign customs duties, sales tax, or other duties or taxes on production tooling, work goods or subsidiary goods;

h) repairs or modifications to the materials, components, subsidiary goods, tools, dies, moulds, and other goods referred to above.

An example of a transaction involving “Assists” would be an Australian white goods wholesaler providing Australian standard electrical cords and plugs to a Chinese manufacturer for incorporation into Australian imported white goods. If the cords and plugs are provided free of charge to the manufacturer then the value of the cords and plugs would need to be added to the suppliers invoice price to arrive at an acceptable Customs Value.

It should be noted that it is irrelevant whether duty is being paid on the imported product as the importer has an obligation to report accurately to Customs and, as such, any under-valuation would fall within the ambit of the Infringement Notice Scheme.

As always, Magellan Logistics stands ready to assist with determining whether your business is exposed due to non-compliance with the above requirements. If you would like more information on this subject or simply wish to clarify any of the foregoing detail please contact Jeff Kershaw at or by telephone on 0418 543 994.

Have you done the due diligence required to ensure compliance?


Transfer pricing is the setting of the price for goods and services sold between controlled (or related) legal entities within an enterprise. For example, if a subsidiary company sells goods to a parent company, the price set for those goods is the transfer price. Transfer pricing does not apply to importers and exporters that deal with unrelated buyers and sellers.

It is a fact of life that multinational companies, from all sectors and in every part of the world, face difficulties with respect to the valuation of goods. These difficulties arise because transactions between related parties are subject to both customs and fiscal examinations and are thereby bound by differing rules and contradictory interests.

There are two reasons for this problem:

Firstly, tax and customs administrations, even within one country and sometimes within the same government department, have different approaches: tax administration focuses on intra-group sales’ prices that may be perceived as higher than they should be; whereas customs authorities control imported goods for which prices may be perceived as lower than the market price. While both administrations seek to achieve the same goal (which is arm’s length pricing) revenue interests in the transaction still remain at odds with each other. An arm’s length transaction is one in which the buyers and sellers of a product act independently and have no relationship to each other. The concept of an arm’s length transaction is to ensure that both parties in the deal are acting in their own self interest and are not subject to any pressure or duress from the other party.

Secondly, tax and customs administrations often set rules independently for the same transaction/good. Tax authorities seek conformity with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Transfer Pricing Guidelines which have been largely codified in many countries. This set of rules provides guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle for the valuation of cross-border transactions between associated enterprises, whereas customs authorities conform to Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Valuation Code – currently the World Trade Organization (WTO) Valuation Agreement.

This dichotomy, present in both developed and developing countries, creates a climate of uncertainty and complexity compounded by economic globalisation. It also leads to increases in compliance and implementation costs, absence of flexibility in the conduct of business operations, and creates a significant risk of penalties. Indeed, even when a company complies with both the OECD guidelines/principles and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Valuation Agreement, there is no guarantee that there will not be a dispute between two countries or two administrations in the same country on the determination of the arm’s length price. This means that valuation conflicts can arise not only prior to but also after an audit.

Given that intercompany transactions account for more than 60% of global trade in terms of value, the divergence of customs and transfer pricing valuation presents an obstacle to the liberalisation of trade and inhibits international development for companies of all sizes.

Magellan Logistics can provide advice on this complex subject. So if you are involved in cross-border trade with a related company and have reservations about the legality of your arrangements you should contact Jeff Kershaw at or by telephone on 0418 543 994.

Geelong is the largest regional city in the State of Victoria. Located only 55 minutes from Melbourne, the city is located on the shores of Corio Bay and the region boasts some of the world’s best surf beaches covered by the Surf Coast Shire including the towns of Aireys Inlet, Anglesea, Lorne, Moriac, Torquay and Winchelsea as well as the Bellarine Peninsula.


Geelong’s Eastern beach looking across to the waterfront precinct. (Photograph: Katrina Lawrence)*


Looks like an amazing place to live doesn’t it?

Well say hello to local resident Greg Healey, experienced in international freight who excitingly joined the Magellan Logistics’ Business Development team recently. He left the hustle and bustle of busy Melbourne, to raise his family in the friendly community and relaxing surrounds of Geelong over 6 years ago.

With Greg on the ground, not only is he closer than ever to the enviable sea breeze of the coastal region, but he is available to provide valued personal service and develop trusted relationships with Magellan’s locally based current and future clients. His attentive approach is to listen to his customer’s challenges and requirements, which then enables him to explore and provide the most suitable solution to meets his client’s needs.


In Greg’s spare time he enjoys spending time at the beach with family and friends. And why wouldn’t you, with that view?

Are you a business within the Geelong area or surrounds and would like to discuss your freight forwarding and customs clearance needs? Contact Greg Healey directly on 0402 775 816 or (+61) 03 8318 9600, or you can reach him by email on

* Image source:

The traditional supply chain method of overseas supplier packaged and delivered product is evolving. The pace of change is rapid and importers need to adapt or suffer competitive pressures through loss of sales and local sorting and distribution costs.

Historically, Australian importers have maintained local distribution facilities, either in-house or 3PL, in order to deliver product domestically. In today’s environment this can be an expensive solution when compared to options available off-shore.


There is an increasing trend of transferring labour intensive activities, such as Pick and Pack, to low cost countries closer to the supply source. For example, Magellan Logistics can provide a Pick and Pack solution in Hong Kong or Shanghai, that shortens the supply chain and provides significant cost savings to its customers. All orders are processed at a SKU level and packed for ultimate store delivery. The goods are then shipped directly to the customers designated outlet or warehouse. This enables Magellan’s customer to eliminate double handling and freight cost duplication, as well as reducing the physical cost of distribution.

If your company is not currently utilising an off-shore distribution solution then it is imperative that research be undertaken to examine the feasibility to do so.


Magellan Logistics can assist you with this through the provision of expert advice and consultancy.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact our experienced sales and development team on 1300 651 888 or


The protracted West Coast US Ports dispute has now been resolved, U.S. Labour Secretary Perez announced Friday night, after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) reached an agreement on a new five-year contract.

U.S. Labour Secretary Thomas Perez announced that the parties had reached an agreement on a new five-year contract, saying that container ports up and down the West Coast will resume working but did not know how long it will take to work off the backlog in container traffic that has severely disrupted the movement of both import and export cargo.

The agreement comes after 10 months of negotiations, slowdowns and congestion at West Coast ports that have resulted in dozens of ships sitting at anchor or circling off shore. Details of the agreement have not been released.

If you are have any questions relating to your U.S shipments, please contact our Customer Service or Customs teams on 1300 651 888.


Source: Monica Almeida, The New York Times

Cargo containers are banked up at Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports, and along the West Coast of the United States, due to a labour dispute between an association of the major shipowners of the West Coast and the union of longshoremen who unload those ships. The negotiations cover operations at 29 ports, including the largest in Southern California; Oakland in Northern California; and the Puget Sound. Collectively they bring in half the United States’ imported cargo.

The congestion is said to be the “worst-ever on record, according to one shipping analyst (Source: Jane Wells, CNBC)


Source: Tyler Durden,



Source: Tyler Durden,

The New York Times reports that “American retailers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and agricultural exporters said they have already lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of mounting port congestion, with spare parts and consumer products from Asia not arriving on time and exports like oranges and apples left to rot.”

There is grave concern that failure to reach an agreement between the disputing parties will lead to devastating consequences for the US retail industry, and logistical nightmares for American exporters, manufacturers and retailers dependant on an efficient supply chain, of which the effects are already being felt.

Out of concern for the economic consequences of further delay, President Obama has taken action and requested, Thomas E.Perez, the secretary of labor, to travel to California to “meet with the parties to urge them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table,” according to a statement issued by Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman. Mr. Perez will try to mediate a settlement between the two parties. (Source: Erik Eckholm, The New York Times)

Pending a resolution, exporters and importers into Australia and New Zealand, should expect delays for goods going in and coming out of the West Coast.

For more information relating to the labour dispute:


For more information relating to your import or export shipments, please contact our Customer Service or Customs teams on 1300 651 888.