[LINK] Customs okays compo claims

brd at iimetro.com.au brd at iimetro.com.au
Thu Jul 27 15:36:15 AEST 2006

Customs okays compo claims
Simon Hayes
JULY 27, 2006
The Australian

CUSTOMS has agreed to start paying the first of $9 million in Integrated Cargo
System compensation claims, but warns there could be delays paying the bulk of
the money thanks to "large and complex" claims.

Chief executive Michael Carmody said Customs would pay out $492,000 immediately
in full and part compensation to 268 of 433 claimants. Fifty-two claims had
been rejected.

The claims relate to additional storage and transport costs incurred as a result
of the trouble-plagued rollout of the new Customs computer system.

Customs brokers and importers had goods held up on wharves around Australia
after the system brought Customs clearances to a grinding halt when it was
launched late last year.

"Customs has agreed to meet storage and transport-related costs where these were
the result of a problem with the implementation of ICS that was attributable to
Customs," said Mr Carmody.

But the big sticking point is the $8.4 million in remaining claims, many based
around staff overtime and additional staffing requirements.

"It is normal for costs to be incurred in the implementation of new regulatory
requirements," Mr Carmody said. "Claimants will have to demonstrate that the
particular costs claimed are directly attributable to a problem with the ICS
and above what could normally be expected."

The industry argues Customs should meet these costs, and has hired law firm Hunt
& Hunt to push the claims with Customs.

"It is normal for costs to be incurred, but these were abnormal costs," said
Customs Brokers' and Forwarders' Council of Australia executive director
Stephen Morris.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sydney Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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