The second stage of the new APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) eligibility criteria commenced late last year and AustCham would like to announce how we can help our members through this new process.
Stage 2 of the criteria relates to the requirement that every business entity that seeks to utilise Australia’s ABTC for its employees must establish that it is engaged in international trade or investment in the APEC region. DIAC defines that a business is engaged in international trade or investment if it meets one of the following requirements:
- The business is listed in the current Forbes Global 2000 business list
- The business has received an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) from Austrade in the past five years
- The business has been a finalist in the Australian Export Awards in the past five years
- The business has been certified by an ‘approved body’
DIAC has named two ‘approved bodies’, Ai Group and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to provide this business certification. Business certification will be assessed on three criteria:
- The business is lawfully registered in the economy in which it is operating and has provided clear evidence of this;
- business is engaged in trade and / or investment in the APEC region and there is clear evidence of this; and
- If the business is a start-up operation, there is clear evidence of viability, sound business planning, market research and product/s or services to be traded.
For more information on the new eligibility criteria please visit http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/business/apec/eligibility.htm#b.
Should you wish to apply for business certification, application forms can be found at:
Ai Group http://www.aigroup.com.au/trade/apec or
How Can AustCham Help?
Part of the business certification application for both ACCI and Ai Group includes listing a business association as a reference for verification of your business. AustCham meets the requirements for this and as a corporate financial member of AustCham you can list us as your referee.
We can also assist in the provision of a letter of support which as suggested by the respective approved bodies can assist start-up operations validate their business operations, in addition to strengthening the application for existing companies. Please contact the AustCham office should you require this service.
AustCham has developed a set of FAQs relating to this business certification process. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions For any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the AustCham office on +65 6738 7917
History of changes to APEC Business Travel Card
Early in 2011 we asked for your input by survey on your experiences with the APEC Business Travel Card.
As a participating member of a newly launched regional organisation, Australian Business Asia (ABA) we then extended this survey across the Asian region.
The findings from this survey have been incorporated in a letter to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon. Chris Bowen on behalf of all members of Australian Business Asia. Letter to Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
In October the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship responded by letter. Although some of our concerns were addressed, the eligibility criteria still prevents many Australian in Asia accessing this practical business tool. Our joint reponse letter under the ABA banner is attached here.
Australian Business Asia (ABA) and AustCham Singapore have been in further discussions with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) concerning the new criteria for applying for the APEC Card. The outcome from our discussions and our advice was sent to all members on November 11. The communication is attached here.
AustCham was informed the new eligibility arrangements for Australia's APEC Business Travel Card commenced on 16 November 2011.Please see Minister Bowen's media release at http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/
For all relevant information concerning the new arrangements and to access the new application form, please visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website via the attached link. http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/business/apec/ The application form itself has relevant information concerning the eligibility criteria and application lodgement and processing arrangements. Please contact details for the Department's processing office in Brisbane if required.