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Changes to the APEC card 1st June 2014

Release Date

02 May 2014

Changes to the APEC Business Travel Card
 
On 19 March 2014, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced changes to the APEC Business Travel Card by no longer requiring certification by an approved body for Australian citizen applicants.
 
The new arrangements for the APEC Business Travel Card will commence on 1 June 2014.
 
The chamber will process any applications on hand until 30 June 2014.
 
In the transitional period:
·         applications that have already been submitted through the existing arrangements will continue to be processed
·         applications may continue to be submitted to approved bodies for business certification until 1 June 2014
·         existing certifications will continue to be accepted through the transitional period and afterwards while they remain valid.
 
The move to new arrangements relates to the business certification arrangements only.
 
The new streamlined arrangements will pay particular attention to the needs of small and emerging Australian businesses.
 
For further information please contact:
 
APEC Business Travel Card Processing Team
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
 
Telephone: 61 7 3136 7130
Fax: 61 7 3136 7473
E-mail: ABTC@immi.gov.au
Website: http://www.immi.gov.au/Business/Pages/apec-travel-card.aspx
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the changes?
 
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will remove the requirement for Australian APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) applicants to have their business certified by an approved body.
 
Businesses must continue to demonstrate that they are engaged in trade and investment between APEC economies, however this will be done through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and no longer by external approved bodies.
 
What information will business need to provide to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection when they lodge a card application?
 
An applicant should provide evidence that their business is lawfully registered in the home country economy.  An applicant should also provide evidence that the business has a history of   trading goods, services or conducting investment activities between APEC economies which would justify its employees being considered for card eligibility.
 
 
Will business need to provide this information each time an employee makes an application?
 
No.  If a business has been previously assessed and approved by the department (in the context of another employee’s ABTC application) as being genuinely engaged in trade and investment between APEC economies then that applicant need not provide this information again.
 
Each individual applicant however will need to link their application to their previously assessed employer / business.
 
Do the changes relate to other criteria?
 
No, the move to new arrangements relates to the business certification arrangements only. 
 
An Australian ABTC applicant must still meet the other criteria when applying for their card with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (for example, no criminal convictions, frequent travel in the region).
 
When do the new arrangements start?
 
The new arrangements for the APEC Business Travel Card will commence on 1 June 2014.  The approved bodies will process any applications on hand until 30 June 2014.
 
Will the approved bodies continue to process application for business certification?
 
Yes, applications may continue to be submitted to approved bodies for business certification until 1 June 2014.  The approved bodies will process any applications on hand until 30 June 2014.
 
Will I still be able to use the certification after the new arrangements?
 
When applying for your ABTC, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to accept existing certifications through the transitional period and afterwards while they remain valid.
 

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