Bill Cole, Partner, International Trade

Bill Cole

Partner, International Trade


+61 411 312 439

+61 3 9603 1837


Experienced in government, industry and consulting, Bill is an international trade expert with a history of delivering successful outcomes for business in the international trade sphere.

Skilled in all aspects of trans-national commerce, Bill has particularly strong skills in the analysis of border regulation as it affects business models and cost outcomes. Drawing on his experience in all trade related sectors, Bill has delivered outcomes that have reduced import duty and GST, provided certainty to business via successful submissions to government on valuation and Free Trade Agreement status and successfully conducted litigation to confirm the application of import concessions to the energy sector.

Although many of these outcomes have resulted in multi-million dollar savings for businesses of scale, Bill has also worked extensively with SMEs and public sector organisations to achieve similar benefits. Bill also provides advice in other significant areas of trade such as Import/Export processing, Procurement, Business Development and market entry, with an emphasis on efficiently reducing risk, compliance costs through refining business processes and the accurate application of customs and related law.

Bill has a strong professional brand with both industry and government through his personal network of bureaucrats and the business community and his participation in forums such as the Australian Border Force industry engagement group, ATO Excise reference group and the Law Council of Australia customs committee. Bill is also committed to driving thought leadership in his field, including his continuing PhD studies focused on trade Law at Murdoch University.


  • International Trade compliance and facilitation
  • Customs duty and excise
  • Customs Administration
  • Industry Policy and assistance
  • Trade measures


  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Automotive
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Food and Beverages
  • Defence

Key assignments

  • Excise duty relief for a major global brewer (>$10m savings)
  • Obtaining special customs compliance status (ATT) for a global pharmaceutical company (>$5m savings)
  • Successful litigation obtaining duty relief for a global wind generation company (>$3m savings)
  • Obtaining a beneficial ruling on customs duty valuation for a major Australian infrastructure company (>$1.8m savings)


  • Masters of Business (Thesis)
  • Graduate Diploma of International Trade
  • Diploma of Commerce (Customs)
  • Bachelor of Business


  • Member, Law Council of Australia Customs Committee


  • 2014 – Co-author: Australian Trade Agreements – A Divergence between Trade Policy and Business Outcomes – Can They Deliver Trade-related Growth for Australia?
  • 2000 – Author: The Business Compliance Environment ACS Melbourne
  • 1998 – Co-author: “An Economic and Policy Analysis of Australian Export Concession Schemes” Australian Economic Review
  • 1996 – Co-author: Tariff Export Concession Scheme Study Melbourne University