Tariffs and subsidies tumble following start of ChAFTA

Citrus exporters will benefit from immediate tariff cuts following the official start of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) yesterday (December 20).
A critical ‘exchange of notes’ between Australia and China was the final procedure to enable ChAFTA to enter into force, resulting in an immediate tariff cut and a second on January 1, 2016.

Citrus Australia CEO, Judith Damiani, warmly welcomed the introduction of the ChAFTA, and the benefits it would bring the Australian citrus industry.

“The China-Australia FTA will eventually remove all tariffs from Australian citrus and assist our exports, which have reached record levels this year,” Ms Damiani said.
The agreement will see all tariffs on Australian citrus exported to China eliminated over an eight year period. Orange tariffs are currently 11% and mandarin tariffs, 12%.

“China has become the highest valued export market for Australian citrus this year reaching $52.6 million by the end of October – up 71% from 2014,” Ms Damiani said.
“Their demand has helped raise Australian export volumes and value to record levels this year to $263 million – up 38% from 2014.”

Ms Damiani encouraged Australian citrus exporters to qualify for the preferential tariffs by completing a certificate or declaration of origin. For more details see the DFAT website : http://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/chafta/fact-sheets/Pages/guide-to-using-chafta-to-exportand-import-goods.aspx

A surprise but welcome announcement over the weekend by the WTO’s member countries to eliminate $15 billion worth of agricultural export subsidies will also create a more level playing field for Australian citrus exporters.

“It’s all the more positive to see historical agricultural subsidies and tariffs being eliminated while demand for premium quality safe food increases around the world” concluded Ms Damiani.

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