Tariffs to India for citrus will be cut in half later this month following the finalisation of the Australia India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA).
Both the Australian and Indian governments have now ratified the agreement, with a planned implementation date of 29 December, 2022.
“We are delighted to see a great initial outcome for the Australian citrus industry achieved by the Australian Government,” Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock said.
“In a meeting this week I stressed to Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell that the citrus industry was urgently awaiting the finalisation of the agreement so it’s great to hear it has now been finalised. Citrus exporters with an interest in India will be ready to take advantage of the new opportunity in the 2023 season.”
This agreement will allow Australian citrus exporters to export oranges and mandarins to India under a tariff-reduced quota system.
The current 30 per cent tariff will reduce to 15 per cent once the agreement enters into force. The reduced tariff applies to the first 13 700 tonnes annually. The quota system will be managed by the Australian government and more details will be provided to industry when available.
Exports of Australian citrus have been as high as 7800 tonnes in the past and Citrus Australia expects to see improvement on that result in the coming years. Citrus Australia will continue to work with the Australian Government to seek further reduction in the tariff over coming years.
“A 50 per cent reduction is a step in the right direction, but we feel significant growth in exports will be achieved when the tariff is further reduced or eliminated altogether,” Mr Hancock said.
India is a key focus for Citrus Australia and several exporters.
Earlier this year, Citrus Australia was awarded a grant from the Department of Agriculture under the Agriculture Trade and Market Access Cooperation program to support industry to identify and develop opportunities for Class 1 citrus in India.
Whilst initial investigations have showed a number of challenges for industry in increasing exports to India, Citrus Australia is confident the market will develop and prove to be an important destination for Australian citrus exports in the future.
The tariff reduction will help drive growth opportunities by making Australian citrus more competitive against other suppliers including South Africa.
Read more detail about the trade deal here: Trade deal with India delivers from 29 December | Minister for Trade and Tourism (trademinister.gov.au)
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