IFCBAA continues to provide members with up-to-date information regarding developments in Australia’s Free Trade Agreement agenda. This update comes from information provided during a recent “outreach” meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). IFCBAA would like to thank DFAT for the opportunity to engage directly in such meetings.
Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA)
Thank you to those members who provided examples of situations where clients have not been able to obtain valid Certificates of Origin from Indian Issuing Authorities (NNF 2023/014). This information was provided to Australian Border Force and DFAT for review and assistance.
DFAT has confirmed that Indian originating goods imported into Australia on or after 29 December 2022 are eligible to claim preference under ECTA subject to meeting the Rules of Origin:
- The goods must be Indian originating goods.
- The importer must make a claim for preferential treatment.
- The importer who is claiming preferential treatment must satisfy the documentary requirements to support the claim (Hold a valid Certificate of Origin)
- The goods must meet the consignment provision.
It must be noted that shipments that departed India before 29 December 2022 can still be eligible for preference if the Rules of Origin are met, however, members have reported difficulty in obtaining retrospective COO’s resulting in instances where preference cannot be claimed for Indian originating goods.
The good news is that clarification on this matter has been communicated to the Indian Issuing Authorities, meaning retrospective COO’s should start to be issued more consistently. Where an importer pays customs duty on Indian originating goods, has a valid COO for the goods, or a copy of one was not available at the time the goods were imported, the importer may claim a refund of the customs duty paid on those goods using ICS refund reason code 23A10A.
Australia – India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (AI – CECA)
Building on the AI-ECTA, the Australian and Indian governments are negotiating the more comprehensive and complete FTA, the Australia – India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (AI – CECA).
Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA)
Australian implementation and legislation in place but the UK Government is still in the process of enacting enabling legislation for the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA). It is envisaged to enter into force mid-2023.
Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement (A – EUFTA)
Negotiations are continuing in Canberra this week. There is no current anticipated commencement date as there are several outstanding issues.
Update to the ASEAN – Australia - New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA)
Negotiations of an “update” to the AANZFTA have been completed but are yet to be made public as the final draft is undertaking legal vetting. We will bring details of the update as soon as it is made available and then provide details of its commencement.
Further, DFAT has been undertaking ongoing negotiations on some of the more technical aspects of the FTAs including adoption by all parties of the 2022 version of the Harmonised Code.
Check out the IFCBAA website for details of this year’s round of state CPD forums, beginning in Perth on 29 April and the National Conference being held on the Gold Coast 19-20 May, where Andrew Hudson will provide further information on Australia’s Free Trade Agreement agenda.
Source: International Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of Australia Ltd