Free Trade Agreements
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are international agreements to remove or reduce trade and investment barriers between countries.
Benefits for business
FTAs can help Australian businesses to grow their business and attract investment. They can also help:
- expand export markets for Australia
- reduce imported input costs
- help Australian businesses invest overseas more easily
- attract overseas investors to Australia.
Preparing for FTAs
With barriers to Australian products and services falling overseas, you may find more international interest in your goods, services and ideas. You may also see an opportunity to invest overseas.
If it gets cheaper to import goods and services into Australia under FTAs, your business may face more competition. You may also find that overseas businesses become more interested in investing in your business.
To prepare your business for such opportunities and challenges, it’s a good idea to update your business plan and think about how you can improve the marketing of your business or identify opportunities for business growth.
Need help with FTAs?
FTAs can be used by large and small businesses. For example, you could take advantage of lower tariffs under an FTA to import into Australia, or look to export your products to FTA markets at lower or zero tariff rates.
Need help with FTAs? Try these great resources:
Information about how you can take advantage of new opportunities under FTAs.
Find out how to take advantage of Australia's FTAs with China, Korea and Japan.
Efic may be able to help you financially if you’re growing your business overseas.
Tailored services and general advice about exporting.
The FTA Portal helps businesses to explore how they can best benefit from Australia’s FTAs, including a comprehensive tariff finder.
Recent FTAs with North Asia
The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) came into force on 12 December 2014. Opportunities for businesses in these industries may include:
Including legal, financial, accounting, telecommunications, education, engineering and other professional services.
Find out how you can use KAFTA to export and import goods.
The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) came into force on 15 January 2015. Opportunities for businesses in these industries may include:
Including coke and semi coke of coal, petroleum oils, apparel, plastic products, wood products, paints, pearl jewellery and some toiletries.
Including legal, financial, educational, telecommunications and other professional services.
Including beef, grains, dairy, sugar, seafood, horticulture, processed foods and wine.
Find out how you can use JAEPA to export and import goods.
The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement entered into force on 20 December 2015, following an exchange of notes by Australia and China on 9 December 2015, certifying that both Parties have completed their domestic processes.
Once in force, opportunities for businesses in these industries will include:
Including coal, nickel, zinc, titanium, pharmaceuticals, orthopedic appliances and hearing aids, car parts and plastic products.
Including legal, education, tourism, health and aged care, construction and engineering, financial and manufacturing services.
Including beef, dairy, sheep & goat meat, wool, pork, wine and spirits, horticulture, grains, seafood, processed food and live animals.
Find out how your business can prepare for ChAFTA by reading the Guide to using ChAFTA to export or import.
You may have already heard about ChAFTA and how it benefits Australia when it comes into force. To make sure you’ve got all the facts, check out these resources on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website:
Australia also has FTAs with:
- the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and New Zealand
- New Zealand
- United States of America.
What to do…
- Learn more about Australia's Free Trade Agreements with Asia.
- Find out how Austrade can help you maximise your opportunities overseas.
- Find out about preferential rules of origin on the Australian Border Force website.
- Take advantage of existing trade-related grants and programs:
- Export Market Development Grant - reimburses up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above $5,000 provided that the total expenses are at least $15,000.
- Export Concessions: Facilitation and concession schemes - obtain a refund for customs duty paid on imported goods that are subsequently exported.
- Tradex - an alternative to Duty Drawbacks. Tradex offers an up-front exemption from Customs duty and GST for importers who intend to export goods within one year.
- Women in Global Business - support for women achieving international business success.