ChAFTA to broaden Australia’s export benefits

By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will benefit Australia’s trade and investment with our largest trading partner, concluding agreements in force at the moment with Korea and Japan.

The commencement of the agreement is not currently official and is expected to be implemented 30 days after Australian and China Governments complete necessary domestic parliamentary requirements.  Should both parliaments agree to the terms of the agreement, implementation will be between December 2015 and January 2016.

Currently ChAFTA is undergoing review by the Joint Standing Committee on Overseas Treaties (JSCOT), which will table its report before Parliament on 19th October 2015 for deliberation.

Today though, Prime Minister Tony Abbott will move a motion seeking Parliamentary support to back the ChAFTA “in its negotiated form” enabling it to be passed this year so that benefits can flow on to Australian businesses and workers without delay.  The opposition is expected to seek additions to the motion in relation to safeguarding Australian jobs and workplace safety.

Key Notes

  • China is Australia’s largest trading partner with exports from Australia worth AUD 107 billion and imports to Australia worth AUD 52 billion;
  • Australia will gain export access to the world’s second largest economy with a population of over 103 billion people by removing tariffs on over 95% of exports on implementation of the agreement, including meat, dairy & horticulture products;
  • Over 70% of current imports from China to be duty free upon implementation, the remainder will be duty free within 4 Years on a phasing scale.  Import tariff headings will be categorised into 0,3 & 5 rates.  These categories provide a timeframe on rates being phased to Zero (see ChAFTA Tariff Schedule below).

More detailed information can be found in the following documents:

ChAFTA Snapshot

ChAFTA Implementation Process and Timeline

ChAFTA  Tariff Schedule

Clarke Global will keep you updated on all developments, and in the meantime, if you have any questions in relation to how your export or import business is affected, please feel free to call the team on 9854 3000 or email


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