Easing of trade rules for Australian, NZ and ASEAN trade members

By Margaret Bux
clock 2 min

Trade and customs rules will be eased to the benefit of importers, exporters and forwarders who do business in New Zealand and South-east Asia after a new high-level political deal.  ASEAN, Australian and New Zealand trade ministers have closed the deal to amend the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area agreement (AANZFTA). A new protocol will make it easier to do business by amending a variety of customs, trade-in-goods, origin and certification rules. “Australian industry came to the government with concerns that a number of administrative requirements in AANZFTA discouraged its use because they required some businesses to provide commercially-sensitive information. The protocol addresses these concerns and modernises the presentation of the agreement’s rules of origin. This should reduce costs and make doing business under AANZFTA easier,” said Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb.

The first protocol will:

  • reduce the information requirements on a business when completing origin documentations;
  • consolidate the rules of origin into one annex;
  • simplify presentation of the rules of origin by removing a set of product specific rules;
  • streamline the administration process for amending the AANZFTA in the future; and
  • remove the free-on-board value requirement from certificates of origin.

The proposed agreement will enter into force 30 days after Australia, New Zealand and at least four ASEAN member countries have notified the others that they have ratified the protocol.

AANZFTA countries are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.


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