AUSTRALIAN exporters are encouraged to take full advantage of the benefits of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), with the second round of tariff cuts taking effect today.
“This is the second tariff cut under JAEPA in quick succession. The first came on entry into force on 15 January 2015 and the second reduction comes into effect today 1 April 2015,” Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said.
Minister Joyce said the Australian agriculture industry is already seeing some real benefits of JAEPA across a range of sectors under this historic trade deal.
“The work of the Australian Government is making a real, tangible difference to producers—we are bringing better returns to the farm gate and helping restore dignity to the lives of farmers who have been doing it tough,” Minister Joyce said.
“JAEPA has already eliminated tariffs for several major seafood exports to Japan including abalone, rock lobster, prawns and oysters. It’s great news for our seafood industries in this valuable market.
“Horticultural exports, including asparagus, mangoes and macadamias now face zero tariffs under JAEPA. Importantly, tariffs on Australia’s largest horticultural export to Japan, citrus, are now being reduced — further improving the competitiveness of Australian citrus in what is already the industry’s largest export market.”
With Japan a major market for wine, worth over $1 billion in imports from the world in 2014, Minister Joyce encouraged Australian wine exporters to take advantage of phased tariff reductions for wines, bottled and bulk, to result in tariff elimination within 7 to 10 years.
“There has also been great uptake by Australian exporters of the new Australia-only quotas for Australian product, with approximately 50 per cent of quota taken up in the first year (15 January to 31 March 2015) including all of the quota for bovine offal and honey. Australian exporters have already shipped quota products valued at over $10 million since 15 January 2015,” Minister Joyce said.
“For example, this includes 2833 tonnes of bovine offal, 452 tonnes of preserved and prepared meats, 56 tonnes of pork and 13 tonnes of honey exported to Japan under these quotas—a massive take-up.
“Beef tariffs of 38.5 per cent are now significantly reduced with tariffs falling to 31.5 per cent for chilled beef and 28.5 per cent for frozen beef on 1 April 2015. This means tariff savings to industry worth $27 million alone on beef exports to Japan since entry into force.
“Here in Australia, I’m pleased to see more good news for the beef industry, with predictions this week that the price of live cattle will reach $4 a kilogram.”
Minister Joyce also emphasised the importance of Japan as a trading partner and how beneficial this two-way relationship is to both countries.
“In 2014 Australia’s total agricultural exports to Japan were valued at over $4.1 billion and the value of our beef trade alone was worth $1.6 billion,” Minister Joyce said.
“JAEPA is proof the Government remains committed to providing Australian agriculture with increased trade opportunities in our current markets, in addition to our market access efforts in new and emerging markets.
“JAEPA has enhanced what was an already important trade relationship between Japan and Australia—and we will continue to work hard on these positive outcomes for exporters.”
Minister Joyce noted that Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, will be visiting Japan in mid-April to promote the outcomes of JAEPA and highlight the opportunities to Japanese importers and consumers of the clean, green high quality produce of Australia.
For more information on JAEPA, including how to make sure your application for export permit is correct, visit the JAEPA page at www.agriculture.gov.au