A free trade agreement between Australia and China will enter into force on Sunday, 20 December 2015, and there will be immediate benefits of first-year tariff reductions from that date. The second year of tariff reductions will commence from 1 January 2016, thus delivering two rounds of tariff reductions in close succession.
The staged tariff reductions under the free trade agreement provides exporters and importers opportunities to reduce import duties—provided the rules of origin are met. Merely importing goods from China to Australia (or vice versa) does not automatically qualify goods for preferential duty rates. Importers and exporters need to determine that their goods meet the very specific requirements of the agreement and have documentation to support that eligibility in order to realise the benefits.
The free trade agreement between Australia and China represents one of the largest free trade opportunities for Australian industry, and this alone makes it worth the effort to understand the benefits, the rules of origin, and the documentary requirements.
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