This article was updated in April 2020.
By Michael Dean and Angela Rendall, Free Trade Agreement Outreach Section, DFAT
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Portal provides easy access to information that helps exporters, importers, customs brokers and freight forwarders benefit from Australia’s free trade agreements.
Users of the FTA Portal can, for instance, search for the goods they want to export using keywords, find reduced free trade agreement tariff rates, and learn how to obtain certificates of origin. Where more than one free trade agreement is available to an exporter or importer, the FTA Portal helps identify which agreement offers greater benefits.
We recently expanded the FTA Portal to offer up-to-date guidance on selling services to overseas customers, travelling overseas to supply services, and establishing an overseas presence.
In the future, the FTA Portal will be expanded to incorporate information on Australia’s new free trade agreements, such as the TPP-11, Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement. These expansions will ensure the FTA Portal continues to help Australians make the most of our free trade agreements.
Trading goods using the FTA Portal
Free trade agreements benefit goods exporters and importers by reducing or eliminating tariffs. To qualify for lower tariffs under a free trade agreement as an exporter, a product is assessed against rules of origin (criteria used to determine whether your products are ‘Australian’ under the rules set out in each free trade agreement). Importers and exporters will also need to complete the agreement specific certification documentation to accompany traded goods. With an easy-to-use search function, the FTA Portal allows you to obtain:
- product-specific tariff rates and harmonised system (HS) codes relating to the free trade agreement;
- information on product specific rules of origin requirements; and
- certification information.
The following video demonstrates how easy it is to use the FTA Portal to search for a specific export product, and find your HS Code. In this case, we look at oranges being exported to Vietnam. The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) has reduced the tariff rate from 25 per cent to 5 per cent, will be entirely eliminated from 1 January 2020. You can also check Vietnam’s import statistics for oranges, check your eligibility under the FTA, and find out what documentation you need to take the next steps.
Trading services using the FTA Portal
Free trade agreements benefit service providers by including commitments to liberalise the restrictions around cross-border services trade and foreign investment. The FTA Portal allows you to obtain information relating to:
- a specific service and free trade agreement;
- supplying a specific service across borders and setting up a commercial presence overseas; and
- requirements for working in an FTA partner country.
This following video demonstrates how easy it is to access export information for professional services under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
The FTA Portal also incorporates:
- A step-by-step guide for first-time and prospective exporters and importers of goods and services.
- A glossary explaining the meaning of commonly used words.
- Frequently Asked Questions, including: What is an HS Code? How can I find out the tariff rate for my good? How can I use FTAs to export services?
- General information relating to Australia’s ten FTAs with sixteen countries.
- Business case studies.
- An Application Programming Interface (API) feature, which gives Australian software developers the opportunity to create their own related applications.
The following video demonstrates how easy it is to access some of the additional features on the FTA Portal, including sections on “What are free trade agreements” and “What is my HS Code?”, as well as the glossary and API.