AANZFTA COVID-19 temporary measures
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AANZFTA Parties have been exploring temporary arrangements for acceptance of Certificates of Origin (COO) and commercial documents in electronic format, given AANZFTA’s provisions regarding hard copy certificates. Most AANZFTA Parties have indicated a preparedness to exercise greater flexibility.
The AANZFTA COO Temporary COVID-19 Measures table summarises these arrangements. This table will be updated as Parties provide further advice and clarification on COVID-19 origin documentation measures. Australian exporters should also engage directly with their importer regarding the application of measures in individual AANZFTA Parties.
Making use of AANZFTA
Use the Australian Government's FTA Portal to find out how your business can benefit from AANZFTA and Australia's other FTAs.
The following document has been prepared to help exporters and importers to make use of AANZFTA. It contains practical advice on how to find tariff commitments and Rules of Origin (ROO) requirements for individual products.
The document also explains the requirement to obtain Certificates of Origin (CoO) from authorised bodies to claim preferential tariff treatment, the information required for CoO, as well as arrangements for authorising bodies to issue CoO under AANZFTA.
Changes to the certification process due to First Protocol
The 'First Protocol to Amend AANZFTA' [the First Protocol], which streamlined the certification processes for the movement of goods throughout AANZFTA countries, has entered into force for all Parties.
For further details and guides, see Changes to AANZFTA Rules of Origin Following Entry Into Force of the First Protocol.
For more background on the First Protocol including the parliamentary process for Australia's ratification, see the Background to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA.
Review of non-tariff measures
Non-tariff measures (NTMs) are government policy measures, other than customs tariffs, that may have an economic effect on international trade in goods and services, as well as international investment. Examples of NTMs include:
- quarantine requirements
- import processing fees
- labelling and packaging requirements
- data storage requirements
- price controls
- import licensing requirements
- in-country testing and certification requirements
- approval processes
- a lack of easily accessible information on import and export rules
- other regulatory or procedural barriers imposed by governments.
Many NTMs exist for legitimate reasons, such as to protect consumers or the environment. NTMs may also unnecessarily restrict trade and investment, or increase exporters' costs or protect domestic companies from international competition.
The Trade in Goods Chapter of AANZFTA requires the Committee on Trade in Goods to review non-tariff measures (NTMs) affecting trade in goods among the Parties, and look at means to enhance the facilitation of trade in goods between the Parties.
The AANZFTA Committee on Trade in Goods developed a list of recommendations for forward work on NTMs under AANZFTA. The recommendations were endorsed by Ministers and formed the basis of the committee's discussions on NTMs at the 2018 AANZFTA Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. These recommendations followed a commissioned report on NTMs faced by traders in the region by the Institute for International Trade within the University of Adelaide. The report surveyed businesses across a selection of AANZFTA countries.
The Committee's recommendations (link below) as well as the University of Adelaide report can be found on the ASEAN Secretariat's AANZFTA website.
Next steps for addressing NTMs
The Committee on Trade in Goods will look to build on existing programs aimed at tackling NTMs, with an emphasis on encouraging good regulatory practice, improving stakeholder engagement and addressing NTMs faced by Small and Medium Enterprises. NTMs will also become a standing issue on the agenda of future meetings of the Committee, and its sub-committees covering Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, Standards, Technical Regulations, Conformance and Rules of Origin.
Further information on Non-Tariff Measures:
Several Australian Government departments have a role to play in addressing NTMs and seeking to resolve trade barriers. The following websites may be helpful:
Doing business in ASEAN
For more information on doing business with ASEAN Member States, assistance in accessing ASEAN markets and specific export opportunities, go to the Austrade website. As well as country-specific information, the Austrade website also provides information on export markets by industry.