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CHAFTA implementation process and timeline

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on 20 December 2015.

Key events in the implementation timeline

17 November 2014
At a ceremony at Parliament House, former Australian Trade and Investment Minister, Mr Andrew Robb AO MP and the Chinese Commerce Minister, Mr Gao Hucheng signed a Declaration of Intent, formalising the conclusion of ChAFTA negotiations.
17 June 2015
ChAFTA was signed in Canberra by Mr Robb, and Mr Gao. The same day, Mr Robb, tabled ChAFTA in the Australian Parliament. Mr Robb's tabling statement is available here.
16 September 2015
Minister Robb introduced customs implementing legislation into Parliament.
19 October 2015
The Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) that conducted a public inquiry into ChAFTA tabled the report of its inquiry in Parliament. The report included a number of recommendations, including that binding treaty action be taken.
22 October 2015
ChAFTA legislation passed by the House of Representatives.
6 November 2015
Reports by two other Parliamentary committees that reviewed ChAFTA and its implementing legislation (the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee and the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee) were tabled in Parliament. Both supported binding treaty action being taken.
9 November 2015
ChAFTA legislation passed by the Senate.
9 December 2015
Exchange of diplomatic notes between Australia and China.
20 December 2015
Entry into force; first round of tariff cuts.
1 January 2016
Second round of tariff cuts.
20 December 2016
68 additional Australian private higher education institutions listed on a key Chinese Ministry of Education website.
1 January 2017
Third round of tariff cuts.
24 March 2017
At a ceremony at Parliament House, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, and Chinese Commerce Minister, Zhong Shan, signed a Declaration of Intent announcing the commencement of reviews of ChAFTA's services and investment commitments and the operation of the Investment Facilitation Arrangement MOU.
25 October 2017
The Committees on Trade in Services, Investment, Financial Services and Movement of Natural Persons met to progress reviews of these chapters of ChAFTA. The meetings were held in Canberra, with a delegation from China attending.
1 January 2018
Fourth round of tariff cuts.
Last Updated: 17 August 2018
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