CPTPP importers and exporters frequently asked questions
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which entered into force on 30 December 2018, delivers substantial commercial opportunities for Australian businesses. These FAQs have been compiled as additional resource to assist importers and exporters to better understand some of the key rules under the agreement.
Q1: When does CPTPP enter into force?
CPTPP entered into force on 30th December 2018 for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore. For Vietnam, it entered into force on 14 January 2019; and for Peru, it entered into force on 19 September 2021. For the remaining countries (Brunei Darussalam, Chile and Malaysia), the CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after the completion of their domestic ratification procedures.
Q2: When will initial tariff cuts take place?
On entry into force of the CPTPP, Australian exporters of CPTPP originating goods benefitted from initial tariff cuts to Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore (according to their respective Tariff Elimination Schedules). Additionally a second tariff cut was made just two days later on 1 January 2019 for Australian exports to Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore (Japan's second tariff cut took effect on 1 April 2019). For Vietnam, Australian exporters benefitted from tariff cuts from 14 January 2019; and for Peru, from 19 September 2021. Tariff cuts for Brunei Darussalam, Chile and Malaysia will take effect 60 days after those countries complete domestic ratification procedures.
Q4: What happens if the tariff for my good is better under another FTA agreement? Do I have to use the CPTPP?
There may be circumstances where your good has better tariff treatment under another FTA which Australia has with a CPTPP Party. For example, Australia has the following existing preferential trade agreements with Japan, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Peru and New Zealand (all CPTPP Parties), as well as ASEAN:
- Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement
- ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA
- Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement
- Australia-Chile FTA
- Malaysia-Australia FTA
- Singapore-Australia FTA
- Peru-Australia FTA
Traders should assess whether it is more advantageous to trade under the preferential CPTPP tariff rate, under the current MFN applied tariff or through a separate FTA that Australia has with the Party. You can use the FTA Portal to compare the tariff rate for your good across multiple FTAs. Where Australia and a CPTPP Party are members of another FTA, unless the other FTA or the CPTPP say otherwise, it is a commercial decision for businesses to decide which agreement they will use. Importers and exporters have the option of selecting which agreement is best suited to them.
Q6: What certification documentation do I need to claim preferential tariff treatment under CPTPP?
Under CPTPP, an importer may make a claim for preferential tariff treatment based on a Certification of Origin completed by an exporter, producer, or importer. However, for imports into Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam, a Certification of Origin completed by the importer shall be implemented no later than five years after their respective dates of entry into force of the CPTPP. You should check with your importer or customs broker to confirm Certification of Origin requirements when exporting to a CPTPP Party.
There is no requirement for third party certification or certification by an authorised body. The Certification of Origin does not need to follow a prescribed format, however, it must be in writing (which can include electronic format) and must contain a set of minimum data requirements as set out in Chapter 3, Annex 3-B of the CPTPP (CPTPP Chapter 3 Rules of Origin).
As there is no prescribed format, the Certification of Origin can be presented in a variety of ways, including on the consignment invoice, a company letterhead or a Certification of Origin template. The Guide to Using CPTPP to Export and Import Goods provides examples of how an importer, exporter or producer can make a claim for preferential tariff treatment including a sample Certification of Origin template.