Australia-EU FTA – Report on Negotiating Round Thirteen, 17-21 October 2022
The thirteenth round of Australia – European Union Free Trade Agreement (Australia-EU FTA) negotiations took place in Brussels on 17-21 October 2022. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade led the Australian delegation, which also included representatives from seven government agencies.
During the round we resolved a range of issues across the FTA. Ahead of the round, we exchanged revised goods and services and investment market access offers, following from the exchange of revised government procurement offers in February 2022.
Trade in Goods
Most provisions in the National Treatment and Market Access for Goods Chapter are now agreed. The Parties also continued productive discussions on market access for goods, following the exchange of revised offers.
We concluded the chapter text negotiations and continued comprehensive discussions on government procurement market access offers.
Rules of Origin
We resolved elements of the Rules of Origin chapter text, particularly on general requirements for originating products, where we concluded text on parts and accessories, neutral elements, fungible materials and waiver of procedural requirements. We discussed Product Specific Rules (PSRs) for agricultural and manufactured products, and provisionally agreed a further 17 chapters of the PSRs.
Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters / Anti-Fraud
We provisionally concluded the chapter on the Protocol on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters, and continued discussions on the EU's proposed Anti-Fraud mechanism.
We discussed outstanding elements on bilateral safeguards and the broader linkages to other elements in the FTA negotiations.
Competition and Subsidies
On Anticompetitive Conduct and Merger Control, we are still exploring how to reflect our respective competition laws. We are still assessing how to reflect our different approaches on subsidies.
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
We cleaned up provisions covering International Standards, the WTO TBT Agreement, Transparency and Conformity Assessment (including a related annex). We also had comprehensive discussions on Cosmetics and Vehicles annexes.
Services and Investment
We discussed potential further improvements, following the exchange of revised services and investment market access offers on 10 October 2022.
The Services and Investment General Provisions, Cross-border Trade in Services Chapter, International Maritime Transport Services section, and Telecommunications Chapter are nearing conclusion.
We narrowed differences on outstanding issues in the Intellectual Property Chapter, including on Copyright. Discussions on geographical indications (GIs) focused on the standard of protection and the relationship between GIs and trademarks.
State-owned Enterprises (SOEs)
There are now very few outstanding provisions remaining in the SOEs chapter.
We discussed the Digital Trade Chapter in detail, including our positions on data flows and privacy.
Energy and Resources
We discussed all articles in the chapter, including authorisations, environmental impact assessments and third-party access to energy transport infrastructure.
Trade and Sustainable Development
We discussed how to reflect trade and climate change, labour, environment, gender and dispute settlement in the text. Australia asked questions about the EU's new proposals on trade and sustainable development issues, which we had received shortly before the round began.
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
We finalised text on border checks and fees and Certification.
Sustainable Food Systems
We had constructive discussions on Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) in Round 13, drawing on the high standards of both Parties. Five articles were closed and three were partially agreed.
Preamble, Initial, Exceptions, Institutional, Dispute Settlement and Final provisions
We continued detailed discussions on the legal and institutional chapters.