Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus
About PACER Plus
The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus is a regional development-centred trade agreement. It is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) covering goods, services and investment. Negotiations on PACER Plus commenced in 2009 and concluded in Brisbane on 20 April 2017.
PACER Plus opened for signature on 14 June 2017, and has been signed by Australia, New Zealand and nine Pacific island countries (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu).
As of October 2020, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Niue and Cook Islands have ratified the Agreement. PACER Plus will come into force on 13 December 2020.
PACER Plus is an important part of Australia's engagement in the Pacific and provides an avenue to help foster a secure, stable and prosperous region. PACER Plus will provide commercial opportunities for Australian exporters and investors in a range of sectors. These opportunities will increase over time as the provisions of the Agreement lead to more open and transparent policies, and as wider relationships are built regionally and beyond.
Dedicated development assistance is being provided as part of PACER Plus. The PACER Plus Readiness Package supports Pacific island country signatories to ratify the Agreement. There are five work-elements under the PACER Plus Readiness Package:
- Legislative drafting
- Customs modernisation, harmonisation, implementation of up to date tariff codes and transposition of schedules
- Training on notification requirements under the Agreement
- Public outreach and stakeholder engagement
- Revenue planning and mitigation.
Examples of initiatives set up under the Readiness Package are:
- Trade Portals - uses ICT to enable access to up to date published information on trade processes/procedures
- ASYCUDA World – automated/electronic customs systems supports paperless trade - already in place in some countries
The PACER Plus Implementation Package, once the Agreement enters into force, will help Pacific island country signatories to take advantage of the Agreement.