Australian agricultural and food exporters will benefit from the fourth round of tariff cuts from 1 April under the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA).
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the latest round of tariff cuts and quota volume increases would provide even more opportunities to exporters of a range of agricultural commodities, including honey, beef, dairy, wine, seafood, cereals and horticulture products.
“Japan has been a leading market for Australia’s high quality and safe agriculture, food, fishery and forestry product exports for several decades, and is currently ranked second with $4.7 billion worth of trade in 2016,” Mr Joyce said.
“This fourth round of cuts includes chilled and frozen beef tariffs falling to 29.9 per cent and 27.2 per cent respectively, down from 38.5 per cent. Beef remains our leading agricultural export to Japan, worth $1.8 billion in 2016."
Examples of other products with falling tariffs include honey reducing by a further 2.3 per cent, Southern Bluefin tuna by a further 0.4 per cent and table grapes by a further 1.6 per cent, oranges 1.4 per cent, mandarins by 1 per cent, and grated cheese by 1.2 per cent (this with a quota volume increase of 80 tonnes to 440 tonnes for the year from 1 April 2017).
Citrus Australia Market Access Manager, David Daniels, said the third round of tariff cuts under the Agreement last year, combined with a favourable exchange rate, has helped Australian citrus to become more competitive with the US than ever before.
“I actually met with importers in Japan last year who told me they were keen to jump over to Australian supply of citrus earlier in the season, because our price is so competitive and obviously our fruit tastes better,” Mr Daniels said.
Australia has seen strong growth across a range of commodities such as:
- Beef offal: Australia exported over $237 million in 2016 (up 16 per cent compared with $204 million in 2015). Beef offal has benefited from reduced in-quota tariffs.
- Table grapes: Table grape exports grew from $6.5 million in 2015 to $30.7 million in 2016 (up by 472 per cent). The seasonal tariffs on fresh table grapes under JAEPA reduced from 7.8 per cent to 4.9 per cent in April 2016, and now down to 1 April 2017.
- Macadamias: Macadamia exports grew to over $29.7 million in 2016, compared with $23.7 million in 2015 (up 25 per cent in value). The tariff on macadamias of 5 per cent was eliminated on entry into force.
- Southern Bluefin Tuna: In 2016, Australia exported $125 million of Southern Bluefin tuna, up 7 per cent by value compared with 2015 when exports were $116 million. The tariff on Southern Bluefin tuna was reduced from 3.5 per cent to 3.1 per cent in April 2016. Today, the tariff has been further reduced to 2.7 per cent.
- Honey: Honey exports grew from $890,000 in 2015 to $1.3 million in 2016 (up by 46 per cent). The tariff on honey was reduced from 20.9 per cent to 18.5 per cent in April 2016. Today the tariff has been further reduced to 16.2 per cent.
At the same time the Deputy Prime Minister commended the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for its ongoing work to negotiate improved technical market access into Japan to enable more exporters to realise the opportunities under JAEPA.
Mr Joyce said, in 2016 Australia gained new access for melons and an expansion of access for pumpkins from just Tasmania to all of Australia.
“The pumpkin tariff is now zero under JAEPA, and the pre-JAEPA 6 per cent tariff on melons is also now zero,” Mr Joyce said.
The Australian Melon Association Industry Development Manager, Dianne Fullelove, welcomed the opportunity to export melons to Japan through the JAEPA, with the new technical market access and the pre-JAEPA 6 per cent tariff on melons now at zero.
“The further tariff reductions benefit nearly 380 rockmelon, watermelon and honeydew melon growers,” Mrs Fullelove said.
For more overall information on the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, visit dfat.gov.au/jaepa. For more information on how to make sure your application for export permit is correct, visit the JAEPA page at agriculture.gov.au.