Australia's government has ratified legislation supporting the implementation of the new China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
The Customs Amendment (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement) Bill 2015 and Customs Tariff Amendment (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement) Bill 2015 have passed the Senate, after being approved by the House of Representatives on October 22nd.
These bills set out Australia’s tariff commitments under ChAFTA, enabling goods that satisfy the free trade agreement's rules of origin to enter Australia at preferential rates of customs duty.
Australian trade and investment minister Andrew Robb said: "The government has worked hard to ensure this high-quality agreement with our biggest trading partner enters into force before the end of the year, and today's vote marks a significant milestone in that process."
An immediate round of tariff cuts is now being implemented followed by a second round of cuts on January 1st 2016.
China is Australia's largest export market for both goods and services, accounting for nearly one-third of total exports and a growing source of foreign investment. It is expected that ChAFTA will provide Australian businesses with better access to more than 1.5 billion people.