Australian businesses are continuing to reap the benefits of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) with a third round of tariffs cuts occurring today. 

Tariffs on more than 1200 products have fallen today providing a competitive boost for Australian exporters and building on the success of JAEPA’s first year in operation. 92 per cent of Australian products are now entering Japan duty-free. This will increase each year until 2034, when 98 per cent of our goods will enter duty free or receive Australia-only preferential access.

For the first time, Japan has cut tariffs on high quality Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna, an export worth $116 million to Australia last year. These tariff cuts give Australian exporters a crucial lead over competitors who continue to face the full tariff. 

Our exports of beef to Japan grew by 14.6 per cent to nearly $2 billion in 2015. As of today, tariffs on Australian beef have again been cut to 27.5 per cent (frozen) and 30.5 per cent (fresh or chilled), while our competitors continue to pay the higher rate of 38.5 per cent. 

Australian exports of oranges to Japan hit record levels under JAEPA, valued at more than $36 million in 2015. Australia’s competitive position will be enhanced further today when the seasonal tariff falls from 13.1 to 11.6 per cent, while the 16 per cent tariff on our competitors’ exports remains.

Other products including nickel, worth an estimated $80 million a year, and food products such as sauces and mustard worth $29 million a year, will also enjoy significant tariff cuts.  

This builds on high early utilisation of JAEPA – in the first 11 months of operation, Japanese customs data suggests at least 80 per cent of Australian exports eligible for preferential tariff treatment have entered Japan under JAEPA. The Japanese market has embraced high-quality Australian product, which can be found in stores, restaurants and hotels throughout Japan.

I am very pleased to see Australian businesses taking advantage of JAEPA to increase exports to Japan, further boosting jobs and growth in the Australian economy.  

SOURCE:  Dept of Industry, Innovation and Science