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ChAFTA – All duty free from 2019

As of 1 January 2019, duty rates for all tariff categories covered under the ChAFTA agreement will be duty free.

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This week negotiators in the US announced, after eight years of negotiations, an historic agreement had been reached as to the terms of the Trans Pacific Partnership.


The TPP is a web of agreements between the involved countries designed to boost trade and economic growth.  It spans everything from jeans to lobsters to intellectual property.The TPP is designed to create major changes in the economies of the 12 signatories and will be the world’s largest FTA covering 40% of global GDP.


The final agreement was signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. The countries involved make up 40 per cent of the world economy.

The agreement began as almost casual negotiations between New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore and Chile but rapidly expanded.

While one of the Australia’s largest trading partners, China, is not involved in the deal, several other countries have indicated they are hoping to be covered in the new system of trade rules.  These include South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Colombia.


The TPP addresses a variety of trade topics including trade in goods, services, investment, Government procurement, intellectual property, environmental laws, labour laws and intellectual property.  The details of the trade outcomes are yet to be released.  However, the following is significant for Australian trade:

  • This will be Australia’s first significant FTA with Canada, Mexico and Peru (but this only represents less than 2% of Australia’s trade).
  • Agricultural access to the US and Japan is likely to be improved beyond our existing FTAs.
  • Country-of-Origin labelling will be based on TPP regional content. As such, goods can include content from multiple TPP partners and still qualify for preferential treatment.  This could be important for goods of US or Japanese origin that undergo some further process (such as repacking) in Singapore or Malaysia.  Certificate of origin details are yet to be released.  However, it is unlikely formal certificates of origin will be required.  Both the US and NZ do not traditionally require such documents and other TPP countries have shown a preference for self-certification.
  • The TPP is drafted in a way to allow inclusion of other countries in the future. It is not unrealistic to foresee a future where the TPP will be the primary trade agreement governing Asia Pacific trade.
  • In recent presentations, DFAT suggested that change in tariff classification will be the primary rule of origin for goods that are not wholly originating. It also includes timelines to cut tariffs and financial levies on all goods, but it is unlikely to include the complete abolition of many tariffs.
  • The TPP also provides for a range of agreements to make cross-border investing easier and therefore more frequent by reducing regulatory hurdles.
  • The agreement includes commitments to help small- and medium-sized businesses understand the agreement, take advantage of its opportunities, and bring their unique challenges to the attention of the TPP governments.
  • A chapter entitled “Trade Remedies” includes a series of agreements designed to clarify key details in exporting and importing a wide range of products.



Usually it takes 9-12 months from the conclusion of negotiations to the implementation of an FTA.  However, each country will need to pass and ratify associated legislation for the partnership to begin.  Given this includes the US parliamentary process in an election year; we expect 2017 is a more realistic commencement date.

With the implementation time-frame uncertain and few details on specific outcome, the best advice is for parties to stay informed and keep the TPP in mind when making long term strategic trade decisions.

If you have any questions you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Magellan on 1300 651 888 or via email

Read the Prime Minister’s media release here

Sources: Hunt & Hunt ,

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Australia Korea FTA in effect 12 December 2014

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has announced that Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea will enter into force on 12 December 2014.

The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) was signed in Seoul, South Korea, on 8 April 2014 and KAFTA will enter into force when both Korea and Australia have completed their domestic legal procedures.1

Below is an outline of top imports from Korea into Australia in 2012-2013.2  For Magellan customers, this agreement may also affect those importing textiles or other similar products from Korea.

There are a range of products that will have reduced duty rates under this agreement, and to get access to these lower rates, suppliers will have to provide importers a KAFTA certificate.

Four steps to using KAFTA

Step 1: WHAT goods am I exporting or importing? (tariff classification)

Step 2: HOW are these goods treated under KAFTA? (tariff treatment)

Step 3: WHERE are my goods produced? (rules of origin)

Step 4: CERTIFY your goods with a Certificate of Origin

For further information on what items will have reduced rates and the detail behind the KAFTA stepped process above please refer to this media release and/or speak to your friendly Magellan Logistics Customs Broker who can provide more detail on 1300 651 888.

To read more about Free Trade Agreements and how they help Australian exporters, read our recent blog



1 Customs Brokers & Forwarders Council of Australia Inc. – CBFCA

.2 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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Free Trade Agreements Help Australian Exporters


When it comes to global trade opportunities for Australian exporters, free trade agreements (FTAs) play an important role. For any locally based business wishing to expand their international reach, they are a way of linking otherwise unconnected economies and establishing new markets for reciprocal exchange of goods and services, as well as investments.

Those in the business of international shipping from here in Australia have previously enjoyed seven different FTAs with countries across the globe, including New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, US, Chile, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (with New Zealand) and Malaysia.

In addition to allowing trades of goods and services, FTAs also typically encompass a range of other trading potential, such as the exchange of intellectual property rights, government procurement and also competition policy.

All exporters in any industry that freights goods internationally can benefit from FTAs.  The fashion, textiles & footwear freight industry for example, under these established FTAs, make up around 26% of Australia’s total trade – a substantial figure and one that is now set to grow further. The addition of FTAs for Japan and Korea will be of interest to Australian garment manufacturers and local fashion exporters.

Japan and Korea Add New Export Market Opportunities

In April 2014, those in the Australian export business were pleased that Australia signed an FTA with Korea.

In other positive news for the local retail industry, in July 2014, Australia also signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan. An EPA is an economic arrangement – often described as a premium variation of a general free trade agreement – that opens up free movement of goods, services and investment between countries. It’s good news for anyone in the business of fashion freight shipments, whether as an importer, or exporter of garments and other goods – but also a positive step for any local retailer or manufacturer keen to tap into a wider international audience.

Then, there are economic partnerships, which are sometimes described as high standard variants of free trade agreements.

Using the fashion industry again for a quick snapshot, at the moment, Korea accounts for around 5% of Australia’s total trade, with Japan accounting for around 11%. With the increasing number of FTAs currently in negotiation to help Australian exporters access new markets and expand trade in existing markets, this is expected to increase.

If you’re an existing Magellan Logistics client, currently enjoying the export and import opportunities for your business, we’d encourage you to actively review your current marketing plans and shipment strategies to analyse whether these latest  FTAs will be of benefit for your business.

To find out how your business can benefit from these new Free Trade Agreements, speak to our trusted freight specialist team here at Magellan Logistics, for more information on 1300 651 888.

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BREAKING NEWS: Major change to how Australia will manage Customs (Border) and Immigration responsibilities

Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, announced to the Lowy Institute on Friday 9th May, the formation of the Australian Border Force (ABF). Effective 1st July 2015, a new agency will be established under the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, to take over the work of Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, which will enforce all customs and immigration laws.

Key points from the announcement are outlined here:

  • Under the Abbott Government, immigration and customs have been combined into a single Cabinet portfolio that has permanent status on the National Security Committee of Cabinet, with a strong focus on law enforcement
  • Australia will have a department of state that is now truly focused on border policy and strategy in an integrated and holistic way, rather than in the traditional silos of immigration and customs
  • Australia is in the middle of a significant period of global trade growth
  • The volume of passenger movements and commercial transactions completed across borders is increasing exponentially, as is the complexity of these interactions and systems
  • The Coalition Government recently concluded two significant free trade agreements with Japan and Korea, of tremendous importance to our nation and the region, and is actively working on another with China.
  • The Abbot government have integrated immigration and customs into a single portfolio
  • In 2014/15  a series of reforms will be implemented and capability improvements to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. On July 1, 2015 the Coalition Government will establish the Australian Border Force (ABF), a single frontline operational border agency, to enforce our customs and immigration laws
  • The measures to support the new agency will also result in improved revenue outcomes for the government. Our customs officers are the second largest revenue collectors in the Commonwealth.
  • Reforms will be completed in line with those completed by UK and US border control administrations
  • A system to allow digital processing of forms will be implemented, further reducing paperwork and red–tape burden on business


For a full transcript of Scott Morrison’s announcement



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