find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Complexities in free trade agreement

Complexities in free trade agreement

The recent signing of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) will open up a host of opportunities for businesses trading across the region, but brings with it some added…

The recent signing of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) will open up a host of opportunities for businesses trading across the region, but brings with it some added complexities, a regional expert warns.

Allens Arthur Robinson partner Marcus Clark explained that although the agreement will generally eliminate or reduce tariffs across the region, Australian businesses will need to understand how this new agreement interacts with pre-existing bilateral agreements.

"It used to be pretty easy - you'd just look up one agreement, but now you have to look at a whole bunch of agreements and do the analysis side by side," he says.

For example, the existing Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) contains strict "rules of origins" provisions. This means that for an Australian manufactured export to qualify for reduced US tariffs it must have been "substantially transformed" in Australia.

In contrast, the AANZFTA works on the basis of "regionally cumulative" rules of origin, meaning that, generally speaking, as long as an Australian product was produced within the region covered by AANZFTA, it will qualify for reduced or eliminated tariffs.

Clark points out that if an Australian business exports to both the US and an AANZFTA signatory nation, it would have to consider how these two FTAs interact. While under the AANZFTA regionally cumulative rules of origin the business may be able to save money by switching the production of their exports to a cheaper ASEAN market, it then runs the risk of not qualifying within the stricter AUSFTA rules of origin.

Businesses should also be aware of the differing tariff rates offered under different agreements, Clark says. "Even within the [AANZFTA] region itself, the tariffs available under this new agreement are often not as good as those that Australia has managed to negotiate under bilateral agreements, such as the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA)."

This means businesses will have to consider whether it is worthwhile to continue to trade under bilateral agreements, or to switch to the AANZFTA where - again - the rules of origin provisions are broader, he says.

Clark advises businesses to keep in mind that under domestic laws, individual businesses many still be able to negotiate better tariff rates than those provided by either the AANZFTA or bilateral agreements.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Complexities in free trade agreement
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...