During his visit to the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced 31 May as the date of entry into force of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA), following the expected completion of UK domestic processes.
The gold-standard trade agreement will deliver unprecedented benefits to Australian businesses and create new well-paying jobs. With the entry into force of this comprehensive agreement, there will be no tariffs on over 99 per cent of Australian goods exports to the UK, opening up new export opportunities, including for the agriculture sector. This includes Australian exports of wine, short- and medium-grain rice, honey, nuts, and manufactured products such as auto parts, electrical equipment, and cosmetic products.
For some agricultural products like beef, sheep meat, dairy and sugar, Australia will have access to expanding tariff quota volumes – within 10 years these tariff quotas will be eliminated completely.
Savings of approximately $200 million a year will be made as tariffs on imports from the UK are eliminated. After five years, all UK imports will enter Australia duty free, helping ease cost-of-living pressures for households and input costs for Australian business.
On services exports worth $4.4 billion in 2021-22, the deal includes commitments on the movement of business people, making it easier to do business in the UK market.
The FTA also provides a framework for professional bodies to agree to streamline licensing processes to facilitate the movement of qualified professionals between Australia and the UK. This outcome will help address the skills shortage in Australia.
Within two years of entry into force, Australians will be able to apply for working holidays in the UK to the age of 35, up from 30, and stay for a maximum of three years instead of two.
Digital trade rules under the A-UKFTA will provide greater certainty and facilitate trade for Australian businesses looking to grow their digital footprint in the UK.
The deal includes strong commitments on the environment, including climate change, and labour. The trade agreement will preserve the right of the Australian Government to regulate in the public interest, including for the environment, education, and health. Importantly, there is no Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism.
For A-UKFTA tariff outcomes, see the FTA Portal.
For further information on the A-UKFTA, see the DFAT website.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Albanese:
“This agreement will deliver significant benefits to Australian exporters, consumers, workers, and our economy more broadly.”
“The Australia-UK FTA represents one of the most comprehensive, innovative and ambitious free trade agreements concluded by Australia to date and strengthens an already close relationship between Australia and the UK.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Trade and Tourism:
“Our trade agreement with the UK will significantly reduce costs for exporters and assist Australian businesses seeking to diversify trade to a wider range of overseas markets.”
“This agreement will underpin and deepen the already strong bilateral investment relationship with our second-largest source of foreign direct investment in Australia.”
“This deal establishes procedures for artists, including First Nations peoples, to receive royalties when their artworks are resold in the UK.”