JAEPA is japan`s most liberalizing bilateral trade agreement ever, giving Australian exporters, importers, investors and producers a significant advantage over their international competitors. It will provide unprecedented market access and a competitive advantage for Australian agricultural exports, many of which reside in Queensland. URAPA is Australia`s second bilateral trade agreement with a major trading partner in North Asia, following the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea in April 2014. A free trade agreement with China is being negotiated. Together, these three economies account for more than half of Australia`s exports. A number of concessions were guaranteed to Australian agricultural exporters, while Australian tariffs on electronics, white goods and cars were to be reduced. Negotiations on the agreement began under the Howard government in 2007. Abbott said, “This is the first time Japan has negotiated a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or Free Trade Agreement with a major economy, especially with a large economy with a strong agricultural sector.”  Prime Minister Abe visited Australia in July to sign the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and address the Australian Parliament.  The agreement removed barriers and opened up new opportunities for Australian professional service providers in areas such as law, finance and design, to name a few. It will also bring significant benefits to Australian farmers, producers, exporters, service providers and consumers by removing barriers to the Japanese market.
The full text of the agreement as well as useful information and fact sheets on free trade agreements are available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. If you have any specific questions about the agreement, send an email JapanEPA@dfat.gov.au or call the DFAT North Asia hotline on 02 6261 1888. Importers can apply to the Ministry of the Interior While previous tariffs on imports of new cars from Japan have been removed, the agreement provided for a flat-rate tax of $12,000 for the import of used vehicles from Japan.  To further explore the potential benefits of JAEPA for Australian businesses, see the FTA tool developed by the Export Council of Australia. This website helps Australian exporters navigate quickly and easily through the basics of all Australian Free Trade Agreements (SAAs). Companies can search the country and sector to determine how free trade agreements can facilitate activities. “The agreement will provide valuable preferential access to Australian exports and is by far the most liberalizing trade agreement ever reached by Japan,” the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs said. Australia and Japan are natural partners with highly complementary economies. This agreement will bring our economies and societies even closer together and strengthen a strong relationship for many years to come.  Australia`s negotiations for an agreement with Japan began under the Howard government in 2007.