Guide to using ChAFTA

ChAFTA will increase opportunities by eliminating or reducing tariffs on the vast majority of trade in goods between Australia and China.

This step-by-step guide seeks to assist Australian exporters and importers in taking advantage of preferential tariff treatment under ChAFTA.  Or alternatively please contact us on (08) 8300 0093 or email trade@business-sa.com and we'll work you through it.
 

Step 1: WHAT - Identify The Tariff Classification Of Your Goods 

In ChAFTA, goods are identified by reference to an internationally-recognised system known as the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, commonly referred to as the Harmonized System (HS).

1. For imports to Australia, use the working tariff provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) which lists all tariff classifications under Schedule 3 of the Customs Tariff Act 1995.

2. For exports to China, refer to the Schedule of Chinese tariff commitments – available at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) China FTA page to search for your product by name. 
 

Step 2: HOW - Understand How Your Goods Will Be Treated Under ChAFTA 

Both China and Australia have set out their commitments to reduce duty rates on goods in lists, called tariff schedules (based on the HS).

If you are exporting to China, you will need to check China’s tariff schedule 

If you are importing from China, you will need to check Australia’s tariff schedule
 

Step 3: WHERE - Determine Whether Your Goods Meet Rules Of Origin Requriements 

ChAFTA preferential rules of origin (ROO) are agreed criteria used to ensure that only goods originating in either China or Australia enjoy duty preferences under the agreement.

In general, a good will qualify as ‘originating’ under ChAFTA if it is:
  • wholly obtained’ or produced entirely in China or Australia (or both);
  • produced entirely in China or Australia (or both), from materials classified as ‘originating’ under the ROO; or
  • manufactured in China or Australia (or both) using inputs from other countries, while meeting the Product Specific Rule (PSR) applicable to that good.
 

Step 4: CERTIFY - Prepare A Certificate Of Origin For Your Goods

A Certificate of Origin needs to be issued by an authorised body in the country of origin.  Business SA is authorised to issue a Certificate of Origin in South Australia.

For importers to Australia, China’s authorised bodies are:
 
  • General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ)
  • The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade

A COO applies to a single shipment, it may cover one or more goods but must not exceed 20 items and is valid for one year.

Under ChAFTA, exporters or producers must maintain all records necessary to demonstrate a goods’ origin for three years after signing a COO or longer where a Party’s laws and regulations require.  Exporters or importers into Australia should note that records must be retained for five years.  ChAFTA Article 3.20 provides details on record keeping requirements.

Seeking preferential rates before entry into force
Shipments en route to Australia or China before entry into force 

China will not accept COOs issued before entry into force of ChAFTA, for goods en route. In this circumstance, preferential treatment can be sought retrospectively. In such a case, exporters must note their intention to seek retrospective preferential treatment, at the time of importation by selecting the appropriate option on China’s importation documentation.
 
Australia will accept a COO issued before entry into force for goods en route (traders should contact China’s authorised bodies for details on when they will begin issuing COO) and, if required, such goods may claim a refund of duty paid if a COO was not available at the time of importation.
 
Goods stored in bonded warehouses at the time of entry into force
Under domestic regulations, China considers goods in bonded warehouses in China at the time of entry into force as having entered China. These goods will not be eligible for preferential tariff treatment under ChAFTA.
 
In Australia, goods stored in bonded warehouses as of the date of entry into force will be eligible for preferential tariff treatment under ChAFTA, as long as they meet the other requirements of the FTA.
 

Contacts for further information

Australia
For general inquiries concerning ChAFTA please contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on (02) 6261 1888 or email chinafta@dfat.gov.au

For all Australian customs matters, including import requirements and procedures, advance rulings, enquiries about tariff classifications and ROOs please contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on 131 881 or email chafta@border.gov.au  The Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection website includes sample COOs and DOOs.

For queries regarding COOs for export to China:
Please contact Business SA on (08) 8300 0093 or email trade@business-sa.com

China
China Customs Service 
China Ministry of Commerce FTA Network

For queries regarding COOs for import to Australia:
General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ)
The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade

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