Implementation process and timeline

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on 20 December 2015.

 
Key events in the implementation timeline
17 November 2014 At a ceremony at Parliament House, former Australian Trade and Investment Minister, Mr Andrew Robb AO MP and the Chinese Commerce Minister, Mr Gao Hucheng signed a Declaration of Intent, formalising the conclusion of ChAFTA negotiations.
17 June 2015 ChAFTA was signed in Canberra by Mr Robb, and Mr Gao. The same day, Mr Robb, tabled ChAFTA in the Australian Parliament. A copy of Mr Robb's tabling statement is available here.
16 September 2015  Minister Robb introduced customs implementing legislation into Parliament.
19 October 2015 The Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) that conducted a public inquiry into ChAFTA tabled the report of its inquiry in Parliament. The report included a number of recommendations, including that binding treaty action be taken.
22 October 2015 ChAFTA legislation passed by the House of Representatives.
6 November 2015 Reports by two other Parliamentary committees that reviewed ChAFTA and its implementing legislation (the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee and the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee) were tabled in Parliament. Both supported binding treaty action being taken.
9 November 2015 ChAFTA legislation passed by the Senate.
9 December 2015 Exchange of diplomatic notes between Australia and China.
20 December 2015 Entry into force; first round of tariff cuts.
1 January 2016 Second round of tariff cuts.
20 December 2016 68 additional Australian private higher education institutions listed on a key Chinese Ministry of Education website.
1 January 2017 Third round of tariff cuts.
24 March 2017 At a ceremony at Parliament House, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, and Chinese Commerce Minister, Zhong Shan, signed a Declaration of Intent announcing the commencement of reviews of ChAFTA's services and investment commitments and the operation of the Investment Facilitation Arrangement MOU.

Updated September 2017

Last Updated: 27 September 2017

Contact us

  • Email: chinafta@dfat.gov.au
  • Phone: (+61 2) 6261 1888 (within standard business hours)
  • Mail:
    China FTA Coordinator
    Free Trade Agreement Division
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
    R.G. Casey Building, John McEwen Crescent
    BARTON ACT 0221

For media enquiries, please call DFAT Media Liaison Section (+61 2) 6261 1555.

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