Joint Committee and subsidiary bodies
The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) established a Joint Committee to supervise the implementation of the Agreement. The Joint Committee comprises officials of both countries and is co-chaired by the trade ministers or their respective delegates. Meetings of the Joint Committee form an opportunity to consider and resolve any matters that may affect the operation of KAFTA and to explore ways to enhance trade and investment opportunities covered by the Agreement.
The Joint Committee also supervises the work of sub-committees and working groups. A full list of committees and working groups appears below.
Depending on the body, there is flexibility on when, and if, meetings will be convened. The relevant articles contain information on the roles of the committees and working groups.
DFAT welcomes contact at any point on the operation of KAFTA. Written submissions are particularly welcome ahead of Joint Committee meetings. These should be forwarded, preferably by email, per the details below:
Korea FTA Coordinator
Free Trade Agreement Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221
Submissions will be made publicly available on the DFAT website unless the author specifies otherwise.
Entry into force
KAFTA entered into force on 12 December 2014.
The Agreement was signed by Trade and Investment Minister, Mr Andrew Robb, and his South Korean counterpart the Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy, Mr Yoon Sang-jick, in Seoul on 8 April 2014.
Minister Robb tabled the text of the Agreement along with a National Interest Analysis in the Australian Parliament on 13 May 2014.
The text of KAFTA and the National Interest Analysis was tabled in the Australian Parliament for 20 joint sitting days and was considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT). On 4 September 2014, the Chair of JSCOT tabled Report 142 of its inquiry into KAFTA in Parliament. The report supported KAFTA and recommended the Government take binding treaty action.
Following tabling of the report, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison MP introduced customs implementing legislation into Parliament. Two other Parliamentary committees have also reviewed KAFTA and its implementing legislation. Both recommended binding treaty action be taken. The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee’s tabled its report on 24 September 2014. The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee tabled its report on 1 October 2014.
The implementing legislation was passed by the Australian Parliament on 1 October 2014 and amendments to customs, life insurance and foreign investment regulations were finalised shortly afterward.
The Korean National Assembly approved KAFTA on 2 December and diplomatic notes were exchanged on 3 December 2014, confirming the completion of domestic processes in Australia and Korea.