Have your say: public consultations on FTAs

DFAT consults interested people and organisations with respect to free trade agreements (FTAs), including encouraging written submissions during FTA negotiations and in relation to work programs or reviews under existing agreements.

Public consultation on FTAs

DFAT encourages interested people and organisations to make submissions on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Consultations are held with, and submissions accepted from, a wide range of stakeholders, including:

  • state and territory governments
  • peak industry bodies
  • individual companies
  • academics
  • unions
  • consumer groups
  • interested individuals

Consultations and submissions help to identify any commercially significant impediments to increasing Australia’s trade and investment in potential FTA partner countries, as well as other issues that may be relevant. This helps to ensure the Government is representing the current interests of the Australian people.

How to make a submission

FTAs currently open for consultations or submissions

Consultations are being carried out and submissions are being accepted in relation to the following FTAs:

DFAT welcomes interested people and organisations to make a written submission in relation to the agreements listed above.

Submissions may range from a short email or letter, outlining your views on a particular topic, to a more substantial document covering a range of issues. Where possible, you should provide evidence, such as relevant data and documentation, to support your views. For example, in the case of submission about exporting goods this might include HS tariff codes* for specific products of interest.

Contact details necessary to convey a submission for a particular FTA can be found on the DFAT page relating to that FTA.

Australia’s tariff preferences for least developed and developing countries

Australia provides preferential tariff arrangements to least developed and developing economies as a means to promote their exports and economic growth, known as the Australia’s System of Tariff Preferences (ASTP). The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has commenced a review of the ASTP.

The objective of the review is to:

  • Improve consistency and transparency in eligibility for preferential treatment;
  • Ensure the ASTP remains consistent with Australia’s international obligations;
  • Ensure consistency with Australia’s development policy objectives; and
  • Reduce the administrative burden of the ASTP for businesses and government administrators.

The discussion paper provides background information to inform written submissions. It includes an overview of the international context in which the ASTP operates and information about the key components.

DFAT has consulted with stakeholders from business and government and received written submissions as a part of the review of the Australia’s System of Tariff Preferences. Based on these submissions, DFAT will develop draft recommendations that will be published for further comments.

Should you have a question relation to the ASTP review, please email: ASTPreview@dfat.gov.au

Additional information can be found here: Instructions and Guidelines for Preferential Rules of Origin [PDF] and UN Handbook on ASTP [PDF].

Your submission and confidentiality

All submissions are usually published as public documents on the DFAT website. However, information which is of a confidential nature or which is submitted in-confidence, can be treated as such by DFAT, provided the basis for such treatment is provided.

DFAT may also request that a non-confidential summary of the confidential material is provided, or reasons why a summary cannot be provided.

Material supplied in-confidence should be clearly marked ‘IN CONFIDENCE’ and be in a separate attachment to non-confidential material.

You are encouraged to contact the relevant FTA area of DFAT for further information and advice before submitting such material.

* In all FTAs, products are identified by a system known as the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. This is commonly known as the Harmonized System (HS). The HS consists of around 5000 six-digit product categories.

Last Updated: 8 November 2017