Review of Australian System of Tariff Preferences

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has commenced a review of Australia’s System of Tariff Preferences (ASTP). The ASTP is the preferential tariff system that lowers tariffs for least developed countries (LDCs) and developing countries (DCs) as a means to promote their exports and economic growth. 

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 help inform written submissions. It includes an overview of the international context in which the ASTP operates and information about the key components.


The review will assess all elements of the ASTP held under the Customs Act 1901, and the Customs Tariff Act 1995, including the: 

  • Range and type of preference categories;
  • Eligibility requirements and process for amendments;
  • Rules of origin; and
  • Documentation requirements.

The review is not reconsidering Australia’s policy position of providing duty-free and quota-free market access to least developed countries, or preferential access to developing countries. 

Consultation process

DFAT will consult with stakeholders from business and government and invites written submissions on Australia’s System of Tariff Preferences or any issues in the discussion paper.

Based on these submissions, DFAT will develop draft recommendations that will be published for further comments. 



Review of the Australia System of Tariff Preferences 
c/- Office of Trade Negotiations 
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent


All submissions should be received by 15 July 2016

Last Updated: 5 May 2016