Japan is Australia’s second-largest agricultural, forestry and fisheries market, worth around $5 billion in 2016. It is Australia’s largest market for cheese and beef and an important destination for sugar, seafood and horticulture. Japan has high tariffs of up to 219 per cent on agricultural imports, however, and Australian exporters have to navigate a complex regulatory framework including levies, tariff rate quotas, state trading arrangements and automatic safeguards.
Australia is the first major agricultural exporter to secure a bilateral trade agreement with Japan — delivering a first mover advantage and future-proofing exports against future trade deals our competitors are seeking with Japan.
Key agriculture outcomes include the following.
- Beef: Rapid reduction of the high 38.5 per cent tariff on beef, Australia’s largest agricultural export to Japan, worth $1.8 billion in 2016.
- Wine: Elimination of the 15 per cent tariff on bottled wine by 2021 and immediate elimination of the tariff on bulk wine.
- Dairy: Immediate duty-free quotas for Australian cheese, immediate duty-free access for the growing trade in milk protein concentrates, lactose and casein and new opportunities for ice-cream and frozen yoghurt.
- Seafood: Immediate elimination of tariffs up to 9.6 per cent on lobsters, prawns, oysters, crabs and abalone and elimination of tariffs on tuna and Atlantic salmon by 2025.
- Horticulture: Immediate elimination of tariffs up to 6 per cent on fresh asparagus, macadamia nuts, almonds, fresh mangoes, and many other products. High tariffs on walnuts (10 per cent) and onions (8.5 per cent) will be eliminated by 2019, while tariffs on apples (17.5 per cent) will be eliminated by 2024. Taking advantage of counter-seasonal production, tariffs on oranges (16 per cent), table grapes (7.8 per cent) and cherries (8.5 per cent) are being progressively eliminated during Australia’s exporting season.
- Grains: Immediate duty-free and quota free access for Australian wheat and barley for animal feed and streamlined export arrangements for some Australian wheat varieties. Elimination of the 21.3 per cent tariff on wheat gluten and tariffs on canola and vegetable oils by 2024.
- Sugar: Immediate tariff elimination and reduced levies for international standard raw sugar.
- Processed Foods: Tariffs up to 29.8 per cent on juice, canned fruit, soup, jam, peanut butter, tea and pet food are being progressively eliminated and Australia is also receiving preferential tariff access for chocolate, honey, biscuits, cakes and breakfast cereals.