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AUKFTA Begins Today

The Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement enters into force today on 31 May 2023.

In April, the Committee for Mornington Peninsula hosted the UK Consul-General, Steph Lysaght, to brief and meet with small businesses on the Mornington Peninsula and explain the direct benefits of the FTA relevant to our region.

Reduced tariffs and increased people movements will benefit our hospitality, tourism, accommodation and professional service industries. 

The Committee will be seeking a further briefing from Global Victoria for our members to ensure our region is provided with support and resources from Government to make the most of the new FTA.

Zoe McKenzie, Member for Flinders, said the agreement has particularly generous provisions with regard to longer-term working holiday visas for UK citizens, so for those local businesses who need ongoing staff across health, education, agriculture, hospitality and tourism - have a look at this.

Australia and the UK have agreed to put in place new arrangements under the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program and Youth Mobility Scheme. This follows the entry into force of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (Australia-UK FTA) on 31 May 2023.

Under the new arrangements, UK passport holders will be able to:apply for a Working Holiday visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive from 1 July 2023 be granted up to three Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements from 1 July 2024.

More information here.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released this media statement earlier today:

The Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement enters into force today.

The agreement is a gold standard trade deal that delivers benefits for all Australians – including manufacturers, workers, farmers, tradies, innovators, families, and students

The United Kingdom is one of Australia’s major trading partners, with two-way goods trade worth $10 billion in 2022, and two-way services trade worth over $11 billion in 2021-22, making it our second largest services trading partner.

As of today, over 99 per cent of Australian products will enter the UK duty free. These include some of our key exports, such as wine, short and medium grain rice, sugar, honey, nuts, olive oil and food supplements.

UK tariffs on Australian industrial goods, such as auto parts, electrical equipment and fashion items are now eliminated. Australian agricultural products, including beef and sheep meat, sugar and dairy products, will have duty free transitional quotas, with eventual elimination of all tariffs.

For Australian consumers, tariffs on 98 per cent of UK imports to Australia are now eliminated, with the remainder removed within six years.

The agreement strengthens our people-to-people links with the UK. Australian professionals now have the same access to the UK job market as nationals from the European Union, except the Republic of Ireland.

The agreement also includes measures designed to improve the mobility of skilled workers and young people, in both directions. From 31 January 2024, Australians up to the age of 35, up from 30, will be able to apply for working holidays in the UK and stay for a maximum of three years instead of two.

Trade is more than just the exchange of products and services, it also boosts the exchange of ideas. Which is why our new trade agreement lays the foundation for Australian artists, including First Nations artists, receive royalties when their original works of art are resold in the UK.

The UK is Australia’s second largest source of investment, amounting to over $1 trillion in 2022. Modern investment provisions will help promote further growth in two-way investment.

Importantly, an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism is not part of the agreement. This means Australia’s sovereign right to develop and implement legitimate policy measures in areas such as public health and the environment is preserved.

The Albanese Labor Government prioritised legislation in the Parliament to bring this trade deal into force in record time, delivering on our commitment to help businesses diversify their trade and help bring down the cost of living for Australians.

Australian business looking to enter or expand into the UK market can seek assistance from Austrade. Business can also check how the tariff cuts under the agreement apply to their specific goods through DFAT’s FTA Portal and read DFAT’s Guide to Using the A-UKFTA to export and import goods.