​​​​​Media Release

First day of trade under JAEPA​

15 January 2015

Today marks the first day of trade under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), which will eliminate or reduce tariff rates on many of our key agricultural products destined for Japan.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said JAEPA is good news for Australian farmers with tariffs notably reduced or eliminated on beef, livestock, dairy, seafood, wine and horticulture. 

“The management work of the Coalition Government is paying off with record beef prices and record sheep prices now being recorded. Expanding the live cattle trade and live sheep trade and finalising free trade agreements means a better price is coming through to the farm gate and farmers are now making the money needed to reinvest in their farms and our nation. 

“Go to the sale yards and ask if the prices are better than two years ago – ask if we have made a difference” Minister Joyce said.

“The first round of tariff cuts will run from today until 31 March 2015, and future tariff cuts will happen annually on 1 April, starting this year, to align with the Japanese financial year,” Minister Joyce said.

Reduced tariff rates are cost saving for Australian exports and give our exporters a real advantage over international competitors. For example, from today the 38.5 per cent tariff for chilled and frozen beef will be reduced dramatically to 32.5 per cent and 30.5 per cent respectively, providing Australian beef exporters with significantly improved market access.

“With the value of our beef trade worth $1.4 billion in 2013–14, today’s tariff cuts will see a reduction in tariffs of over $19 million between now and 31 March.

“There are a variety of other commodities that will see significant improvements in market access, including through a number of new Australia-only quotas with lower tariffs. 

For example, Japan is Australia’s most important export market for dairy products worth A$432​ million in 2013-14, with cheese the biggest category worth A$343 million. JAEPA includes new Australia-only quotas with zero or reducing tariffs for several of Australia’s export cheese categories. 

Another example, the 25.5 per cent tariff on honey will be eliminated over 10 years within a growing Australia-only quota, rising from 80 tonnes for 15 January, then 88 tonnes from 1 April, and reaching 160 tonnes by year eleven of the agreement.

“The Department of Agriculture is responsible for administering eight of the new quotas under the agreement including for bovine offal, pork, poultry, preserved and prepared meats, orange and apple juice, and honey. 

“Under the agreement, we’ve negotiated a review clause for other commodities that sees further market access within five years or sooner if one of our competitors gets access.

“The Coalition Government remains committed to providing Australian agriculture with increased trade opportunities in our current markets and also in new and emerging markets,” Minister Joyce said.

To stay up-to-date on the Japanese quotas all interested parties need to do is join a simple email subscription list—email quota.admin@agriculture.gov.au​ with your details and ‘subscribe’ in the heading. 

For more information about the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement  (JAEPA) visit www.agriculture.gov.au​