New protocol signed to improve FTA efficiency

A new protocol has been signed amending the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).

Tim Groser“The changes included in the Protocol will make AANZFTA more business-friendly, transparent and flexible,” trade minister Tim Groser says.

Groser and other AANZFTA economic ministers signed the protocol today at a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

“The protocol does not change any of the preferences under AANZFTA. Instead it’s about tidying up some inefficiencies and unnecessary fish hooks that we know create challenges for exporters.

“These changes relate to product-specific rules of origin, certificate of origin requirement, and the process for transposition of tariff reduction and origin schedules when the classification documents on which they are based are revised.”

The protocol will now undergo New Zealand’s treaty examination process.

It is expected that the protocol will enter into force in early 2015, once negotiations concerning implementation requirements are completed.

AANZFTA was signed in 2009 and entered into force for New Zealand in 2010.

More information about AANZFTA can be found at www.asean.fta.govt.nz.

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