Agricultural Trade Matters, July 2016

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Agricultural Trade Matters


​​​​​​​This is the most recent edition, published July 2016.

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Agricultural trade matters provides an overview of what the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Government are doing to support international agricultural trade.


Fifth meeting of the Australia-China Sanitary and Phytosanitary High Level Dialogue in Beijing

The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Waters Resources, Mr Daryl Quinlivan, and his co-chair, Ms Zhang Qinrong, Vice Minister, AQSIQ, signing protocols at the conclusion of the meeting, with Chinese and Australian government officials looking on.

The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr Daryl Quinlivan, led a delegation to Beijing on 1 June 2016 and co-chaired the fifth China-Australia Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) High Level Dialogue with his counterpart, the Vice Minister, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Ms Zhang Qinrong.

This dialogue is the major bilateral forum between Australia and China on SPS and technical market access issues. It was a positive and cooperative meeting with good discussions on a range of issues. In a big win for both countries, the meeting saw the signing of protocols to increase two-way commercial opportunities for Australian and Chinese agricultural producers and consumers.

The new protocol for exporting Australian nectarines to China, was achieved with close collaboration between the department, the Australian summerfruit industry and government officials in nectarine producing states like Victoria and South Australia.

“This provides an excellent example of what can be achieved when governments and industry work together to secure access to priority markets,” said Louise Van Meurs, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources First Assistant Secretary (see the department’s media release upon conclusion of the protocols).

Read more about the meeting…

Mr Quinlivan and Ms Qinrong also signed protocols for importing nectarines from China and expanded conditions for importing table grapes from China.

Australian producers and exporters seeking more information about export opportunities to overseas markets can visit Exporting plants and plant products​.


Simpler, improved agricultural export laws on the way

Australian farmers.

New export legislation will help farmers and exporters make the most of export opportunities and increase their returns. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is seeking stakeholder feedback to help develop a more modern, flexible and effective legislative framework for agricultural exports.

Farmers and exporters have plenty of time to have their say before new legislation is introduced in April 2020. In the lead-up period, the department will also work with stakeholders to ensure businesses understand what the improved legislation will mean for them.

Changes will make the rules easier for exporters to understand and apply, and include improvements to the enforcement tools that help protect Australia’s export reputation.

Parts of the agricultural export system are being reviewed under separate reforms, including livestock export certification and the allocation and administration of quotas. The outcomes of these reforms will be included in the improved export legislation.

Read more about improving export legislation…

There is no change to Australia’s commitment to meet the requirements of our trading partners.
The department incorporated feedback stakeholders on the current legislation as part of our review in 2015, and we will continue to consult with stakeholders and work with industry to achieve the best outcomes for our exporters.

Targeted consultation with industry bodies and trading partners is planned to start in October 2016, with wider consultation to accompany the release of the exposure draft legislation in 2017. Go to the department’s website for more information.

ePing – the new ‘must have’ for Australian exporters


ePing is an online web service that provides businesses and governments with up to date information on regulations in export markets around the world, including product requirements and standards. ePing’s development was led by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs primarily as a tool to be used by farmers in developing countries to raise awareness of changes in trading conditions. The functionality of the system allows industries to focus on particular commodity/country combinations that are of interest to them.

Read more about ePing…

The system brings together notifications of changes to Australia’s trading partners’ Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, which have been notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

ePing’s two key functions allow users to easily track regulations for different products or export markets by registering to receive customised email alerts, or to search manually for existing regulations.

ePing is a free system and is updated as new notifications and documents are provided to the WTO. The Department encourages you to register for ePing notifications to see how it can help in your day-to-day activities.

The Australian Government will continue to circulate both SPS and TBT notifications as is current practise. To sign up for SPS and TBT notifications go to Department of Agriculture and Water Resources subscriptions listing

Further information can be found at

Strengthening agricultural ties with Indonesia

Philip Rachmat (Interpreter), Joni Anwar (IAQA), Esmiralda Eka Fitri (IAQA) and Adrian Dinsdale (the department) at the PEQ facility.

A visit to Australia by two officials from the Indonesian Agricultural Quarantine Agency (IAQA) has provided an opportunity for the two countries to share important information on agricultural trade. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources staff recently hosted Mr Joni Anwar and Ms Esmiralda Eka Fitri on a tour of inspection processes at Melbourne airport, mail and port facilities and the new Post Entry Quarantine Facility at Mickleham.

Mr Anwar and Ms Eka Fitri then visited the Melbourne Wholesale Market to view treatment and cold storage facilities for fresh produce. They also visited the Victorian Certified Seed Potato Authority’s (ViCSPA) seed potato research facility in Toolangi.

Australia is seeking market access for seed potatoes from Victoria and South Australia into Indonesia. The research and certification services provided by ViCSPA demonstrate both the high-quality of Australian seed potatoes and the extent of our biosecurity system.

Read more about the visit…

The Indonesian officials will use the information gained about managing biosecurity risk to develop Indonesia’s own biosecurity strategy.

Sharing knowledge with the Indonesian Government is an important part of building relationships. The visit provided an opportunity for Australian officials to advocate for the adoption of international standards and the implementation of evidence-based import inspection and risk management policies to facilitate trade.

This opportunity for cooperation was identified at the most recent Australia-Indonesia Working Group on Agriculture, Food and Forestry Cooperation held in Canberra in November 2015. The visit was funded through the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) programme, which aims to open, improve and/or maintain access to overseas markets for Australian agricultural products by building stronger relationships with trading partners, neighbouring countries and international organisations.

Further information about the ATMAC programme can be found at Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation programme.


Sweet citrus success - new market access for Blood Oranges to Korea

Australian blood oranges.

Blood oranges can now be exported to Korea, after revisions to the existing citrus protocol were agreed between the Australian and Korean governments on 20 April 2016. While blood oranges form only a small segment of the Australian citrus industry, this is another market access win that provides Australian citrus producers with greater export opportunities and Korean consumers with a wider choice of Australian produce.

The new market access helps industry further leverage the outcomes from the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA). Since KAFTA came into force on 12 December 2014, exports of Australian oranges to Korea have increased 632 percent in volume to 880 tonnes in 2015.

The 50 per cent tariff on oranges was eliminated through a country specific quota for Australia on entry into force of KAFTA. Australian orange producers will further benefit under KAFTA with tariffs on export volumes above the quota being completely eliminated by 2020 for exports to Korea occurring during the Australian orange season (1 April – 30 September). The current out of quota tariff for 1 April – 30 September has been reduced from 50 per cent to 20 per cent.

Read more about citrus export to Korea…

The outcome for oranges under KAFTA has made Australia’s oranges more price competitive in the Korean market place.

To find out about the requirements to export blood oranges to Korea, visit the department’s Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR).

To find out more about tariff reductions under KAFTA or Australia’s other recent FTAs across multiple products, visit the Australian Government’s FTA portal.

Eagle eyes keeps Australia-EU wheat trade on track

An export vessel.

A potential obstacle to Australian grain trade with the EU has been avoided due to vigilant monitoring of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) notifications to members by Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. A notification by the EU of its intention to lower the maximum residue level (MRL) of an insecticide, deltamethrin, that is used on stored grain in Australia was picked up by the department’s National Residue Survey (NRS) team.  The EU proposed to lower the MRL to a level below the internationally agreed Codex Alimentarius standard.

The NRS team, which monitors residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in commodities, identified the proposed MRL as a potential concern for the grains industry as Australia uses this chemical and has substantial trade in wheat with the EU. In the years 2011 to 2015 Australia exported 900,098 tonnes of wheat to the EU, at a total value of AUD $363.8 million.

NRS immediately consulted with Australian grain exporters to discuss the proposal which could have an adverse impact on grain trade between Australia and the EU. A submission was developed that requested the European Commission reconsider its proposed reduction of the MRL for deltamethrin, taking into account data provided by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Read more about Australia – EU wheat trade…

In June 2016 the EU responded thanking Australia for the comments and advising that after considering the information provided and the end use of the commodity, they had agreed to set a higher MRL which will allow Australia’s trade to continue uninterrupted.

Sign up for SPS and TBT Notifications today, monitor proposed changes and make comments. We can all make a difference!

Sign up to the SPS Notification mailing list

Sign up to the TBT Notification mailing list


Are you an Australian Exporter? Then tell the world about your international success!

The Australian Export Awards (AEA) is a national program that honours Australian businesses for their export achievements and contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is a proud sponsor of the AEA, and encourages exporters to enter through their state or territory’s export awards program. There are 12 national award categories, entry is free and the application process is straightforward.

There is still time to enter for your chance to:

  • Boost your profile and reputation among local and international customers
  • Distinguish yourself from your competitors as an AEA winner / finalist
  • Increase your profile with the Australian Government and your state/territory government
  • Attend a masterclass hosted by business experts and top exporters
  • Critically review your business during the application process and uncover ways to improve your export strategies and operations
  • Gain media exposure for your achievements
  • Network with other exporters.

Visit for more information and to apply.

Grape it up! - Table grape exports to Japan soar

Australian table grapes.

Strong demand by Japan for Australia’s high quality table grapes for the 2015-16 season has seen exports surging, with Japan now Australia’s third largest market for table grapes with exports to Japan behind only China ($101.6 million) and Indonesia ($55.9 million). In the 2015-16 season 547 containers were exported to Japan, compared to 165 containers in the 2014-15 season.

The reduction in tariffs under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) for table grapes exported from November to February dropped from 5.9 per cent to 4.9 per cent on 1 April 2016. The next reduction is due on 1 April 2017, reducing to 3.9 per cent and finally to zero on 1 April 2021.

The tariff currently remains higher for table grapes exported towards the end of Australia’s season from March through until October, however JAEPA brought a reduction on this tariff from 13.9 to 12.4 per cent on 1 April 2016, and will reduce further for this period to 10.8 per cent on 1 April 2017 and finally to zero on 1 April 2021.

Read more about grape export to Japan…

For the current export season, reduction in tariffs under JAEPA have played an important role in the increased demand for table grapes in Japan. Additional measures such as efficiencies brought through the department trained, industry-based Authorised Officers (AOs) and continued industry driven promotional activities in Japan regarding the quality of Australia’s grapes, have also been key in assisting table grape exports to Japan increase by over 350 per cent from $8.4 million in 2014-15, to $31.5 million in 2015-16.

The Australian Table Grape Association (AGTA) has reported that Japan has posted the strongest growth for this season and cannot get enough supply to meet demand for fresh Australian grapes. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price for the sweeter Australian fruit. The AGTA further reported the table grape industry’s use of AOs under the government’s Package Assisting Small Exporters has not only saved time and money, but had given exporters greater flexibility whilst maintaining Australia’s high standards for biosecurity.


Trade and Promotional Events


Austrade coordinates events and exhibitions, like AWIC, around the world, to support the promotion of Australian food and agriculture. Find out about events in your export markets through Austrade's event search.


ABARES Outlook 2016

Don't worry if you missed out on Outlook 2016. You can find out about the latest economic analysis of agricultural trade by viewing the presentations on the Outlook website.


MICoR – Manual of Importing Country Requirements


MICoR allows you to find out about, and keep up to date on, the importing requirement of your key export markets.


FTA Portal


The Australian Government FTA Portal provides a comprehensive tariff finder, with information on rules of origin and market snapshots for your searched products.


ePing – Electronic Export Alert


ePing allows you to register for notifications on changes of your export markets' sanitary and phytosanity (SPS e.g. biosecurity and food safety) or technical barriers to trade (TBTs e.g. labelling) measures. If you have conerns about another country's measure let Australia's contact point know.  


BICON – Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions database


BICON helps to determine if conditions exist for your imports and if a permit is required. The database houses information for more than 20,000 plants, animals, minerals and biological products. 

Last reviewed: 1 October 2020
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