Agricultural Trade Matters, October 2016

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


​​​​​​​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.

This is the current edition, published October 2016.

To receive an email notification when future editions are made available, subscribe to Agricultural Trade Matters.


$3.1 million in ATMAC Grants available for enhancing cooperation with our trading partners

Cattle yarded in Australia.

Grants are now available for eligible applicants and approved projects under the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) programme, part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper’s initiative on accessing premium agricultural markets.

The ATMAC programme’s objective is 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.

Many of Australia’s trading partners regard cooperation as an important part of maintaining strong bilateral trade relationships.  Cooperation can result in real gains in access and improved farmgate and exporter returns.

To be eligible for funding under the programme, individual applicants or organisations must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be capable of entering into a legally binding agreement with the Australian Government.

Read more about the $3.1 million in ATMAC Grants…

Activities that are likely to meet the programme objective and attract funding include research and development projects, training programmes, delegation visits and attendance at relevant conferences and workshops.

In 2016-17, priority will be given to projects that help realise market access opportunities for Australian exporters under recently ratified free trade agreements, and contribute to the negotiation of protocols for new and improved market access. The grants are available to eligible applicants for approved projects over four years to 30 June 2019.

A number of projects have already been approved under the ATMAC programme.

Meat and Livestock Australia received a grant to deliver a one day seminar in Hanoi on cattle breeding practices.  The seminar attracted nearly 150 participants, including agriculture managers, researchers and government officials.  It provided an opportunity to build and enhance links between the Australian and Vietnamese breeding industries, including the exchange of technical information that will help with the development of the Vietnamese industry. 

The CSIRO also received a grant to strengthen Thailand’s capability to conduct prawn viral disease testing and quarantine management. The CSIRO training programme is designed to improve the testing capacity of Thai animal health laboratories in order to meet Australia’s requirements for importing prawns, without the need for additional on-arrival testing in Australia for diseases of concern such as Yellow Head Virus. 

Applications may be submitted at any time up to 31 December 2018 or until all funding has been allocated.  Applicants can download an application and the ATMAC grant programme guidelines by visiting the ATMAC programme web page.  For further inquiries, contact the ATMAC Programme Manager on 1800 868 175 or by email ATMAC

Government and Industry working together to overcome trade barriers

Container ships at port.

A working group focussed on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) has been established in a bid to improve trade opportunities for Australian exporters.

The NTM working group brings together Australian governments and industries to improve our understanding of NTMs and find ways to address them. The group will inform national efforts to reduce or remove NTMs impeding the trade of Australian agriculture and food products into overseas markets.

The working group includes representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the National Farmers Federation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade and state and territory governments.

NTMs are policy measures other than ordinary custom tariffs that can affect the international trade in goods. Some NTMs are ‘technical’ such as biosecurity standards, food safety standards and government regulations. Other NTMs are non-technical in nature and can involve licensing, price controls, subsidies and quotas. 

Read more about Government and Industry working together…

Science-based sanitary and phytosanitary requirements to protect biosecurity are an example of NTMs that are justifiable even though they may restrict trade. When NTMs are not transparent, are applied arbitrarily or are overly trade restrictive, they act as barriers to trade.

The NTM working group will link governments and industry to create a shared approach to communicating, identifying, quantifying, prioritising and addressing NTMs, with a focus on significant NTMs affecting multiple commodities or markets.

Australian agriculture is highly dependent on world markets: two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production is exported annually. Australia’s agricultural exporters face a highly distorted global market, with many countries applying a range of tariff and non-tariff measures that affect market access and the competitiveness of Australian exports.

New era of closer economic engagement with Indonesia moving beyond a traditional free trade agreement

View of a container ship at port from another ship.

The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) will create the framework for a new era of closer economic engagement between Indonesia and Australia and open new markets and opportunities for Australian businesses, primary producers and service providers.

The fourth round of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) negotiations was hosted by Australia in Sydney from 23-26 August 2016. This was the second round of negotiations to be held since IA-CEPA’s reactivation by Ministers in March 2016.

Over 100 delegates attended the negotiations. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources participated in the negotiations, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The negotiations also included representatives of the Departments of Industry, Innovation and Science, Health, Communications and the Arts, Employment, Immigration and Border Protection, Attorney-General’s, Education and Training, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Read more about closer economic engagement with Indonesia…

The Indonesian delegation was led by the Ministry of Trade and included representatives from a number of Ministries and Agencies, including Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Finance, Industry, Communication and Information, Tourism, Health, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Drug and Food Control (BPOM), Financial Services (OJK), Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU), and the Bank of Indonesia.

Chief Negotiators from Australia and Indonesia reiterated their respective Trade Ministers’ priority to conclude negotiations within 12-18 months. Both parties also welcomed the delivery of the Indonesia Australia Business Partnership Group (IA-BPG) Phase II Report, noting its recommendations and considering how they will inform ongoing negotiations.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources participated in dedicated negotiating groups on goods, services, investment, economic cooperation, electronic-commerce, competition policy and institutional and framework provisions. Both sides approached negotiations with a high level of ambition, discussing initial chapter texts and agreeing to a forward negotiating agenda for the exchange of offers. The fifth round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in Indonesia in November 2016.

Submissions from stakeholders on all aspects of trade with Indonesia in order to inform the IA-CEPA negotiating agenda are welcome.

In particular, information is sought on specific interests and issues in relation to Australia’s trade, investment and economic cooperation with Indonesia. We would also welcome information on barriers to trade and investment faced by Australian goods and services exporters and investors in Indonesia, as well as experiences with economic cooperation activities.

Submissions can be made through the DFAT website.


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.



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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