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The Free Trade Agreement between Japan and South Korea and what it means to Australia.

Korea – Australia free trade agreement.

The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) is a world-class, comprehensive agreement that substantially liberalises Australia’s trade with Korea – our fourth-largest trading partner. The Agreement helps level the playing field for Australian exporters competing with those from the United States, the European Union, Chile and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), who benefit from existing trade deals with Korea. Without KAFTA, Australian exporters would continue to face a disadvantage in the Korean market.

KAFTA eliminates or reduces barriers to the trade in goods between Korea and Australia. This benefits Australian businesses that seek to export Australian goods to Korea or want to import Korean goods for sale in Australia.

A key impediment to importing and exporting goods is tariffs (customs duties) – taxes imposed by governments on goods arriving from overseas. KAFTA sets Korean tariffs at zero for 84 per cent (by 2013 import value) of Australian exports on day one of KAFTA’s operation, rising to 95.7 per cent within 10 years and 99.8 per cent once KAFTA is fully implemented. KAFTA also sets Australian tariffs at zero on 86 per cent of Korean exports from day one, rising to 100 per cent in eight years.

Australian importers in taking advantage of preferential tariff treatment under KAFTA and things we can do for you.

  • Identifying the customs tariff code for your goods is a critical first step.
  • We will assist you to identify the preferential duty rate for your goods.
  • Most eligible goods will benefit from a ‘preferential’ (i.e. lower) duty rate under KAFTA.


Only goods that ‘originate’ in Korea are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under KAFTA. There are specific rules to determine eligibility.

  • This prevents parties from other countries gaining the benefit of KAFTA by simply transhipping their goods through Korea.

My goods qualify for preferential treatment under KAFTA. How do I ensure I get the lower tariff rate?

  • Goods seeking preferential treatment under KAFTA must be accompanied by appropriate documentation, known as a ‘certificate of origin’.


Step 1: WHAT goods am I exporting or importing? (tariff classification)

Step 2: HOW are these goods treated under KAFTA? (tariff treatment)

Step 3: WHERE are my goods produced? (rules of origin)

Step 4: CERTIFY your goods with a Certificate of Origin


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