Explanatory MemorandumCirculated By Authority of the Minister for Home Affairs, the Honourable Bob Debus Mp
The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) to introduce new rules of origin for goods that are imported into Australia from Chile to give effect to the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (the Agreement). The Customs Act amendments will enable goods that satisfy the rules of origin to enter Australia at preferential rates of customs duty.
Complementary amendments will also be made to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff Act) by the Customs Tariff Amendment (Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2008 to give effect to the Agreement.
The Agreement is a comprehensive and wide-ranging agreement that provides Chile and Australia with more liberal access to each other's goods, services and investments markets.
Formal talks between the Governments of Australia and Chile to establish a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries began in February 2007. These negotiations concluded in May 2008.
Following finalisation of the text, the Agreement was signed on 30 July 2008. The Agreement was tabled in Parliament on 17 June 2008. The amendments to the Agreement are expected to come into force on 1 January 2009, subject to Australia's treaty process and the exchange of diplomatic letters.
To give effect to the preferential entry of goods under the Agreement, the amendments contained in this Bill provide rules for determining whether goods are Chilean originating goods. The amendments to the Customs Tariff Act will provide for the preferential entry of goods that meet those rules.
The amendments contained in this Bill also impose obligations on exporters of Australian goods to Chile and for which a preferential rate of duty will be claimed, and on people who produce such goods.
The amendments contained in this Bill will be operative from the latter of 1 January 2009 or the day on which the Agreement comes into force for Australia.