In an earlier post this week, we discussed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) in brief summary. We now have further information to elaborate.

So what is CPTPP? Well essentially it’s a type of free trade agreement, which Australia is a signatory to, involving 11 different countries that will agree to certain preferential tariff rates (mostly free). The countries involved in the agreement are as follows:

  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Chile 
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam

Commencing on December 30th 2018, there will be immediate cuts to some goods from some of the countries mentioned above. There will then be further cuts then made on January 1st 2019 and again 60 days later as the agreements with other countries are finalised.

What this means is that as an importer, you must address the following key elements to take advantage of the CPTPP:

  1. What goods am I importing?
  2. How are these goods treated under the CPTPP?
  3. Where are my goods produced? Will they qualify under the CPTPP?
  4. Certify the origin of your goods to ensure you can take advantage of the CPTPP.

Whilst we are aiming in every sense to help our customers transition into understanding this agreement, it is still rather complex and to explain it all under this post would be difficult. Addressing the above key points would be our primary recommendation.

Our Customs Broker can of course assist you in making a determination with reference to points 1-3 above, however as point 4 provides, to certify the process is reliant upon your supplier to also understand their obligations under the agreement and to liaise with their local authority to assist in certifying those goods.

What’s more exciting about the CPTPP is that the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) have also announced some amendments to the Customs Act 1901 to allow for provisions to waive the requirement for certificates of origin and looks as though they may allow a statement which meets the critical required information under the agreement, to be included on a suppliers commercial invoice, whether that be a producer or an exporter of those goods from a CPTPP territory. This development might help to reduce some of the trade barriers imposed by attempting to obtain a certificate of origin in the instance where a supplier is unable to, or incapable of providing one.

For a more detailed scope on the CPTPP, we urge you to read the following guide, which we have included for your reference and understanding. cptpp_guide