Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement

22 May 2012 4:51 PM - Long term benefts for rice industry

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australian Inc (RGA) has acknowledged that today’s announcement by Federal Minister for Trade, the Hon. Dr Craig Emerson, of a Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia will have long term benefits for the Australian rice industry.

RGA Executive Director, Ruth Wade, said the Australian rice industry has been involved in consultations throughout the negotiation of the agreement and while the industry is disappointed at the long time frames for change, there is now a clear agreement in place for the elimination of all tariffs.

Mrs Wade said  “Under the Agreement, Malaysia and Australia will cut tariffs earlier and on a wider range of goods than had been originally expected and this is a positive sign for future trade negotiations.”

Details of the agreement are that rice is excluded from tariff commitments until 2023, when the tariff will be bound at 30% and then reduced annually until it is eliminated in 2026.  From 2023, rice imports from Australia will be subject to an open licensing system instead of the current monopoly import arrangements:

  • there will be no restriction on who can import rice; and
  • there will be no restriction on whether product is imported in bulk or retail packs.

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