Australia’s citrus industry has welcomed news that the import duty for its navel oranges in South Korea will fall from 50 per cent to 30 per cent under the Korea-Australia Free trade Agreement (KAFTA).
Once KAFTA is ratified, the import duty will fall to 30 per cent during Australia’s April to September export season, then will be eliminated entirely over a seven-year period, Citrus Australia announced in a press release.
Australia and South Korea are expected to sign the agreement within the next four months, the industry body said.
Citrus Australia chief executive officer Judith Damiani said the trade deal was a significant win for Australian citrus growers, and if progressed quickly, could bring benefits this season.
“Australian navel oranges exported to South Korea reached a reached a value of A$2.04m (US$1.84m) in 2012, but we have faced serious competitive pressures from other trading nations such as South Africa and Chile. A tariff reduction from 50 per cent to 30 per cent right away will mean we have a much greater chance of expanding our trade into South Korea,” she said.
The 144 per cent mandarin tariff is also set to fall, but over a significantly longer period (18 years).
“Quarantine access has not yet been achieved for mandarins but now the prospects of tariff elimination and increasing production in Australia will fast-track this work,” Damiani said.