FTA Basics

Am I eligible?

Whether you are eligible to take advantage of the benefits of a FTA will depend on the terms of each particular FTA.

If you are exporting goods, there are Rules of Origin set out in each FTA, which are specific to each particular good and which can differ from one FTA to another. The Rules of Origin are used to determine which goods qualify for preferential treatment under the FTA. It is not enough that the goods are exported from Australia.

These Rules of Origin are to ensure that a minimum level of local content is included or production is occurring in one of the FTA countries, before you can take advantage of the preferential duty rates. Depending on the product, to satisfy the Rules of Origin you may have to satisfy one of the following tests:

  • That the good is a naturally occurring product of Australia
  • That the good is made entirely in Australia or of entirely Australian materials
  • That the customs classification of imported materials used to manufacture the exported good is different from the customs classification of the exported good. The level of difference will depend on the exported good and the FTA
  • That the level of Australian production costs is greater than a specified minimum percentage of the value of the exported goods
  • That the exported good underwent a particular manufacturing or processing operation in Australia

Exporting goods

If you are an exporter of goods, you may also need a Certificate of Origin, or similar document, to prove that your goods meet the Rules of Origin. In some cases, these documents can be issued by a manufacturer, producer or exporter, but in some cases they must be obtained from a Government or authorised body, for example your state Chamber of Commerce.

Shipping goods through a third country

If you ship your goods through a third country, you may lose eligibility, although there are often exceptions with specific rules.

Exporting services

If you are providing services, you many need to prove Australian ownership of your business to be eligible for certain benefits.

If you are a provider of services, you will still be bound by the local laws of the country in which you are providing services. An FTA will create an opportunity, but will not override the country's domestic rules and regulations. You will need to understand your rights and obligations fully.

Applying for a Certificate of Origin

Certificates of Australian Origin: used to specify goods that have been grown, produced or manufactured in Australia.

Certified Declaration of Origin: verifies the origin of goods manufactured outside Australia and or combined in a shipment with Australian originating products

How to obtain a Certificate of Origin

  • CertConnect - online submission
  • eCertify - online submission
  • Contact your local chamber of commerce
Watch the video tutorial on Proof of Origin Declarations