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Citrus Tariff cut welcomed

Citrus Australia has welcomed news that the tariff placed on Australian navel oranges destined for South Korea will fall from 50 per cent to 30 per cent under the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement.

February 25, 2014 4:05am

Citrus growers have welcomed the new FTA.


Citrus Australia has welcomed news that the tariff placed on Australian navel oranges destined for South Korea will fall from 50 per cent to 30 per cent under the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).

The reduction would apply during Australia’s export season (April to September), and the tariff will be eliminated entirely over a seven-year period.

Citrus Australia chief executive officer Judith Damiani said the news was a significant win for Australian citrus growers, which if progressed quickly could bring benefits this season.

‘‘Australian navel oranges exported to South Korea reached a value of $2.04million in 2012, but we have faced serious competitive pressures from other trading nations such as South Africa and Chile,’’ Ms Damiani said.

‘‘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.’’

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,’’ Ms Damiani said.

Citrus Australia visited South Korea last November, spending time on the citrus growing island of Jeju where representatives met with the Jeju Citrus Growers Association to discuss the FTA, increased co-operation and trade.

‘‘The meetings were positive and an invitation was issued for the Korean citrus growers to visit Australia,’’ Ms Damiani said.

As the two countries are counter seasonal, Citrus Australia was able to assure Jeju growers that Australian citrus would not compete with local produce.

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