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Market access

Red Meat 2030: market access priorities

Improved market access, and the successful defence of existing gains, will be critical in achieving industry’s 2030 goal of doubling the value of red meat sales.

Fortunately, Australian red meat and livestock have access to many export markets, thanks to robust integrity systems, an unrivalled disease-free status, and a track record by the Australian industry in partnership with the Government in perusing preferential trade reform.

However, a large number of Australia's overseas markets remain subject to entry barriers. These impediments to trade are imposed in many forms. Border protection measures, including tariffs and quotas, are the most obvious. However, non-tariff barriers and technical imposts are also major issues. While Australian exports have greatly benefited from the reduction in tariffs over the last three decades, non-tariff barriers can often prohibit the industry from fully realising those gains.

Red Meat 2030 outlines industry’s goals in relation to market access:

  • to secure preferential access in over 90% of red meat export markets; and
  • to reduce the impact of non-tariff barriers by A$1 billion.

In terms of preferential access, the Australian red meat industry’s priority is to secure improved import regimes through ongoing trade negotiations with the EU and the ratification of an agreement with the UK. Additional opportunities for preferential trade reform include improved access to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, India and Taiwan.

When it comes to non-tariff reform, removing impediments in the Middle East, China and South East Asia are the priority.


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Current tariffs and safeguards / quotas in Australia's key beef markets (2022)
Market Agreement(s) Applied tariff (%) Safeguard / quota and
out-of-quota tariff
Canada CPTPP 0 Quota: 35,000t; 4.4%
Chile A-CFTA / CPTPP 0 -
China ChAFTA / RCEP 2.4% (5% for carcases) Safeguard: 190,630t; 12% (25% for carcasses)
European Union WTO 20% (Hilton HQB), 0% (shared GFB) Quotas: 3,389t (Hilton HQB); 19,600t (shared GFB); 12.8% + up to 3 €/kg
Gulf Cooperation Council WTO 0-5% -
Hong Kong A-HKFTA 0 -
India WTO 30% -
Indonesia IA-CEPA 0-2.5% -
Japan JAEPA / CPTPP / RCEP 24.1% (from 1 April) Safeguard: : 637,200t (CPTPP); 30% (from 1 April)
Korea KAFTA / RCEP 16% Safeguard: 181,120t; 30%
Malaysia MAFTA / AANZFTA / CPTPP 0 -
Mexico CPTPP 10-13% -
New Zealand CER / AANZFTA / CPTPP / RCEP 0 -
Peru CPTPP / PAFTA 0-9% -
Philippines AANZFTA 0 -
Russia (NB current ban on beef imports) WTO 15% Shared quotas: 11,000t (chilled); 407,000t (frozen); 50%
Singapore SAFTA / AANZFTA / CPTPP / RCEP 0 -
South Africa WTO 40% or 240c/kg -
Taiwan WTO NT $10/kg -
Thailand TAFTA / AANZFTA / RCEP 0 -
United Kingdom WTO 20% Quota: 3,761t; 12.0% + up to 2.6 £/kg
United States AUSFTA 0 438,214t; 0%
Vietnam AANZFTA / CPTPP / RCEP 0 -
Current tariffs and quotas in Australia's key sheepmeat / goatmeat markets (2022)
Market Agreement(s) Applied tariff (%) Quota and out-of-quota tariff (%)
Canada CPTPP 0 -
Chile A-CFTA / CPTPP 0 -
China ChAFTA 1.3-2.6% -
European Union WTO 0 Quota: 5,851t;
12.8% + up to 3.1€/kg
Gulf Cooperation Council WTO 0-5% -
Hong Kong A-HKFTA 0 -
India WTO 30% -
Indonesia  IA-CEPA 0-2.5% -
Japan JAEPA / CPTPP 0 -
Korea KAFTA 2.2% -
Malaysia MAFTA / AANZFTA / CPTPP 0 -
Mexico CPTPP 0-4% -
New Zealand CER / AANZFTA / CPTPP 0 -
Papa New Guinea WTO 0 -
Peru CPTPP / PAFTA 0 -
Philippines AANZFTA 0 (5% for goatmeat) -
Russia WTO 15% -
Singapore SAFTA / AANZFTA / CPTPP 0 -
South Africa WTO 40% or 200c/kg -
Taiwan WTO 15% or NT $11.3/kg -
Thailand TAFTA / AANZFTA 0 -
United Kingdom WTO 0 Quota: 13,335t
12.0% + up to 2.6 £/kg
United States AUSFTA 0 -
Vietnam AANZFTA / CPTPP / RCEO 0 -


Note: as tariff rates and quotas can alter, reference should also be made to DFAT’s FTA Portal as well as the tariff schedules available from the relevant authority in the country of interest.

Acronyms: AANZFTA: ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area; AUSFTA: Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement; CER: Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations; CPTPP: Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership; ChAFTA: China-Australia Free Trade Agreement; A-HKFTA: Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement; IA-CEPA: Indonesia-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement; JAEPA: Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement; KAFTA: Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement; MAFTA: Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement; PAFTA: Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement; RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership; SAFTA: Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement; TAFTA: Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement; WTO: World Trade Organisation.

The importance of market access

As a major exporting industry, changes in access to overseas markets affect the profitability of both individual livestock producers and meat processors. Approximately three quarters of Australian red meat is now consumed in overseas markets. Access to a wide array of global markets allows Australian exporters to maximise the value of each carcase and reduce the risk of being overly reliant on any one buyer. Dynamic international market conditions require an ongoing effort to defend access and, where possible, secure improvements to export conditions via trade reform.

MLA's role in market access

MLA’s market access program, co-funded by producer levies and processor contributions, works alongside industry and government to defend and maintain existing favourable access conditions, position Australia positively in trade negotiations and assist with the alleviation of non-tariff (technical) trade barriers via in-market representation and research.

MLA’s contribution is led by staff in Sydney, and via our overseas offices in Washington, Brussels, London, Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore and Jakarta, coupled with our network of representatives in South East Asia.

Broadly speaking, MLA has a trade advocacy role.

The role of government

Defending market access and securing trade reform are commonly undertaken at a government-to-government level. In so doing, the Australian Government implements an integrated trade policy program with the goal of creating new and more open export markets. This is achieved through three key trade reform avenues:

  • Multilateral trade reform involves discussions with many countries via the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Regional trade reform involves numerous countries within a specified region
  • Bilateral trade reform involves two countries and is advanced via free trade agreements and individual country/sector negotiations on market access


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Free trade reform

Free trade agreements (FTAs) or closer economic partnerships promote stronger trade and commercial ties between participating countries and open-up opportunities for Australian exporters and investors to expand their business into key markets. FTAs can speed up trade liberalisation by delivering gains faster than multilateral or regional processes.

The Australian red meat and livestock industry has been a major beneficiary of FTAs completed to date. This has involved the reduction or elimination of tariffs as well as improvements to other, previously trade restrictive, measures. For example, it is estimated that the benefits of Australia’s the three North Asian FTAs – Korea (KAFTA), Japan (JAEPA) and China (ChAFTA) – will result in a combined $20 billion in extra value for the Australian industry over the next twenty years.

Furthermore, Australia’s recent FTA with Indonesia (IA-CEPA) will eliminate remaining tariffs imposed on Australian livestock and meat exports, while the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will further liberalise red meat access into Japan and remove barriers in other markets.