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Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement: A new era for Australia-UK trade

05 May 2023

Prime Ministers Albanese and Sunak met in London today and announced the long-awaited entry into force date of midnight 31 May 2023 for the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA), following the expected completion of UK domestic processes.

Prime Minister Albanese is in London to attend the Coronation of King Charles III, marking a significant week for both Australia’s head of state and new era for Australia-UK trade relations.

The A-UK FTA, which was agreed in principle in June 2021 and signed on 17 December 2021, will see Australian beef and sheepmeat/goat meat access to the UK liberalised over a transition period.

“The FTA marks a new chapter in Australia-UK trade relations and, for our sector, provides an important framework to continue to do business with British customers and consumers,” said Andrew McDonald, chair of the Australia-UK Red Meat Market Access Taskforce.

“Australia and the UK have a long history of trade with British consumers being loyal purchasers of Australian beef and sheepmeat.

“The FTA provides an opportunity to modernise our trading relationship for the future, and we look forward to more streamlined trade and reduced supply chain costs with the implementation of the agreement.”

From midnight 31 May, Australian beef and sheepmeat exports will enter the UK under a new tariff rate quota (TRQ) regime – with initial TRQ tonnages gradually increasing over a 10-year transition period. Product within the TRQ amounts will enter tariff free.

While there will be no TRQ regime post year 10, a volume safeguard provision will apply until the end of year 15, beyond which no safeguards will apply.

“We congratulate the Prime Ministers on finalising this significant milestone in Australia-UK relations and express our gratitude to all who have worked diligently to realise such an outcome,” Mr McDonald said.