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Impact of non-tariff barriers on grains exports exposed

Grain Central, May 4, 2018

A NEW report shows 54 non-tariff measures in 15 markets are restricting access for Australian grain to key export markets or adding unnecessary costs.

The Coalition Government said it was working with the grain industry to address the non-tariff barriers issues raised in the report.

Non-tariff barriers or non-tariff measures can include quotas on the amount of a commodity which can be exported to a certain country, difficult or expensive testing or complicated labelling.

The government-funded Grains non-tariff measures report was led by Grain Trade Australia, GrainGrowers and the Grain Industry Market Access Forum.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said he was looking at ways to help Australia’s tackle issues raised in the report.

“Our grains industry is big business, with 75 per cent of Australia’s grain exported, creating $14.6 billion in export revenue in 2016-17,” Minister Littleproud said.

“With the successful reduction of tariffs under free trade agreements, we now need to work on reducing barriers besides tariffs.

“I’m looking at ways to give our 16 agricultural counsellors overseas more grunt as they deal with these issues every day.

“While many non-tariff measures are in place to meet legitimate biosecurity, food safety and consumer information requirements, they can also restrict trade and increase costs.

“Not only do these measures vary across the different commodities, but they range from complicated technical barriers to trade like testing and labelling requirements through to import quota restrictions, import licensing systems and complex sanitary and phytosanitary measures like maximum residue limits.

“We want our farmers to have the best chance to get the best price for their high quality produce, bringing more money back through the farmgate to keep our regional communities strong.

“We are committed to working with producers, exporters and importing countries to ensure the trading system is fair and transparent, and will work with industry on their priorities following this report.”

The grains industry will now discuss the full report, before seeking to meet with the Government about the industry’s key strategic trade measure priorities moving forward.

The report summary may be found here: http://www.graingrowers.com.au/images/30_policy/Resources/grains%20ntm%20summary%20report%20-%20final%20-%203%20may%202018.pdf

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