Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

The Australia-China Free Trade Agreement is being billed as the deal of a lifetime for the Australian Economy.

We’ve been nipping at the heels of the ChAFTA Implementation Team to find out how the deal is going, and details of the implementation timeline.

Australia and China concluded FTA negotiations on 17 November 2014. Both countries are now working on the legal verification and translation of the text ahead of signature.

The next steps, in accordance with normal Australian treaty-making processes, are:

  • Signature of the Agreement, which will take place once both sides have completed the legal review and translation of the text of the Agreement.
  • The text of the Agreement, accompanied by a National Interest Analysis, will then be tabled in the Australian Parliament for 20 joint sitting days.
  • Following tabling, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will conduct an inquiry into the Agreement and will report back to Parliament.
  • Legislation will be introduced to make any necessary amendments to existing legislation, and will be considered by the Parliament.
  • Relevant Regulations would also be amended in due course.
  • During this time, the Chinese Government will undertake its own domestic treaty-making processes.
  • When Australia and China have completed their domestic processes, both countries will exchange diplomatic notes to certify that they are ready for the Agreement to enter into force.
  • 30 days after this exchange or on a date otherwise agreed, ChAFTA will enter into force.

After the agreement is signed, ChAFTA will enter into force after both sides have completed their domestic treaty-making processes.

If you have any further queries on the Australia China Free Trade Agreement, head over to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.