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The Australian sheepmeat industry have welcomed the signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA). The agreement eliminates the current 30 per cent import tariff levied on Australian sheepmeat on entry into force. Australia has only exported 111 tonnes of sheepmeat to India over the past 5 years, with premium cuts making up the majority of this trade.

“This focus will undoubtedly continue, with Australian sheepmeat helping meet the ongoing import demand in India for quality product servicing 5-star catering and high-end retail segments.” Roger Fletcher, Australian Meat Industry Council Board & Director Fletcher International Exports said. “The agreement fits well with Australia’s diversified portfolio of export markets, whereby our industry carefully matches specific cuts with market segments and cuisines.” “The removal of the tariff will go a long way to providing more certainty for this trade – especially as the majority of other global sheepmeat customers are paying significantly less duty when importing Australian lamb and mutton.”

In addition to eliminating sheepmeat tariffs, the agreement binds the tariff on raw skins and hides at zero and eliminates the 10 per cent tariff on processed skins/hides.

al relations and an opportunity for us to work collaboratively for years to come.” Ms Skinner.

Australia and the United Kingdom have also formally agreed to immediate tariff-free quotas on a number of Australian exports, with plans to remove the taxes entirely in a decade. The Australia-UK FTA will deliver benefits and opportunities for many Australian producers. For sheep meat this means Australia will have immediate access to a tariff-free quota of 25,000 tonnes rising to 75,000 tonnes in year 10, with tariffs eliminated after ten years.

“Through the agreement Australia is well placed to leverage counter-seasonal supply to the northern hemisphere. Substantial transition quotas will allow improved access for Australian producers to provide high-quality Australian lamb to meet British customer demand,” said Bonnie Skinner CEO Sheep Producers Australia.

“The agreement provides a fantastic opportunity for Australian producers, particularly while the industry is undergoing a significant rebuild phase.”