Red tape, unnecessary technical regulations, opaque standards and discriminatory practices hurt Australian exporters’ ability to compete in global markets.
The process for identifying and managing such challenges can be unclear – both domestically and internationally.
To assist exporters, the Export Council of Australia (ECA), Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) and the Industry Growth Centres are launching a new Trade Barriers Register.
The register has been developed by industry, for industry, to help give visibility to and resolve trade barriers affecting Australian businesses, says Acting CEO of the ECA, Heath Baker.
“As free trade agreements have lowered the tariffs Australian businesses face internationally, other forms of trade barriers have grown in relevance,” Mr Baker said. “But unlike tariffs, these barriers can be difficult to identify. This register is critical to help businesses identify and avoid or overcome these barriers.”
Australian businesses can use the register to easily report regulatory and commercial barriers that impact their business success. The register will also serve as an information portal where businesses can find the latest news and case studies on trade.
The TBR captures the full spectrum of challenges businesses face when doing business overseas:
- Barriers overseas, as well as in Australia
- Imports as well as exports
- Regulatory as well as commercial barriers
The ECR will manage the register and has agreements in place to collaborate with the Australian Government.
Exciting and innovative tool
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews said: “This is an exciting and innovative tool to help Australian businesses identify and overcome red tape. I’m delighted our Government is able to support it via the Industry Growth Centres.”
Ms Andrews says the government is committed to supporting industry to take their products to the global marketplace, boost the economy and create new jobs.
Managing Director of FIAL, Mirjana Price said: “We are working with the Industry Growth Centres and Export Council of Australia to understand exactly where Australian businesses are facing red tape and how these issues can be better communicated to government.”
Managing Director of OBE Organics, Dalene Wray, said: “The Trade Barriers Register is an important tool we now have at our fingertips to provide evidence to Government that these trade barriers are real and impact our ability to trade competitively in global markets.
“It’s in all our interests to invest time and energy in registering our challenges using this new tool, so that we can remove obstacles and solve challenges together.”
The Trade Barriers Register is available at: tradebarriersregister.com.au