The Federal Budget and International Trade

The Federal Budget for 2024-25 was delivered by Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Tuesday night (14 May). The Minister for Trade, Don Farrell has issued a media release jointly with Penny Wong (Foreign Affairs) and Pat Conroy (International Development and the Pacific) which draws attention to aspects of the Budget that will affect internal trade.

International trade and investment is critical to the Australian economy, creating jobs and prosperity, and opening up opportunities for Australian businesses to expand and diversify globally. The media release notes that the government is expanding the successful Australia-India Business Exchange, helping even more Australian businesses benefit from new trade and investment opportunities with India and across South Asia.

The Budget also provides $10.9 million to expand the successful Go Global Toolkit, which offers online export information and advice to help Australian businesses expand overseas and make use of our free trade agreements.

The government has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the benefits of trade are shared widely amongst the Australian community, by enhancing the Trade 2040 Taskforce giving business, union and community representatives an active role in their trade policy agenda.

The Budget includes $2 million for Austrade to provide additional surge support for affected Australian agricultural exporters to re-establish commercial connections in China and continue to diversify into other markets.

The Government will provide an additional $29.9 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $1.0 million per year ongoing) to continue initiatives to improve cross-border trade by enhancing border and biosecurity risk assessments and government to business trade data sharing, including delivering the Simplified Trade System reforms and a Digital Trade Accelerator program.

The Australian Border Force will receive funding to deliver a coordinated multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional response to the illicit tobacco trade, in conjunction with Commonwealth, state, and territory partners (this follows the announcement of lower-than-expected collections of tobacco excise for 2023-24). Funding will be provided over two years from 2024-25 for border enforcement activities relating to an import ban on engineered stone products.

As we reported last month, the government will sustain Ukraine’s duty-free access into Australia for a further two years, until July 2026, to support Ukraine’s economy.

For information about international trade and shipping, talk to us here at Colless Young. As Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders, we offer you correct, professional advice on your import and export cargo, by air or sea. We are based in Brisbane and handle your shipping and transport needs, including Customs clearance & quarantine procedures, warehousing and trucking – at all Australian ports and airports.