Regulations and trade agreements

The NSW Government supports the Commonwealth negotiation of comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs) that are consistent with the World Trade Organization rules and guidelines and which complement and reinforce the multilateral trading system.

Free trade agreements promote stronger trade and commercial ties between participating countries and open up opportunities for Australian exporters and investors to expand their business into key markets. FTAs can speed up trade liberalisation by delivering gains faster than through multilateral or regional processes.

Free Trade Agreements in effect

On 17 June 2015, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed by Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb AO MP, and the Chinese Commerce Minister, Mr Gao Hucheng. It is expected to come in force in 2016, once domestic processes have been completed.

NSW Trade & Investment has developed its North Asia FTA Engagement Plan to say how it will help NSW businesses take advantage of the opportunities from the Korean, Japanese and Chinese agreements.

Free Trade Agreements under negotiation

Australia is currently negotiating or considering a number of new FTAs with countries including: 

  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Pacific Islands 
  • Trans-Pacific Partnerships (including Brunei Darussalam, Peru and Vietnam) 

FTAs with these countries could provide substantial economic benefits for Australia through improved access to markets.


There are few regulations on exports from Australia. However, some goods are subject to export restrictions and in these cases applications must be made to the relevant authorities.

All exports must be reported to Customs either by the exporter, agent, shipping company or airline.

A list of goods subject to export restrictions is available at the Customs website.