This report is intended to assist people making a submission to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the import of processed fruit products.
About the inquiry
On 21 June 2013, the Australian Government asked the Commission to inquire into whether safeguard action under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules is justified against imports of selected processed fruit products falling within subheading 2008 of the Australian Customs Tariff. The subheading is defined as:
Fruit, nuts and other edible parts of plants, otherwise prepared or preserved, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or spirit, not elsewhere specified or included.
As specified in the terms of reference, the inquiry covers products under the following tariff classifications:
- 2008.30.00 (citrus)
- 2008.40.00 (pears)
- 2008.50.00 (apricots)
- 2008.70.00 (peaches)
- 2008.97.00 (mixtures)
- 2008.99.00 (other).
The terms of reference are reprinted at the beginning of this report.
Safeguard action is temporary, ‘emergency action’ (using tariffs, tariff-quotas or quotas) implemented in situations where a surge of imports causes or threatens to cause serious injury to a domestic industry. Safeguard measures may be applied for up to four years, and may be extended for a further four years, subject to several conditions.
The Commission is to provide a report to the Australian Government by 20 December 2013 on whether safeguard measures are justified. In addition, the Commission is to provide an ‘accelerated report’ by 20 September 2013, as to whether provisional safeguard measures should be put in place.