Don Farrell ( Australia’s Trade Minister) has included easier access to the country’s vast critical raw materials (CRM) sector as part of negotiations over a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union ahead of possible further talks. Indeed, as EURACTIV reported, this is one of the main point on which the negotiations are still open: “…For example, the EU would like to have access to Australian raw materials under the same conditions as Australian consumers. It wants Australia to commit to a policy that would prohibit so-called double pricing that disadvantages EU companies compared to Australian ones…”.
This situasion is generated by the fact that Australia plays (and will paly) a relevant role in the European CRM supply chain as signaled by the Institute for Environmental Policy “…Regarding the production and export of raw materials, Australia is not the EU’s main supplier of certain critical raw materials such as lithium and cobalt. However, it does house the second largest global reserves of cobalt and lithium and high resource potential for platinum-group elements. In light of the European Critical Raw Materials Regulation (ECRMR), the EU is searching for Strategic Partnerships with like-minded and more reliable countries to secure a stable supply for critical raw materials required for the green and digital transitions. Therefore, it is likely that, with increased global demand for critical raw materials, Australia will mobilise untapped reserves…”.
From the customs regulations perspective, the Australian CRM export to EU customs territory implies:
- Trade compliance obligations;
- Customs value management;
- Management of environmental obligations policies.