Forum Island Countries (FICs) have called for the review of the SPARTECA Rules of Origin to be done quickly with a view to improving market access for FIC products into Australia and New Zealand
And the review should be done quickly and independent of any consultations pertaining to negotiations on the PACER, the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations with Australia and New Zealand.
SPARTECA, which came into effect in 1980, is a non-reciprocal trade agreement under which the two developed nations of the Forum, Australia and New Zealand offer duty free or concessional access to products originating from the FICs.
During the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting in Vanuatu last week Forum Trade Ministers considered a paper on the review of SPARTECA rules of origin and noted the need to continue to examine the rules regardless of the developments under the PACER.
The importance of national consultations on SPARTECA rules of origin with the Private Sector was also stressed.