Readers would be aware of earlier commentary on the signing of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement ("MAFTA") on 22 May 2012 and many of the provisions of the MAFTA. This has also been the subject of presentation of various CBFCA Member Forums in 2012.

By way of Australian Customs Notice No. 2012/69, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has confirmed the commencement of the MAFTA as at 1 January 2013.

The Notice also summarises the rules for whether a good originates in Malaysia for the purposes of the MAFTA. The Notice also confirms that a Certificate of Origin is required to support the claim for MAFTA preferential treatment for imports which must be issued by a designated issuing authority in Malaysia and signed by parties authorised to sign such Certificates.

The Notice also sets out that a provision exists for the claim of refund on customs duty paid if it turns out after the date of importation that imported goods should have been entitled to preferential entry based on the MAFTA.

Of course, MAFTA also commences for Australian exporters and similar rules of origin apply in respect of Australian goods to ensure that they constitute Australian originating goods and are entitled to preferential treatment in Malaysia. However, Australian exporters do not need Certificates of Origin issued by an issuing authority but rather a Declaration of Origin which can be completed by the exporter itself or by a party on its behalf.

More details are in our earlier updates and on the Customs and DFAT websites and we would be delighted to assist.