The Future of Cross-Border Trade, Professional Business Services and Mobility 3rd March
The Chamber was delighted to partner with the Department of International Trade (DIT) for a third webinar discussing another facet of the new Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement: Services.
We heard about the ambitious Services provisions agreed in the recently signed UK-Australia FTA, directly from the agreement’s Services negotiators. More specifically, this webinar covered the agreement’s chapters on Cross-Border Trade in Services (CBTS), Professional Business Services (PBS), and Mobility.
If you have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . If you'd like to attend future events, sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
Good morning in the UK and good evening in Australia. The Chamber is delighted to partner with the Department of International Trade for a third webinar discussing another facet of the new Australia Free Trade Agreement and today we will map the ambitious services provisions agreed in the recently signed UK Australia Free Trade Agreement directly from the agreement services negotiators and will cover the agreement's chapters on cross-border trade in services, professional business services and mobility. So the cross-border trade in services is associated with the annexes outlined in the market access and treatment that the FTA guarantees to British businesses, providing long term certainty and the transparency for service suppliers exporting to and operating in the Australian market.
The Professional Business Services Chapter contains provisions that seek to address barriers to trade related professional services and the recognition of professional qualifications. And mobility contains provisions that bind visa arrangements for highly skilled business people. This ensures greater certainty and new access for temporary business travel between the UK and Australia. Now. Today we have four excellent speakers. Our first speaker, Matthew McKee, is Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Officer at D.O.T. and he works in the UK.
Australia FTA negotiations team as a communications and stakeholder engagement manager and prior to this role, Matt acted as the logistics lead for the UK. New Zealand FTA negotiations, and he previously worked on the Trade Agreement Continuity Program. Our second speaker is Peter Cade. He is head of Canada and Australia Cross-border Trade in services, and he led the cross-border trade in services chapter for the UK Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Peter worked in the Trade Agreement, Trade Agreement Continuity Program, which sought to replicate the effects of the EU trade agreements for the UK following the end of the transition period. John Carroll is the head of Professional Services Policy in negotiations and he led negotiations on professional services in the in the UK Australia Free Trade Agreement. And prior to this, John worked at the Ministry of Justice.
And Amie Sleigh is the head of mobility policy and strategy at the Department of International Trade. And she has has taken over responsibility for the temporary entry chapter on the FTA in its final stages. And prior to this Amie was Deputy Chapter Lead for investment in the UK, EU FTA at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
So welcome our speakers today. This is going to be a very interesting and exciting topic. And certainly the free trade agreement is, is one that's very relevant to all our people in the audience. So thank you to our audience today. And I welcome Matt McKee to kick off this webinar. Thank you, Matt.
Thanks, Jo And good morning, everyone, or good afternoon to you, joining us from Australia.
Before we dive in to the policy specifics of this agreement, which I'm sure you're all very excited to hear about. I thought it'd be helpful if I was to get us underway with some a brief recap of where we are with this agreement and that kind of next steps that are on the horizon. So as I'm sure you all aware, on the 16th of December last year, we were able to sign the agreement that was signed by the Department for International Trade, etc. states and Anne-Marie Travelyan, and her Australian counterpart Dan Tehan at a virtual signing ceremony. This was the culmination of months, if not years of hard work. And it's something we were really, really happy to get done at just in the run up to Christmas. That was a nice little present This is the first agreement the UK has negotiated from scratch since leaving the EU, and it's something that is tailored specifically to some of the key strengths in British industry, including our services sector. The team will go into more details, exactly how it's tailored a wee bit later on. Hopefully you're all aware of this, but if you're not or the agreement text is available on gov.uk alongside a range of explainer documents which set out some of the key provision about the agreement. So if you haven't already, I would strongly recommend that you check out gov.uk for that information.
As I said, although we reached signature in December, this very much isn't the end of the FTA process, not the end of our journey at all. Before the government can be brought into force, it must first undergo a fairly comprehensive and thorough scrutiny process. This process is underway and as we speak, the agreement is being closely investigated by the Trade Agricultural Commission, probably known as the TAC.
This Commission is sort of exploring the agricultural impacts specifically of the agreement, and it will produce an independent set of advice which will then be submitted that the government will inform the writing of a report under Section 42 of the Agricultural Bill. Alongside this, there's also room for various committees, including the International Trade Committee and the International Agreements Committee in the House of Lords, to scrutinize this agreement further.
Once the committees and commissions have taken a look at the agreement, we will then be in a position to publish the Section 42 report and tax advice in Parliament for everyone to see and will then move on to the next stage of the process, which is laying the agreement text in the Houses of Parliament under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.
So this scrutiny process will stage of the scrutiny process, I should say, will last for a minimum of 21 sitting days and will give parliamentarians in both the House of Commons and House of Lords ample time to explore and investigate this deal thoroughly, to see its impact, ensure it is in the best interests of the UK, which we very strongly believe that it is Once this process is completed, we will then need to introduce some primary and secondary legislative legislation to implement the agreement properly.
This will be passed in the usual parliamentary way. I won't bore you to death with the details on that specifically, but suffice to say it is a a fairly comprehensive process that will take some amount of time. Of course, this is only one side of the coin, and whilst all of the UK's processes are being carried out, our partners in Australian government will be doing a very similar thing.
I must confess I'm not an expert on the Australian parliamentary process, but I understand it is somewhat similar So once both sides, the UK and Australia have completed their scrutiny, processes the agreement will then be considered ratified and we will be in a position to bring it into force, at which point all businesses in the UK and Australia will be able to benefit fully from some of the exciting things that we have agreed in these negotiations and we're really very much looking forward to that as I as I hope you are too.
So I'm going to leave it there and I'm going to pass over to Pete Cade who will be able to speak through some of the more specific policy information that we could find in this agreement.
Thank you, Matt That's very helpful. And yes, again, as Matt said, good morning in the UK and afternoon to those in Australia. You can tell by the grey that it is morning in South London and I'm delighted to be here and speak to you today, and for the interest in this event. I think on a personal level after sort of slogging away on this so long and doing the negotiations entirely in my living room.
It's great to be able to discuss, get out there to discuss the significant endings virtually. I'm also quite a big believer that within the civil service, we need to do what we can to go well into the agreements and setting the benefits of them so they can be utilized. I think there's always a risk that we sort of just get on a treadmill of finish project next project dusty documents and that sort of stuff.
So yeah, I'm really pleased to be here today. As Matt mentioned and Jo mentioned, I led the closing of the cross-border trade and services chapter along with a very good team and also speak as we cover the actual areas we will cover today. Unfortunately, my colleague Danny Turner couldn't make it today and so I'll be covering transport and delivery service provisions as well. But please bear with me on this, as is certainly not my area of expertise, so I might take some questions away, but let's crack on. So trade and services with Australia and apologies, but I will sort of run through some stats first.
But the reason we have so many people working on this I can speak about it is use its value. So UK Australia's third largest trading services provider in 2020 representing 49% of UK specific trade with Australia in 2020 which is worth 6.9 billion despite COVID pandemic and this was £9.2 billion in 2019. So obviously dropoff and hoping that the agreement can help rebuild those trading links. So yeah put simply you know this our trade and services relationship is a big deal and if we can support it we will and that's obviously before we get into sort of societal links and links that we've been things like across the bridges between our countries.
But coming on to the text of the agreement. The CBS chapter and the annexes that I worked on just our focus on the outline market access and treatment of the FTA guarantees of businesses when they're operating in each of those markets. The aim of these being to provide very long term certainty and transparency for service suppliers exporting to and operating operating in both markets.
So perhaps where, as we would say, tariffs, it's very much enter into force on day one. And you sort of straightaway see the change in the conditions of trading and it's very binary and I would anticipate it will take longer to see the benefits of the service come as this agreement is about establishing the very long term conditions for service trade.
And so the way I see is it the CBS chapter provides that of course Cross Border Trade services chapter provides the foundational commitments on which the sort of specific sectoral commitments around special services or maritime services that can be built on. So yeah, we, we, we have sort of the way we structure it, we have the core agreements text, which is the sort of chapter that I work on and that outlines the commitments I mentioned.
And there's the Reservations, which outlines where countries with services commitments in specific areas and is beginning to actually on the main. So that the one of the most significant parts of the CBS chapter and for sectoral areas. So Australia for the first time was provided a negative listing of reservations at the federal and sub-federal level of government. This means that commitments in this chapter apply to all services at both levels of government unless specifically stated and on the UK side we sort of see it as as our most liberal market access we've provided in an FTA. Now I think this might sound a bit odd that we're celebrating more detail around reservations and exceptions to the agreements and I sort of understand that. But again, I think what I'd come back to is this point about certainty of planning for service providers so for instance, were we not to have this FTA, this bilateral FTA and were seeking to trade with Australia, or Australia the UK on CPTPP terms, as we used preceding this and Australia members, there wouldn't be this level of commitment or detail as Australian reserves for the federal level.
So again, it's about applying that long term certainty, stability for service supplies. This is also firmly supported by a so-called standstill clause in a non covering measures article. This provision means that both countries can't introduce less liberal or more protectionist measures than are committed to. So again, baking that certainty that trading conditions will be for service suppliers in the long term.
And we also sought to enhance transparency in the core text agreement. So again, we in a chapter say domestic regulation commitments go beyond previous UK and Australia multilateral bilateral commitments. This means that suppliers can easily access and be informed by transparent and fair processes. Licensing, for instance, say if it's a real estate or wine distribution. I quite often come back to wine distribution, I'm not sure, I'm sure there's a reason. This will help ensure that our bureaucracy doesn't get in the way of firms operating the UK or Australia and makes it more attractive for service exporters to enter into those markets. Another example of this is commitments on transparency concerning authorization fees.
These go further than what's been agreed by Australia and the UK with the WTO. This means that if you're seeking to establish a consultancy business that ll the fees associated with the process will be made public. And I think for a final point, I want to make on the CBS chapter is what we're really pleased about is oh, I'm just seeing some comments on the oh sorry.
Well, lots to get through, so apologies for going so fast there. And so yeah, a final point I wanted to make really on the cross-border trade and services chapter was around the amount of service suppliers who will benefit from this chapter, I would say this is more than in any other previous UK FTA, Due to the inclusion of branches of companies and permanent residents in the scope of the chapter.
So so broadening the impact of the agreements to services suppliers. So yeah, I think overall we're confident this delivers a really good package of commitments providing greater transparency and legal certainty for UK service suppliers operating in Australian markets and certainly that the UK has provided for in an FTA. And hopefully, as I mentioned, this is all about establishing those trading conditions that you will make the grade for services trade, the stronger we'll bounce back from the pandemic and I think we are doing questions at the end, so please do put it in a sidebar and I'll come onto those later.
But I will sort of briefly moved on to transport and delivery services. I think firstly just touch on some stats around here and so 2020 UK exported £572 million worth of transport services to Australia. So certainly a sector we're very keen to support and build on and also talk about the aviation and maritime commitments. So we've got some very really strong and ambitious outcomes for the aviation sector here.
And for example the UK and Australia have made commitments to cover aircraft routine and maintenance service carried out on aircraft between flights for the first time in the scope of service commitments. So again I was speaking about expanding enhancing commitments for long term planning. I think suppliers are a big part of this. Again this ensures that suppliers are guaranteed market access and fair treatment compared to each other's suppliers and again links back to the standstill clause I mentioned earlier.
So there can't be any rollback now on these commitments we've also agreed annexes to the CBS chapter on maritime services. They support shipping companies and flagged vessels when operating in both markets. This, I understand, is unprecedented for Australia and its strongest guarantees they have given in an FTA on maritime. The annex ensures that companies and vessels receive fair treatment in accessing ports and port services.
They can move empty containers between ports and supply to services. These regions will provide legal certainty exports and maritime services relationship between Australia and I do understand that is potentially getting a bit niche to talk about containers and moving that around. So I just want to touch on why that's quite useful example. So the ability to move British containers between ports is important.
Shipping companies can generate cost savings because it means that vessels are not required to subcontract the movement of containers with any other parties and markets domestic supplies or use land transport they say. So seeing links here between the two goods trace of things and also the services side. And also getting into linkages with the CBS chapter because then you get into how is the sort of shipping companies or how are they treated when they're sort of operating within each other's market.
So so very quickly you get into the agreement working together as one thing basically. So yeah, I think yeah I think I'll leave it there on maritime stuff and we've also agreed obligations on delivery services, which again is potentially more niche. But I think it's worth touching on very quickly. So we agree to Australia that UK suppliers of delivery service can do so on a level playing field.
And so for instance, ensuring that Australia Post and the UK's Royal Mail do not subsidise their non-monopoly and non-universal obligations services and either marketplaces, unfair requirements in each other service suppliers when operating in a market and that Australia's post monopoly and UK universal services obligations are clear to find. Now I'll be honest - on that last point I'm less certain, so if there are questions on postal monopolies,
I may have to take those away. I will stop there before I get further stuck in sort of niche detail and sort of individual provisions articles. But please do sort of put questions in the sidebar and we can still come on stage in the panel session later on in the meantime, I will hand over to John to sort of speak the official services side of things.
And likewise echo the sentiments about being, you know, very glad to be here and to to speak with lots of you today. So I'm going to call the professional services chapter in the agreement and just a few initial reflections on on the sector and what it means to both the UK and Australian economy. Clearly a hugely significant economic powerhouse.
I think in the UK it's the second or third largest export services sector behind Financial Services, and it's a really key facilitator of activity in the wider economy. You know, you can't build hospitals, you can't fly planes without qualified doctors, engineers, pilots, all these sorts of things. And so professional services, you know, it's not just taking place within a vacuum, but very much key to the overall success of other areas as well.
It's a it's a highly regulated sector. Again, thinking about engineers, lawyers, doctors, these are all very highly skilled, complex professions that require really stringent regulation, both at federal level and at sub-federal level. In the UK and in Australia, and regulators who have the power to oversee regulation and have a very clear set of objectives around maintaining standards, protecting consumers, ensuring that there aren't races to the bottom.
And as a result, I think really important to make clear at the start that the intersection between professional services, regulation and FTAs is quite complex and there is a delicate balance between being ambitious you know, seeking to drive progress within the FTA whilst also ensuring that regulators maintain their autonomy to take decisions on the standards for entry into into a profession or decision on whether an individual has the right skills, knowledge and expertise to meet those standards.
But within that context, just to touch on what the professional services chapter does and the key outcomes, firstly, it's it's the that the first chapter that the UK or Australia have agreed on professional services, often in other trade agreements, you will see the professional services content as an annex to the cross-border trade and services chapter. We've created a standalone chapter to help signal the importance of the sector to both our economies with provisions that cover a wide variety of issues reflecting and the importance of this sector for all professions are within the scope of the chapter.
And this broad scope allows regulated professions but also bodies that are self-regulated. So in the UK we will call them, for example, chartered professions like the chartered accountants, engineers which aren't professions that are regulated in law but are self regulated and sort of govern their own standards. And those professions are within scope, which helps to create a really maximalist approach.
So this includes professions such as architecture, accounting, audit and engineering. The first key outcome is on recognition of professional qualifications so that the chapter will help facilitate the recognition of UK and Australian professional qualifications and support work towards mutual recognition arrangements which could remove the need for both UK and Australian professionals to sit burdensome exams in order to requalify.
We know this is a really important thing for individuals. If you take the case study of a of a mid career professional who needs to relocate to the UK, Australia may have a family of four, maybe ten, ten years into the career. They don't want to have to undergo lots of exams to pay a huge amount of fees in order to do that process.
It's really helpful if things are streamlined and transparent so these provisions are in place to help encourage progress on recognition and we think that key professions could benefit, such as lawyers, architects, engineers, the likes I mentioned already and really help to create opportunities for professionals whilst allowing UK and Australian companies to attract and retain that global talent which plays into some of the the commitments that Amie will discuss on mobility in a few minutes.
Just reflecting on what I mentioned at the start about regulators and their autonomy, of course progress on RPQ, which is recognition of professional qualifications will primarily be driven by collaboration between regulatory and accreditation bodies. So for example, the various law societies from across the UK working with counterparts of the Law Council Australia and the commitments in the text between governments will help support that dialog and facilitate these discussions.
It's very, very important to say that these provisions don't themselves create arrangements for recognition that is the responsibility of relevant regulators and instead they are about encouraging best practice, respecting the autonomy of the regulators. The second key outcome is on legal services and you'll have probably spotted through the UK's recent precedent the emergence of specific provisions on legal services, home title practice.
And what these provisions do is ensure that UK lawyers and Australian lawyers have certainty and clarity about their ability to give legal advice on home foreign and international law, using their home title and qualifications. So the example is an England and Welsh qualified lawyer advising a multinational client in Sydney on a matter of English contract law, using that title as a solicitor in England, Wales and the situation that also applies to an Australian lawyer coming to the UK, a Scots lawyer going to Western Australia that has full coverage across both the UK and Australia.
And this includes arbitration, conciliation and mediation services. It's quite an esoteric approach, but it reflects the unique structure of legal services and the specific nature of the profession where there is a clear delineation between domestic legal services, the likes of family law and appearing before the court and legal services of international law, which is about big business companies wanting to agree contracts with each other and locking that certainty into the agreement we think is good for that big economic piece.
We aren't interested through these free trade agreements in trying to encroach on domestic systems, and that's certainly something that we respect. Now again, these commitments don't confer any automatic rights to recognition for both Australian and UK lawyers wanting to practice in each other's countries. But they do provide guarantees about the kind of treatment these lawyers would expect when they are providing legal advisory services and foreign and international law. The one of the legal services piece that I'm really proud of is the set of groundbreaking commitments on regulatory dialog, which establishes the structured engagement between the UK and Australian legal professions, so that regulatory dialog will be professional led with the aim of sharing expertise and remaining and addressing remaining behind the border barriers such as those relating to re-qualification. And the final element I'll touch on is around the Professional Services Working Group. So you're probably asking, well, it's all well and good having these provisions that encourage X-Y-Z and try to bring regulators together to discuss issues on RPQ. But how do you maintain the impetus and ensure momentum isn't lost?
Well, what we've agreed in the text is a professional service working group, which really is there to help drive momentum and to use the slipstream of the FTA as a way of supporting onward discussions around behind the border barriers that affect professional services. So behind the border barriers are most relevant in the relationship between the UK and Australia where you already have a very good long established relationship.
Market access is good, it isn't difficult to get into the market, but it's behind the border barriers such as those relating to licensing qualification requirements that that do slow down progress and create a bit of friction in the system. So with the with the ambition of addressing these behind the border barriers and working with regulators, the Professional Services Working Group embeds a framework that helps to drive progress, recognizing that a lot of that needs to be driven hand-in-hand with relevant regulators, professional bodies.
But having a framework in place helps to avoid some new barriers arising and address the existing ones wherever that's possible.
And that professional services working group, has a clear link to the legal services regulatory dialog, and there's a very clear commitment that ensures the working group is supporting the regulatory dialog, and the regulatory dialog is providing updates and is really helping to push forward with discussions that overall might lead to mutual recognition arrangements for the legal services sector.
So I will pause there. That's just sort of covered the three outcomes of, RPQ, legal services and professional services working group and hopefully that that's been helpful. I think we'll take questions near the end of the session, but otherwise I'd be happy to pass on to Amie in a moment. Thanks, Amie.
Thanks, John. And thanks to Pete also for a great overview.
And thank you everyone for inviting me. It's great to be here. So as Joanne said at the beginning, I'm here to talk about mobility. So by that we mean the temporary entry chapter, the associated annexes, and these contain provisions that bind business mobility arrangements for highly skilled business persons to ensure greater certainty and also to create new access between the UK and Australian market.
Just as an overview it doesn't relate to general labor market or permanent general labor market access or permanent migration. This is solely about temporary movement only, and temporary can be anything from a day or two to a couple of years. So quite a big sort of difference there. And mobility is a very key part of trade in services. In 2019 UK mobility trade with Australia was worth 947 million and it's a key facilitator of of parts of services trade including the area set out earlier by Pete.
So just as a general overview, this is an ambitious package, a very ambitious services package as well as an ambitious mobility package. And for the first time Australian businesses will no longer have to prove they cannot find an Australian locally and temporary supplier service in order to sponsor a UK professional to do that role. Also for the first time UK service suppliers, including architects, scientists, researchers, lawyers and accountants will be able to apply for temporary work visas in Australia without being subject to Australia's changing skilled occupation list.
So currently you have to be on a list to apply for those visas, but this changes very frequently. When this deal is implemented, many sectors will have found an access to greater certainty. They will never come off, that access will always be available. This is also the largest amount of people will benefit from this deal. So for the first time in a UK bilateral FTA, we have included permanent residents, so UK nationals as well as permanent residents, and Australian nationals as well as Australian permanent residents will be able to benefit from the terms. And all business persons in the agreement are supported by commitments to seek greater transparency, improving the visa application processes. So there's lots of provisions around what does good look like in visa processing, what sort of information should be available, how should applications be processed. So hopefully that will also improve the business environment and make it much easier to enter each market. Just to go into some of the commitments on the categories of business persons.
So Australian business persons will be able to visit the UK and undertake as businesses, as they will be able to undertake activities including meetings and consular consultations, sales. They can go to trade fairs, they can take part in after lease services and they'll be able to stay for a period of 90 days in a six month period. There will also be a 90 day and six months for business visitors who are looking to come to the UK in order to establish a commercial presence.
Australia has made a very similar commitment to the UK for business visitors, so UK businesses such as going to Australia, they can expect to be allowed to stay between three and six months depending on the type of activity. But the activities are very similar. So going to establish a commercial presence, negotiating sales and installing and maintaining certain parts or equipment.
We also have ambitious commitments on intracorporate transferees, so those are individuals who are transferring from one location to another location of the company. So perhaps they are based in the UK company and a Australian branch and they transfer over there. So for UK intracorporate transferees going to Australia, they will benefit from an increased increased length of stay.
So they will now be able to stay in Australia for four years. That is an increase of two years and they will also be able to take with them their partners and dependents and partners and dependents will be given working rights. So they will be able to work during that time in Australia. For Australian intracorporate transferees coming to the UK if they are a manager, they can stay for three years. If they're a specialist
they can also stay for three years if they are a graduate trainee. So we allowing we are binding an access for graduate trainees. So those on corporate grad schemes, they can stay for one year. The UK is also allowing partner independent entry rights, but only partners are guaranteed working rights. So not dependent children. And we have also committed in that category to a 90 day visa processing time.
So that is the absolute ceiling of how long it will take to process your visa. It can take less but it cannot take longer. The UK also makes a commitment on investors. So we guarantee if you meet the criteria and you apply for the correct channels that investors can stay up to one year and they can access all sectors of the UK economy, Australia make a similar deal and offer they call their category independent executives, but it's essentially very similar, essentially the same thing as our investors category.
They are allowing UK independent executives to come into Australia to establish a business for up to four years and that is all sectors and the partner independent working and entry rights are also included on that. We also make ambitious commitments on contractual service suppliers so for UK service suppliers going to Australia, they can stay for between four years and in some categories of those are still subject to the changing skilled occupation list.
But there is at least six months in 12 months length of stay for 29 sectors. So those ones are bound in, they aren't subject to the changing list and they will always have access. Also for independent professionals. So those who are going to Australia to perform a service through contracts but are independently employed. So self employed and not employed for an entity they can expect to stay for six months in any 12 month period with 19 sectors bound.
But they are required to have six years of experience within that field, to prove that they are appropriately high skilled. For Australians going to the UK, so contractual service suppliers, those who work for an organization under contract, they can stay for 12 months in any 24 month period. And we have bound 30 sectors. So those 30 sectors will always have access under the FTA and three years prior experience is required also to sort of indicate the level of expertise and skill. And for independent professionals, so those who are self-employed, they can also stay for 12 months in any 24 month period, six years prior experience and have 16 sectors bound into the agreement. So just outside of the FTA, some of you might be aware that we have also agreed an ambitious memorandum of understanding on mobility which is obviously separate to the FTA, but sits alongside it.
And one of the big, the big parts of it is the changes to the UK's youth mobility scheme and Australia's working holidaymaker scheme. So these are existing schemes that we have agreed that we will change. So essentially we are raising the age for that. So instead of it being cut off post 30, it will now be from 18 to 35 inclusive and Brits can go to Australia for 3 years.
Australians can come to the UK for 3 years previously and still currently until changes are implemented. To get a visa past the one year point in Australia, you have to undertake specified types of work which often includes farm work. We have agreed with Australia that for Brits this requirement will no longer be in place. So following implementation Brits can go to Australia and stay for that 3 year period without having to undertake farm work.
So this is a real win and something that is not offered to other countries so there's a real special case on top of that. Within the Memorandum of Understanding, Australia have also offered the UK a unilateral pilot on innovation and early skills. So it we're still waiting for information on that but broadly it will be some sort of scheme that facilitates those in early stages of their career going to Australia or those who work in innovation sectors.
So that's everything for me. Hopefully that was a reasonable overview. I will hand back to Joanne now who I think will take us into the Q&A. Thank you.
Thank you, Amie, and thank you to Peter and John and Matt.
Thank you for your expertise on this in this area. And I'm going to ask a couple of questions. We have got some questions from the floor. If you want to ask any questions, please enter them in the Q&A button on your screens. But the first question we have is from Catherine Brims, the Law Society of England and Wales.
Hello, Catherine, and thank you for the interesting session, she says, and we're very excited about legal services provisions. I understand that many UK citizens solicitors of the ENW that look to undertake work in Australia for two to four years will use the temporary skills shortage visa subclass 482 visa. Do the new commitments in Annex four extend to cover this subclass?
Great. So I think that's a question for me so broadly that route will still be available, but the commitments in which Australia have made to the UK will be facilitated free technically a new route that's sort of the more techie details, but essentially ultimately solicitors will actually be able to access the, the routes under the FTA, but they'll also still be able to access the route that you're referring to.
So it's just giving greater options really. And we've got bound access in the FTA if anything was to change in what was on the the shortage visa list Thank you, Amie. Now this one for you, John. John, thank you for your insights. It's greatly appreciated.
Regarding professional services, specifically law, when can we anticipate mutual recognition to come into effect?
Thanks. That's the million dollar question. And I will put Catherine on the spot that the Law Society of England, Wales and indeed all of the other professional and regulatory bodies across the UK are incredibly keen on this. And that's partly why we have agreed these bespoke regulatory provisions. Of course, you can't put an exact timeline on these things.
It depends on on how the negotiations go and how much progress is made between the relevant regulators. But but clearly the text and still some some sense of momentum, we've got a commitment now that talks about the dialog providing to the working group a report on the progress of these discussions no later than 20 months after the date of entry into force that that instills a bit of pace.
But we also know that these discussions are at least sort of at the preliminary stage. And there are existing relationships between the Law Society of England and Wales in particular, and their counterparts in the Law Council of Australia. So look, I can't say that there's going to be a specific time or date when, when any agreements, whether it be mutual recognition arrangements or something else, come into force, that that's not within my, my power to say.
But certainly there's the ambition and the will on both sides to make progress on this.
With visas do health checks and biometrics proof of funds and health insurance apply to both countries?
Thanks, Joanne. So a bit of a complicated question, but essentially each country will maintain whatever their visa requirements are as part of that, as part of the FTA.
And the FTA just simply seeks to sort of bound that access so they can't sort of claw it away in the future. So, for example, many of the UK's visa requirements, which I'm better placed to talk about than Australia ones. But we have certain salary thresholds which are not which are of a purpose ready for a a test on seniority.
You know, this is for highly skilled business persons. So having a sort of level of salary indicates if a person is as senior or not. So all of those things will still be at play. But sorry, I can't talk about the specifics of each visa class. Thank you. Thank you, Amie.
Is healthcare one of the sectors where it will be easier for people to move from the UK to Australia?
So I would have to come back to you on what the provisions are on healthcare. Normally slightly contentious points in trade agreements, but that is definitely one that I can pick up and take away. Okay, good. Another question we've got I work, I work in the UK, Australia, an income tax based out of London.
Can I hire non-British citizens currently working in Australia to come and work in the UK?
Could you repeat that question? Sorry, Joanne. That's alright. This is someone who works in the UK, Australian income tax based out of London. Can I hire non-British citizens currently working in Australia to come and work in the UK? So under this FTA, if non Australian nationals were working in Australia, but they were a permanent resident of Australia, they would be captured.
If they aren't a permanent resident of Australia, they wouldn't be captured by the terms of the deal. Okay. Thank you. I'm not sure this is one for the panel, but I'll ask it anyway and maybe they can direct it.
Will the $75,000 Australian GST annual turnover limit on sales into Australia be lifted to encourage sales?
I think, yeah, I think you might you might, you might be one take away and have a look at the question, but I'm sure we can put off on that one. Okay. And maybe another one for you Pete.
How will agreed standards for quality, safety, environmental performances in goods and services support anticipated new trade following the FTA?
Would you mind just repeating that Joanne? How will the agreed standards, the standards for quality, safety, environmental performances, etc. in goods and services support anticipated new trade? Ok that's fine.
So I think it's hard to speak to environmental and goods side of things with my sort of services focus. I suppose on the services side, having those agreed standards and commitments is, as I mentioned, it's all about being up to standards almost as what's the right way of saying it? And similar to the WTO we've agreed the joint statement to a joint initiative on domestic regulation and that supports that bunch of countries up to that level will create some domestic regulation.
Now for a lot of countries, these commitments are all existing, I think in a similar way what we're doing here in this agreement is we're baking in these very these these very strong and liberal approaches to trade and services. So I think it's about supporting and at that point, uncertainty and very, very long term safety and clarity on how businesses will be operating in that country so that we're moving those risk elements, I'm sure risk advisers, insurance providers, council and advise strongly on that.
But again, it's still about taking these concerns out of the trade and services relationship. And I would have to sort of come back on this of goods, the environmental side of things. And just the question again and perhaps again in writing, I think again, just coming back to that point on taking out risk taking out uncertainy from trading services. Great.
Thanks. This is a question from James Dunn. He's the UK president of the Institution of Engineers Australia. And he says thank you for highlighting the need for mobility, mutual recognition of chartered engineering qualifications under the royal charters. It would be great if we could include the DIT team in the discussions. Between IE Australia, ICE, I Structure E, IET, and I Mechanical Engineering.
Given the huge demand for highly skilled tech talent in Australia and the UK in the coming years. Do do any of the speakers want to talk about this? I mean we've, we've had the agreement now. I mean is it does does DIT get involved further or is it now down to the professional bodies to sort it out.
So. It's primarily down to be led by by the regulators. But of course where government can provide support, can provide technical guidance, expertise, we are very keen to do that. We we work really closely with our colleagues at the business department who have established a bespoke team, the recognition arrangements team that looks after this sort of stuff. We make sure that whatever we're doing an FTA supports the work that that team and Visa are doing.
So we work hand in hand and very much see the sort of next step of the FTA lifecycle as being, you know, the implementation and the support that will come I think I've actually just got a link to the message from that attendee so we can pick up Off-Line and yeah, I can do it. All right.
I'm currently waiting for permanent residency here in Australia. Do I carry on with the process or does the deal capture my visa requirements?
So I'm not a hundred percent sure on that question, but I would assume you would need to wait until you've got your permanent residency to be able to apply as a permanent resident. But I am not so sure and we could try and find that out, but I don't know if we would know the answer to such. But I mean, questions like this, you know, the Chamber has quite a number of members that operate in all fields of professional services so if people want to contact the Chamber, then we can put you in touch with some of our members who might be able to answer the more technical questions and on on the residency, etc.
So there's another question on are Australian executives allowed to visit UK to arrange private equity or finance for Australian projects. And can they be reminded how long they have to do this under the current proposal?
So we've got typically investors coming here or investors going to Australia, you know, how long can they go for, how long they stay. Yeah. So the UK makes a commitment for investors who are coming to the UK for purposes of establishing in the UK they're offered a one year length of stay.
Australia offer a four year length of stay for UK, what they call independent executives, essentially an investor who is going to Australia to establish in Australia. Thank you. I'm not sure if this can be answered but we can certainly direct it somewhere.
If an Australian is badly injured in the UK, not medically able to fly home does the FTA make provisions for them to access human rights and automatic access to a court of appeal should it be necessary?
We have a slightly tricky question and a world away from the glorious world of empty containers and delivery services I'll be honest here.
I think that sort of falls in some of the non-trade elements of the agreement, and I think that's what I would like to pick up with in writing. On perhaps with the specific individual if they get in touch. Okay, good. Thank you.
I'm an Australian national, highly skilled, currently living in Europe. Can I access these changes in mobility under the FTA agreement to work in the UK? Is there any equirement to be based in Australia?
So the requirement is that you either are an Australian national or permanent resident. My understanding is wherever you are currently located wouldn't matter. Just you have to be one of those two things or the UK equivalent. Thank you, Amie.
And for Australian permanent residents or UK residents with indefinite leave to remain. These types of residents are subject to maximum times to be resident outside Australia in the UK.
And whilst it's encouraging to include permanent residency in mobility provisions, has any clarity been given on how the new visa arrangements will work with the current restrictions on time away from your country?
I think under the currently you can't be way more than two years under indefinite leave to remain between Australia and the UK. So does this change at all? I was struggling to come off mute then.
So we've made no changes to what is considered a permanent resident or what qualifies for different sort of categories of citizenship or nationality etc. under the agreement. So everything would remain as is. Right. Okay.
Well Session's now coming to a close and I want to thank everybody for attending today and thank you to all our speakers who are happy to take any questions outside of the session.
So if you email us at Hello@AustraliaChamber.co.uk, we can pass them on. So I thank everybody for attending and it's been a great session. We've really enjoyed it. And please do stay tuned to the events of the Chamber. Have a lovely day if you in the UK, and in Australia, a fabulous evening.