The agreement was officially signed
on Wednesday June 17. However, the FTA will be effective from next year, China’s ministry of commerce said on Thursday June 18.
Chinese media had previously speculated the pact would come into force in the fourth quarter of this year.
China reinstated an import tax on coal in October 2014 to protect its domestic materials. While imported coking coal and anthracite are subject to a 3% tariff, some pulverised coal injection (PCI) materials attract a 6% tax under Chinese categories.
According to the FTA, the 6% tax will be phased out over two years. Once the agreement takes effect, the tariff will be cut to 4%. The tariff will be reduced to 2% in the second year and then 0% in the third year.