Western Australian crayfish on their way to high-end Indian hotels after trade deal

Following successful negotiations between a Western Australian company and an Indian distribution company, live western rock lobster will soon be exported to India.

After being signed in April this year, the Australia-India Economic Co-operation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) Implementation Act was passed by the Federal Parliament this week, along with the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (Australia-UK FTA).

Commerce Secretary Don Farrell said the trade agreements would take effect “30 days, or such other mutually agreed time, after the respective parties confirm in writing that they have met their domestic requirements.”

Once the trade deal comes into effect, the 30 percent import tariff on live Australian lobster in India will be lifted.

WA’s largest lobster exporter, The Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative, will ship a “modest” amount of lobster to upscale restaurants and hotel chains and will work to develop further markets in India.

A 30 percent tariff on frozen lobster products and other seafood such as fish will be phased out in seven years.

It’s good news for the lobster industry, which is struggling with prices after losing its main customer China in 2020.

Image of a lobster being held after being caught in a craypot
Western rock lobsters will be exported to luxury Indian hotels.(Supplied: Recfishwest)

Interest in oats, citrus and wine

WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development investment services manager Susan Hall said India is a small but important market for WA products.

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