Australian Technology Company Taps into Global Success
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Russell Mineral Equipment (RME) has been exporting its minerals processing
products and services to the world for more than 30 years. Thanks to
Australia’s Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan, Korea and Peru, the
company is now looking to expand its international presence.
Located in Toowoomba, Queensland, Russell Mineral Equipment (RME) is
recognised as a leading designer, manufacturer, supplier, servicer and
operator of minerals processing equipment.
The company’s product range comprises the RME Mill Relining System,
including RUSSELL Mill Relining Machines, Feed Chute Transporters and Bases
and the renowned THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammer range. This System makes
grinding mill maintenance safer and more efficient. The RME Mill Relining
System and the company’s dedicated RME MILL RELINING crews improve the
productivity and profitability of mines around the world by reducing the
grinding mill maintenance downtime.
Over the past 33 years, RME has grown its business capabilities and people
to include specialised OEM Servicing. The company currently employs more
than 400 international personnel.
FTAs provide export certainty
Since its establishment in 1985, RME has built a strong global network,
supplying its products and services to over 56 countries, including China.
Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with North Asia have played a key
role in RME’s current export success. Chief Financial Officer, John Howard,
says the FTAs have provided the company with many benefits, including
certainty on import tariffs and protection from some of the risks
associated with exporting.
‘The FTAs are a framework that cover the requirements and regulations for
exporting into certain markets. Having them in place gives us the
confidence to invest money into foreign markets and ensures we are
protected against risks such as intellectual property theft and copyright,’ he says.
The China-Australia FTA (ChAFTA) has been particularly important to RME,
offering reduced tariffs on a number of its products.
ChAFTA has reduced the tariff on the THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammer range
from eight per cent to 1.6 per cent. This tariff will be eliminated on 1
Howard says the effects of these tariff reductions have been significant to
RME, giving the company an upper hand in the market and helping lower the
cost of exports.
‘Our products on average are worth between $1.5 million and $2.5 million.
In a competitive market like China, a five or eight per cent reduction in
tariffs allows us to lower the price of our products, giving us an
in-market advantage,’ he says.
PAFTA opens up more trade opportunities to Peru
RME is also active in Peru and looking to benefit from the newly signed
Peru-Australia FTA (PAFTA).
Under PAFTA, most of the tariffs on mining equipment, machinery and parts
will be bound at zero. Once the agreement is in force, Australian mining
manufacturers and exporters will also have guaranteed access on
non-discriminatory terms for mining-related consulting, research and
development, engineering, technical testing and analysis services.
Howard says the new FTA will make it easier for RME to do business and
support its customers in Peru.
‘Peru is the seventh largest mining country in the world and one of our
major export markets, so PAFTA will certainly make it easier to employ
staff in country and help us grow our exports to the region,’ he says.
Time zones a barrier to entry
RME plans to continue its global expansion with the help of FTAs. Howard
says managing various time zones between export markets has been
challenging but the company has stablished a number of business processes
to overcome this issue.
‘We have a dedicated team of team members working within each market to
ensure our distributors and customers are able to speak with us at all
times. This support has helped increase demand for our products and drive
new business opportunities,’ he says.
Benefit from Austrade experts
RME has worked closely with Austrade throughout its export journey, gaining
expert advice and market insights.
Howard says it’s important for new exporters to take advantage of valuable
tools and resources like Austrade early on.
‘The export process can be tricky to navigate at times, especially when
you’re new to it. Austrade do a great job of helping you learn about the
process and understand the market you’re exporting to,’ he says.
To learn more about Australia’s FTAs, visit
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