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New Zealand

NZ-UK Free Trade Agreement – What You Need to Know

photograph: RNZ / Samuel Rilstone

From the end of this month, most trade between New Zealand and the UK will be tariff-free, but that’s not all.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins this week unveiled a free trade agreement (FTA) that has been years in the making. Enforced from May 31 – Faster than expected.

When the details were finalized last year, the boost to New Zealand’s economy was estimated at around $1 billion annually, boosting exports to its seventh largest trading partner by more than 50%.

“This transaction will create new opportunities for New Zealand and UK businesses and investors to drive growth, boost jobs and most importantly build a more prosperous future for future generations.” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday (New Zealand time).

So what exactly does this deal entail?you can Read the full text here. All 1700 pagesor read the overview below.


First of all, the UK will eliminate tariffs on almost everything it exports to the UK, including wine, honey, onions, kiwifruit and dairy products. 97% of tariffs will be eliminated, and by value, more than two-thirds of kiwi exports will be covered.

Over the next three to seven years, tariffs on cherries and some seafood and dairy products will be eliminated, accounting for 0.5% of US exports.

Trade in the remaining 30% of commodities, such as apples, butter, cheese, beef and mutton, will be liberalized over the next few years, but for the time being will have “immediate tariff-free access under quota agreements.”

Fresh apples take 3 years, butter and cheese 5 years, beef 10 years (“another 5 years of product-specific safeguards”), and finally mutton 15 years.

In return, New Zealand will withdraw all tariffs on British goods “currently subject to tariffs in the 5-10% range”, including gin, chocolate, motorhomes and motorhomes.

“When fully implemented, all tariffs on all products will be eliminated between the two countries,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website said.

The UK has secured several protections against a surge in New Zealand agricultural products – some during a 15-year transition period – you can read here.

A man and a woman are holding a folder and shaking hands.

Damian O’Connor and Secretary of State Anne-Marie Trevelyan at the 2022 NZ-UK FTA signing ceremony.
photograph: Provided by Ministry of Foreign Affairs

However, tariffs are only part of the agreement. Try what else is in here.

animal welfare

The FTA includes a chapter on animal welfare. Neither country should reduce animal welfare requirements in a way that would affect trade“.

In other words, neither of us should weaken our animal welfare standards to gain an advantage over the other.

“The chapter also sets out how the two countries will work together, including with international standard-setting bodies, to promote animal welfare practices,” MFAT said.

consumer protection

The FTA includes a chapter outlining cooperation on consumer protection. “First time for UK independent trade policy”.

New Zealand, for example, must comply with the UK’s strict data protection laws for all information transmitted here.

“It will also address the need for cooperation between countries to provide and enable effective access to remedies for consumers within each other’s jurisdictions,” MFAT said.


The deal will simplify the customs clearance process between the two countries and will facilitate “traders’ efficient customs clearance and electronic systems, including the establishment of paperless transactions and a ‘single window’ system for electronic submission of required customs documents. We guarantee the use of

For example, perishable goods must clear customs within 6 hours, and other goods must clear customs within 48 hours.

Small and medium-sized enterprises

Under the deal, small businesses looking to trade will be able to go online and “easily access the information they need without consulting an outside trading expert.”

The UK’s Department for International Trade said: “Businesses will have access to information covering topics such as transit formalities, documents that need to be completed, port customs office opening hours and border formalities.” I’m here.

digital trading

UK companies will be able to store data in New Zealand without incurring “unnecessary” or “unreasonable” costs, UK officials said.

MFAT said it also has “provisions to foster innovation and economic growth through cooperation, including those related to emerging technologies and digital inclusion.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Snack leaving 10 Downing Street in central London on March 8, 2023.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
photograph: AFPMore

environment and climate

MFAT said the UK deal contained “the most extensive free trade agreement commitments New Zealand has ever negotiated on trade and the environment”.

“It includes provisions to address subsidies that are not only harmful to the environment but also distort trade. It includes a commitment to take steps to end fossil fuel subsidies, and the agreement also includes provisions on sustainable agriculture.”

Electric vehicles and wind turbine parts are two notable examples of tariff elimination. British officials noted.

The FTA also includes two countries:

  • “Tackling illegal logging, illegal logging and forest degradation”
  • “Tackling environmental issues such as illegal wildlife trade (including ivory), air pollution, marine pollution, and garbage.”
  • “Promoting biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and the transition to a circular economy”
  • “Address poor fisheries management, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and ban specific subsidies to combat overfishing”.

FTAs have dispute settlement clauses that allow both countries to resolve differences in environmental policies that affect trade.

Gender equality

New Zealand’s bilateral trade agreement includes for the first time a chapter on gender equality and its impact on trade.

“This chapter reaffirms both sides’ commitment to the implementation and promotion of relevant international agreements that promote women’s economic progress, and includes cooperative agreements to facilitate women’s use of the benefits of FTAs,” MFAT said. Stated.

“It also facilitates cooperation in data analysis and monitoring of the gender-based impact of trade. This chapter also focuses on providing opportunities for Wahinemaori to engage in trade.”

Maori trade and economic cooperation

The UK said it was keen to develop “links between the UK and Māori-owned businesses” that could “enable a wider choice of products for UK consumers in the future”. ing.

The UK has promised efforts to promote the recognition and protection of haka ‘ka mate’, but has fallen short of ‘protection through intellectual property rules or changes to those rules’.

labor standards

This agreement contains a separate chapter on labor, primarily to confirm “State Obligations Under Relevant International Labor Organization Conventions” “Agreement on the key principle that labor standards must not be compromised in order to secure trade advantage”

that also promote Gender equality at work requires countries to combat modern slavery in supply chains and encourage “good business practices and corporate social responsibility”.

Service and investment

Labor MP Damian O'Connor

Minister of Commerce Damian O’Connor.
photograph: RNZ / Angus Dreever

The UK economy relies heavily on the provision of services such as lawyers and financial services, and an FTA will make it easier to do business in New Zealand. Easier to qualify hereand vice versa.

Investment standards have also been relaxed. “That means UK investments in New Zealand are less likely to be subject to scrutiny.”This puts the UK on an equal footing with countries it already has agreements with. Via CPTPP.

New Zealand extends copyright term for another 20 years.

Both countries will explore ways to improve travel opportunities for young people, including “work to extend and improve the existing New Zealand and UK working holiday/youth mobility schemes”.

FTAs do not contain investor-state dispute resolution clauses that enable foreign investors to take legal action against either government for decisions affecting their investments.

final round

It’s just the outline of a long-term contract that spans many years. Another point to note is that New Zealand retailers will not “see labels or advertisements displaying Scottish whiskey origins, including Campbelltown, Islay, Highland, Lowland or Speyside, unless made in Scotland.” ”It means that we are not allowed to sell whiskey.

Other deals

New Zealand has many trade agreements with other countries, including bilateral and multilateral ones.

They include:

  • ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Agreement
  • Closer economic ties between Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (CER)
  • Comprehensive and Advanced Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP)
  • generalized preference system
  • New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement
  • New Zealand-Hong Kong-China closer economic partnership agreement
  • New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement
  • New Zealand-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement
  • Closer economic partnership between New Zealand and Singapore
  • New Zealand-Thai Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
  • Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA)
  • Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus)
  • Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (P4)

For more information on these Customs and MFATMore website.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/489338/the-nz-uk-free-trade-agreement-what-you-need-to-know NZ-UK Free Trade Agreement – What You Need to Know

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