Covid-19 and trade

Here's where you'll find information on the impact of COVID-19 on trade.


The COVID-19 pandemic is putting global supply chains under intense pressure and disrupting trade.

New Zealand is working with our trading partners to help ensure that trade continues to flow unimpeded, to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, to protect supply chains and to keep critical infrastructure such as air and seaports open.

Help for exporters

We work with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and other government agencies to provide updates and advice for exporters. COVID-19/Coronavirus information for exporters(external link) has information on:

  • air freight support
  • NZ marketplace (an online marketplace to help New Zealand exporters find offers and requests for resource)
  • government packages and support
  • international market updates
  • webinars, trade shows and events
  • useful tools and resources.

If you need help with export clearance issues, trade barriers or blockages that are holding back your business, contact the MFAT Exporter Helpline:

Keeping trade and supply chains open 

As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People's Republic of China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies.

Read more in the Minister for Trade and Export Growth's initial press release(external link) on the Joint Ministerial Statement.

Read the latest Joint Ministerial Statement on supply chain connectivity.

New Zealand and Singapore have built on the Joint Ministerial Statement with a Plurilateral Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods. Signatories to the Declaration agree to remove any tariffs on goods essential to the Covid-19 response and restrict non-tariffs barriers to these goods.

Read the Minister for Trade and Export Growth media statement on the launch of the declaration(external link).

New Zealand also joined Australia, Canada, Korea and Singapore in committing to work to enable the continued flow of essential goods and services, as well as, in due course, people. Read the joint statement [updated 29 May 2020].

Together with the other 20 members of APEC, New Zealand has committed to work together(external link) to ensure trade and investment flows in the Asia-Pacific region continue, in order to help counter COVID-19.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the World Trade organisation, New Zealand and 42 other WTO Members(external link) affirmed their support for the multilateral trading system and highlighted the WTO’s role in responding to COVID-19.

Further to this, New Zealand and 23 other WTO Members have supported a statement that calls for government response measures to support rather than adversely affect trade in agriculture and food, which would ultimately have negative impacts on the food security, nutrition and health of their populations.

Read more about these three joint statements in the Minister for Trade and Export Growth’s press release(external link).


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