PACER Plus is a landmark trade and development agreement that will lower barriers and provide greater certainty for New Zealand businesses, while raising living standards, creating jobs and increasing exports in Pacific Island countries.

Who is involved in PACER Plus

PACER Plus builds on existing trade agreements: the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA) (1980) and the original PACER Agreement (2001). 

Eleven countries are signatories to the agreement Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.  

The Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Republic of Marshall Islands are still completing their domestic approval processes.

Why it’s a priority for New Zealand

Pacific Island countries are our nearest neighbours and, with almost 296,000 Pacific peoples living in New Zealand, we share strong personal ties. New Zealand has a clear interest in a prosperous and sustainable region and our main objective for PACER Plus is to encourage economic development in Pacific countries.

What are the potential benefits?

Opportunities for economic development in Pacific Island countries are limited because of their small size and the difficulty achieving the economies of scale needed to compete in international markets. PACER Plus should help create jobs and wealth in the Pacific by making it easier for these countries to trade.

The intended benefits of PACER Plus are:

  • a more predictable trading environment 
  • more consistent and transparent rules throughout the region on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and customs procedures 
  • more liberal and product-specific rules of origin 
  • increased investment in the region, in particular by New Zealand and Australian investors into Pacific Island countries 
  • greater certainty around tariffs for exporters
  • more opportunities for trade-related development assistance for Pacific Island countries
  • a more mobile labour force in the region.

National Interest Analysis

The National Interest Analysis assesses PACER Plus from the perspective of its impact on New Zealand and New Zealanders.

National Interest Analysis [PDF, 1.4 MB]


The following factsheets summarise the contents of the agreement.

Overview: Purpose and benefits [PDF, 1 MB]

Development and economic cooperation [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Labour mobility [PDF, 646 KB]

Legal and Institutional Chapters [PDF, 801 KB]

Pasifika New Zealand [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa and Māori development [PDF, 333 KB]

Trade in goods, Rules of Origin and customs [PDF, 1 MB]

Services, investment and visa access for business people [PDF, 801 KB]


Timing for the negotiations

Negotiations started: August 2009

Status: Negotiations concluded on 20 April 2017. Following signature, the Agreement will enter into force 60 days after eight negotiating parties have notified the Depositary that they have completed their internal requirements.

How to get involved

You may wish to access information through the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select committee, attend one of our public engagements on trade or contact us directly.

Submissions to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee

As part of the Parliamentary processes to be considered before ratification of PACER Plus some legislative amendments are required.

These related to amendments to the Tariff Act 1988 to enable the application of preferential tariff rates under PACER Plus and amending the rules on "goods re-entered after repair or alteration" in Tariff.

Submissions on the required legislative amendments are now open and close on Thursday, 21 June 2018.

Here is a link to the relevant page on the Parliament website: Tarriff (PACER Plus) Amendment Bill  (external link) 

Public meetings

To find out more about our public engagements on trade, will be listed here public meetings.

Ask us

We are happy to arrange meetings with stakeholders and Iwi/Māori organisations to discuss how PACER Plus may affect you, your business or your communities. 
Submissions or requests for information can be sent to:


Making contact with us will enable us to provide you with further information and updates on PACER Plus.

Further information

New Zealand-Australia side letter [PDF, 210 KB]

Australia-New Zealand side letter [PDF, 72 KB]