New Zealand was the first foreign country to secure a free trade agreement with Hong Kong.

The New Zealand-Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) gives our exporters a competitive edge, and the ability to take advantage of growing opportunities in the region. The CEP complements New Zealand’s FTA with China and enhances the potential for Hong Kong to be used as a platform for trade into China.

Like New Zealand, Hong Kong has one of the world’s most open economies. In 2013 we exported $912 million in goods to Hong Kong, making it our 11th largest export destination. Hong Kong has very little in the way of natural resources, so services make up over 90% of GDP. This means there is little local competition for our agricultural products, making Hong Kong an attractive destination for our exporters. 

Facts and Figures

Hong Kong Population: 7.2 million (2014)

Hong Kong GDP: US$290 billion (more than 90% is service sector) (2014)

GDP per capita: US$39,871 

Timeline: Negotiations began 2001, agreement signed March 2010 and came into effect January 2011

New Zealand’s major exports to Hong Kong:  Milk powder, malt extract, animal offal

New Zealand’s major imports from Hong Kong: Telephones and cellphones, spectacles, printers and photocopiers

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China but has autonomy in matters of trade.

 Agreement highlights

  • Greater certainty of access into the Hong Kong services market, including in private education, business services, environmental services and logistics.
  • Government procurement is included in the agreement, ensuring New Zealand businesses can compete with Hong Kong businesses for government contracts on a level playing field.
  • Locked in duty-free access for New Zealand goods into Hong Kong, providing greater certainty for exporters.
  • Future-proofing rules that ensure service suppliers in some sectors will benefit from any improved access that Hong Kong might grant to other FTA partners in the future.
  • Measures to facilitate trade including 48 hour customs clearance of New Zealand goods entering Hong Kong.
  • Easier trading through agreed rules on: sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property, competition policy and e-commerce.
  • A clear and detailed process for settling disputes.

Alongside the CEP, New Zealand has Environment and Labour agreements with Hong Kong that promote sound labour and environmental policies and practices. 

Using the Agreement

Businesses trading in goods

Hong Kong is currently duty-free so there are no tariffs on exports to the territory.

Check the tariff finder (external link)

For goods imported into New Zealand, read the Customs Rules of Origin fact sheet #45 (external link).

Service sector businesses

Use Chapter 13 of the CEP and its Annex 1 [PDF, 1 MB] to find out:

  1. agreed rules for trade in services
  2. how your service is classified and defined  
  3. which articles of the agreement (obligations) are relevant to your service eg national treatment, local presence, market access

Read an overview of what the CEP means for service sector businesses in Chapter nine of the MFAT Guide to the CEP.


There is no investment chapter in this free trade agreement.    

Media and resources

  • The Text of the Agreement  containing commitments on Goods, Services, Government Procurement, Movement of Business People, Rules of Origin, Customs Cooperation, Trade Remedies, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Intellectual Property, Competition, Electronic Commerce, Dispute Settlement, and General Exceptions.
  • Annex 1 [PDF, 11 KB]: Hong Kong Tariff Schedules headnote
  • Annex 2 [PDF, 676 KB]: Hong Kong Tariff Schedules
  • Annex 3 [PDF, 600 KB]: New Zealand Tariff Schedules (Correct Margins)
  • Annex 4 [PDF, 600 KB]: New Zealand Tariff Schedules
  • Annex 5 [PDF, 625 KB]: Annex to chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) - Headnote - Product specific rules of origin

Tariff schedules in HS2012

Other Instruments:

National Interest Analysis: Assesses the impact of the CEP on New Zealand [PDF, 841 KB]
Guide to the New Zealand-Hong Kong, China CEP: Introductory guide to the CEP [PDF, 1.1 MB]
Key Outcomes: Summary of Key Outcomes of the CEP [PDF, 184 KB]

Statements and reviews