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Frequently asked questions
The UK is a crucial market for some of our key exports, with two-way trade worth NZ$6 billion pre-COVID, as well as being a significant source of and destination for New Zealand investment.
A NZ-UK FTA supports diversification of our trading relationships, a key part of New Zealand’s trade strategy.
The pandemic has severely disrupted the global economy. A high quality, comprehensive and inclusive FTA will accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery by providing New Zealand exporters with more favourable access to the UK market. This will enable us to build our trade back up to, and go beyond, pre-COVID levels.
The market access granted under the FTA will ensure New Zealand business will be able to compete on a level playing field in the UK alongside other countries that already enjoy preferential access (tariff and quota free) under existing UK trade agreements.
Economic modelling estimates New Zealand goods exports to the UK will increase by over 50% and that NZ GDP will benefit by between $700 million and $1 billion due to the FTA.
The UK will eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with 99.5% of current NZ trade entering the UK duty free from entry into force.
NZ exporters will save approx. $37.8 million per year on tariff elimination alone, of which $37 million will be from entry into force.
The market access outcomes are among the very best New Zealand has secured in any trade deal:
- The UK will eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with tariff elimination on the vast majority of tariff lines (97%) the day the FTA comes into force. For key products where tariffs will be removed over time, there are sizeable duty-free quotas which cover current exports and allow for significant growth in trade.
- As a result, 99.5% of current NZ trade will enter the UK duty free from entry into force of the FTA.
- Non-tariff barriers have also been tackled. For example, the FTA will recognise a number of New Zealand wine-making practices and address burdensome labelling and certification requirements faced by New Zealand’s wine makers.
- The UK’s market access commitments for services exporters and investors are among the best it has agreed with any FTA partner. The UK has also committed to extend any future market opening agreed in future FTAs to New Zealand.
- The UK has agreed to extend visa commitments for business people, adding more sectors and categories to the existing access under the WTO.
- Improvements have also been made in government procurement, with the UK expanding the types of service contracts New Zealand providers can bid for.
- Many other outcomes will make trade with the UK easier, less costly and more accessible for small business. This includes streamlined customs procedures and provisions that will facilitate digital trade and promote connectivity between New Zealand and the UK.
The Agreement recognises the unique and historical relationship that exists between Māori and the British Crown as original signatories of te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi.
Māori economic and trade interests were prioritised in negotiations and are reflected across the Agreement. This includes a dedicated Maori Trade and Economic Cooperation chapter that will create a future platform for cooperation on a range of issues important to Maori. The FTA also contains New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi exception that ensures that nothing in the Agreement would prevent the New Zealand Government from meeting its obligations to Maori, including under te Tiriti/the Treaty.
Read more about identified Māori trade interests and Māori engagement in the NZ-UK FTA negotiations.
The Environment chapter includes ground-breaking commitments for both countries. The agreement is New Zealand’s first bilateral trade deal to include a specific article on climate change and contains extensive provisions to address environmentally harmful subsidies including fossil fuel subsidies and fisheries subsidies which lead to overfishing.
The Environment chapter also prioritises the elimination of tariffs on 293 environmentally beneficial products – the largest environment goods list ever agreed in any FTA.
The Environment chapter, for the first time in any FTA, acknowledges the important role that sustainable Māori environmental approaches (including references to concepts such as kaitiakitanga and mauri) can play in areas such as fisheries, forestry and agriculture.
Reflecting New Zealand’s Trade for All agenda, the FTA includes leading-edge commitments on trade that are sustainable, inclusive and reach many New Zealand communities. This includes outcomes in areas such as trade and labour, a chapter on trade and development, and new chapters on trade and gender equality to support women’s economic empowerment and on consumer protection. A chapter on digital trade will support the growth of New Zealand’s tech exports and promote cooperation in regard to new technologies.
There is no investor-state dispute settlement in the NZ-UK FTA. New Zealand and the UK have also agreed that investor-state provisions in CPTPP will not apply between New Zealand and the UK should the UK accede to that Agreement.
New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Act will continue to operate as it does now, including the operation of New Zealand’s investment screening regime. As part of the FTA, New Zealand has agreed to raise the screening threshold under the Act for UK investors to the same level which many of New Zealand’s existing FTA partners already benefit from ($200 million).
New Zealand has agreed to make some changes to our copyright system. Specifically, New Zealand will extend copyright term by 20 years for authors, performers and producers; introduce an artist’s resale right scheme; and expand the scope of performer rights. Transition periods were secured for these commitments where needed (for example, New Zealand will have 15 years to implement the changes to copyright term).
No changes are required to patents and data protection rules.
No up-front commitments have been made on geographical indications (GIs). New Zealand agreed that, should a scheme for agricultural products or foodstuffs be introduced, the FTA will be reviewed to extend this system to UK GIs (and provide for equivalent protection to be afforded to New Zealand GIs in the UK).
A key New Zealand objective in negotiations was to preserve the right of government to continue to regulate in the public interest, including for the environment, education, and health and well-being of New Zealanders. This was achieved in many ways, including through comprehensive general exceptions and other safeguards that were agreed in individual FTA chapters.
These exceptions cover key areas such as public health, environmental and climate action measures, national security, prudential regulation of the financial sector, taxation, and economic (balance of payments) crises. The UK also agreed to New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi and creative arts exceptions.
The Government Procurement chapter spells out clearly the ability for both governments to adopt procurement measures to achieve environmental, social, economic or cultural objectives. In New Zealand’s case, this would include policies and practices in support of increased participation by Māori, regional businesses and SMEs.
The NZ-UK FTA does apply to Northern Ireland. Due to the complexities of the Northern Ireland Protocol, however, it is not currently possible for New Zealand exporters to export product subject to WTO or FTA quotas to Northern Ireland at a preferential tariff rate, whether directly or via Great Britain. While the ‘Windsor Framework’ announced on 27 February 2023 does not address the issue of quota access into Northern Ireland (with the exception of steel), both the UK and the EU have stated they have a commitment or forward process to reach a solution for other goods subject to quotas to be imported into Northern Ireland.
The UK is also working to establish, later in 2023, a reimbursement scheme for goods (including from third countries) which travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland for final consumption in Northern Ireland, but which are nevertheless subject to EU tariffs due to the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Further details will be available in due course.
- For the UK, the FTA applies to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It takes into account the effects of the Protocol.
- Obligations under the NZ-UK FTA also apply to Northern Ireland. However, the FTA does not preclude the UK from adopting or maintaining measures, or refraining from doing so, in line with the Northern Ireland Protocol (provided that any such measures are not used as a means of arbitrary or unjustified discrimination against New Zealand, or as a disguised restriction on trade).
New Zealand exporters will have the flexibility to export under the trade agreements that best suit their interests.
More broadly, New Zealand and the UK have shared trade policy and geostrategic interests in the UK’s accession to CPTPP. As a G7 member, the world’s sixth-largest economy, and as a country committed to high standards and rules-based trade, the UK’s membership will significantly benefit the CPTPP, and the prosperity of our region.
The agreement came into force at 00:01AM on 31 May 2023.
99.5% of current New Zealand exports entered the UK duty-free from this date, via a combination of tariff elimination and sizeable duty-free quotas. NZ exporters will save approximately $37 million per year on tariff elimination alone from 31 May 2023, increasing to $37.8 million once fully implemented.