New Zealand’s free trade agreement with the United Kingdom entered into force on 31 May 2023.
The NZ-UK FTA is one of the highest quality and most comprehensive free trade agreements that New Zealand has ever concluded.
This Agreement reflects our unique and close bond with the UK, and further strengthens our relationship by creating stronger trade and investment ties between our countries.
The market access package is one of the best New Zealand has secured in any trade deal, delivering New Zealand preferential access to the UK’s NZ$3 trillion consumer market for the first time since the UK entered the EU 50 years ago.
The UK is our seventh largest trading partner and a crucial market for some of our key exports, with two-way goods and services trade worth NZ$5.3 billion. Over time the UK will eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with 99.5 percent of current goods trade to the UK duty free immediately.
NZ exporters will immediately save approximately $37 million per year on elimination of tariffs alone.
Protecting and promoting Māori interests in this free trade agreement was a priority for New Zealand and saw the inclusion of a Māori Trade and Economic Cooperation chapter that will create a platform for cooperation on issues important to Māori.
The FTA also reflects Māori interests in key areas across the agreement, such as in the intellectual property and trade and environment chapters. It also includes New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi exception, which enables the New Zealand Government to take measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment to Māori regarding matters covered under the Agreement, including in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.
New Zealand’s Trade for All agenda is reflected throughout the FTA, including in dedicated chapters on Trade and Gender supporting women’s economic empowerment, Trade and Development, Consumer Protection, and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises; and advanced provisions on Environment (including climate change), Trade and Labour, and Anti-Corruption.
Preparations for a NZ-UK FTA began in 2017, but negotiations began only once the UK exited the European Union. Negotiations were formally launched in June 2020.
On 20 October 2021 New Zealand and the UK reached Agreement in Principle (AIP) which confirmed the parameters of the deal and set out the terms on which the text was concluded over subsequent months.
The Agreement was signed on 28 February 2022 (1 March NZT).
Read the media statement: NZ-UK FTA to enter into force early.
Find more information including key outcomes, the National Interest Analysis, the full text of the FTA, and next steps here.
Key outcomes include:
- New Zealand exporters are able to compete on a level playing field in the UK, particularly against other global exporters who have already secured free trade deals with the UK.
- All customs duties on all products will be eliminated between both countries once fully implemented.
- The vast majority of customs duties were removed entirely the day the FTA came into force, including wine, honey, onions, kiwifruit, a range of dairy products, and most industrial products.
- A small number of New Zealand products will be liberalised over a longer time frame of up to 15 years but with significant new duty-free quota access provided in the interim. This includes for apples (3 years), cheese and butter (5 years), and beef and sheep meat (15 years) .
- Overall, this means 99.5% of current New Zealand goods trade entered the UK tariff-free from entry into force of the FTA.
- The NZ-UK FTA provides opportunities for businesses large and small to grow, invest and diversify.
- The FTA features the most far-reaching trade and environment provisions New Zealand has ever negotiated, including commitments to eliminate fisheries subsidies, to take steps toward eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, and to promote sustainable agriculture. It prioritises the elimination of tariffs on over 290 environmentally beneficial products – the largest such list agreed in any FTA to date. It also underlines the urgent need to address climate change, and commits to working together to do so.
- New Zealand’s Trade for All agenda is reflected throughout the FTA, including in a dedicated chapters on Trade and Gender supporting women’s economic empowerment, Māori Trade and Economic Cooperation, Trade and Development, Consumer Protection, and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises; and advanced provisions on Environment (including climate change), Trade and Labour, and Anti-Corruption.
- The FTA preserves the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, including for the environment, education, health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.
- There will be no Investor-State Dispute Settlement in this FTA. It has also been agreed that ISDS would not apply between New Zealand and the UK in CPTPP either, should the UK accede to that Agreement.
You can find further information on the NZ-UK FTA outcomes in the National Interest Analysis.
 ] Beef access is provided through a duty-free quota for 10 years, followed by a product-specific safeguard until year 15. All trade is duty-free below the safeguard trigger.