New Zealand and Australia’s economic and trading relationship is recognised as one of the closest, broadest and mutually compatible in the world.

Since 1983 trade between New Zealand and Australia has increased steadily. Trans-Tasman trade in goods was NZ$14.5 billion. Our goods exports to Australia were NZ$8.3 billion, making up 17.1% of our total exports.

Australia is our biggest services trade partner. 21% of all our services exports are to Australia ($NZ 3.8 billion) and services imports from Australia make up 29.4% (NZ$5.1 billion) of all our service imports.

Foreign direct investment between New Zealand and Australia was almost NZ$66 billion as at March 2017. Australia is our top destination for overseas investment. New Zealand had direct investment stocks of NZ$12.6 billion in Australia as at March 2017. Australia is the largest source of foreign direct investment in New Zealand, at NZ$53 billion.

Single Economic Market

New Zealand and Australia have committed to creating a seamless trans-Tasman economic environment, making it as easy for New Zealanders to do business in Australia as it is to do business in and around New Zealand. This is known as the Single Economic Market (SEM), and builds on the foundation of the CER Agreement.

Read more about the SEM

CER ministerial discussions

The Australian and New Zealand Trade Ministers hold regular CER/SEM meetings as a forum to oversee the CER and to provide direction for the SEM agenda.

Read more about the latest CER ministerial discussions (external link) 

Facts and figures

Australia Population: 24.39 million 

Australia GDP: US$1.205 trillion (2016)

Timeline: CER replaced the 1965 New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Talks began in the late 1970s and a new agreement was reached in December 1982. CER came into force in January 1983. 

NZ’s major goods exports to Australia (March 2017): precious metals, jewellery and coins (NZ$625 million), crude oil (NZ$587 million), misc. edible preparations (NZ$577 million).

NZ’s major goods imports from Australia (March 2017): motor vehicles (NZ$428 million), mechanical machinery and equipment (NZ$399 million), misc. edible preparations (NZ$320 million).

CER highlights

Using CER

Businesses trading in goods

All goods which meet CER Rules of Origin can be traded free of tariffs between New Zealand and Australia. 

Read the Customs fact sheet for CER - Rules of Origin #20 (external link)

New Zealand has a second FTA with Australia – AANZFTA – which is between New Zealand, Australia and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).  In most instances you’ll be better off using the CER to export goods to Australia.

Service sector businesses

The 1988 CER Protocol on Trade in Services (external link) achieved free trade in nearly all services, allowing New Zealand and Australian service provider’s comprehensive access to each other’s market.  The Protocol contains some exclusions (areas where full access is not provided), which are regularly reviewed and have been substantially reduced over time.

Australia has the following exclusions:

  • Broadcasting and television (shortwave and satellite broadcasting)
  • Compulsory third-party motor vehicle insurance
  • Specified postal services
  • Coastal shipping cabotage policy

New Zealand has the following exclusions:

  • Air services
  • Coastal shipping

Investors

The 2013 CER Investment Protocol is an ambitious investment agreement, and maintains CER’s status as one of the world’s most comprehensive free trade agreements. The Protocol reduces compliance costs and provides greater legal certainty for trans-Tasman investors by providing higher thresholds at which foreign investments are screened.

Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum

The Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) is a business-led initiative designed to further develop both the Australian and New Zealand bilateral relationship, and to provide a vehicle for direct business input into the trans-Tasman economic integration agenda. The ANZLF brings together Ministers and leaders of business, government and academia to create an independent public platform for discussing the Australia New Zealand relationship. In February 2015 the ANZLF celebrated its tenth anniversary, and the eleventh ANZLF was held in Sydney in October 2016.

The ANZLF has been influential in setting the trans-Tasman agenda in the past, particularly in the economic space, such as supporting the acceleration of the SEM initiative and advancing the concept of ‘net trans-Tasman benefit’. It has a New Zealand Co-Chair (currently Adrian Littlewood, Chief Executive of Auckland Airport) and an Australian Co-Chair (Ann Sherry AO, Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia). The ANZLF has working groups that have been championing and shaping the agenda across five sectors: innovation, infrastructure, tourism, health technology and agribusiness.

Media and resources

CER

The Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relationship Booklet 2005 [PDF, 549 KB]

Customs fact sheet for the CER - Rules of Origin #20 (external link)

Trans-Tasman Outcomes Implementation Group (TTOIG) (external link)

1988 CER Services Protocol (external link)

Tariff schedules in HS2017

HS2017 Customs Tariff Revisions- New Zealand (external link)

HS2017 Customs Tariff Revisions - Australia (external link)

CER Investment Protocol

New Zealand Australia CER Investment Protocol: Factsheet [PDF, 478 KB]

New Zealand Australia CER Investment Protocol: National Interest Analysis (NIA) [PDF, 517 KB] tabled in Parliament 16 February 2011

New Zealand Australia CER Investment Protocol: Text

Regulatory environment for businesses

Memorandum of Understanding on the Coordination of Business Law (external link) (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) 

Joint Food Standards Agreement (external link) (NZ Food Safety Authority))

Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA) (external link)

Australia New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement (external link)

Tax agreement

Double Tax Agreement (external link) (Inland Revenue)

Australian Government information

Australian government information on CER (external link)

Communiques

Joint Statement – Leaders’ Meeting 17 February 2017 (external link)

Joint Statement – Leaders’ Meeting 19 February 2016 (external link)

CER Ministerial 2015 Joint Communique (external link)

Trade statistics

Trade, Investment and Migration data (external link)