The Pathway to CER

This year Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia will mark the 40th anniversary of the Australia-New Zealand CER (Closer Economic Relations).
  • 1970: Talks begin in the late 1970s for a new agreement to replace the 1965 New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • 1973: New Zealanders and Australians are free to visit, live and work in each other’s country under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.
  • 1980: The concept of “closer economic relations” between New Zealand and Australia was introduced in a joint Prime Ministerial communiqué. Both countries agreed a structured relationship would be mutually beneficial.
  • 1982: A new agreement is reached in December.
  • 1983: The CER is signed and comes in to force in March 1983.
  • 1988: The first review of the CER reaffirms it has been a great success.
  • 1989: The Trade in Services Protocol(external link) allows for most services to be traded across the Tasman free of restriction.
  • 1990: All tariffs and quotas are eliminated - five years ahead of schedule.
  • 1995: The 1995 Food Standards Treaty(external link) creates common rules for food standards, lower compliance costs for food exporters and more consumer choice.
  • 1998: The Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA)(external link) allows for anyone who is registered to practice an occupation in one country to practice in the other.
  • 2010: The Double Taxation Agreement(external link) lowers withholding taxes on certain payments made between New Zealand and Australia.
  • 2013: It is easier to invest in each other’s countries under the March 2013 Investment Protocol [PDF, 88 KB]
  • 2023: Celebrating 40 years of Closer Economic Relations between Australia and New Zealand.


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