On 7 April 2022, the Upgrade to the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement entered into force. The Upgrade amended the 2008 FTA to align it with the latest trade policies, and business practices in areas of e-commerce, government procurement, environment and trade, and competition. It also eliminated further tariffs and reduced compliance measures for exporters.
Key outcomes of the upgrade:
- Ensuring the free trade agreement reflects the latest developments in China's trade policy over the decade. This includes addressing new issues like e-commerce, and putting an increased focus on environmental issues.
- Getting a better deal for our services exporters. In recent years, China has opened up its services economy to other countries and made commitments in new services sectors not covered in our existing free trade agreement. We wanted the upgrade to reflect these commitments and go further, creating new opportunities for New Zealand service suppliers in the China market.
- Further reducing tariff rates under the free trade agreement; in particular, improving tariff outcomes for sectors previously not covered in the free trade agreement like wood and paper products.
- Addressing compliance requirements that New Zealand exporters have identified as adding cost or restricting trade with China. This includes reducing some of the red tape in our existing agreement, and addressing a range of non-tariff measures.
- Establishing new channels for dialogue and policy cooperation with China. This allows us to address trade and economic matters important to both sides, now and into the future.
New areas of cooperation
A new chapter on competition policy has been added to the agreement. This demonstrates New Zealand and China’s shared commitment to building efficient, rules-based markets in which our businesses and consumers can trade confidently and fairly. The chapter is comprehensive, requiring both New Zealand and China to be transparent, non-discriminatory and fair in enforcing competition law. The chapter also provides for consumer protection.
This chapter also encourages cooperation between competition authorities and require information to be publically available.
The upgrade includes a new chapter on e-commerce that promotes and facilitates e-commerce, including through creating obligations on transparency, online consumer protection, and personal information protection.
New Zealand and China have agreed to maintain the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.
The chapter also includes cooperation provisions to promote the use of e-commerce by small and medium-sized enterprises, and the development of cross border e-commerce goods trade.
A new government procurement chapter adds commitments on transparency and anti-corruption. The chapter also includes a commitment by China to enter into negotiations with New Zealand once it completes its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on government procurement or if it were to negotiate such provisions with another country.
Environment and trade
A new chapter was added to the agreement to promote environmental protection and that environmental standards are not used for trade protectionist purposes. It builds upon and complements the existing environment cooperation agreement that was negotiated alongside the original free trade agreement. The chapter also provides for New Zealand and China to engage on a range of environment issues.
- Press statement - China FTA Upgrade Entry into Force(external link)
You can find the text of the FTA Upgrade on the New Zealand – China FTA Text page.