NZ-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership

New Zealand and Thailand are complementary economies, with Thailand exporting mainly manufactured goods to New Zealand, and New Zealand exporting agricultural goods and wood.

On this page

Thailand is our 10th largest trading partner, with the total trade in goods between our countries reaching more than NZ$2.5 billion in 2014. Although the value of our exports to Thailand fluctuates from year to year, since the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) came into force in 2005, total exports have almost doubled. New Zealand is now also importing twice as much from Thailand as we did before the CEP.

The Thailand CEP is most relevant to businesses trading in goods and making investments. Services are not included yet but are covered in our other FTA with Thailand, AANZFTA.

In November 2011, a joint general review of the CEP found the agreement had created significant trade and economic benefits for both countries. Since then the two countries have been working together to modernise the agreement under a “CEP refresh plan”. This includes extending the CEP to include services and government procurement, and a review of the Special Agricultural Safeguards that allow tariffs to be reimposed in certain circumstances.

Facts and figures

Thailand Population: 68.6 million (2014)

Thailand GDP: US$374 billion (2014)

Timeline: Negotiations began in June 2004, agreement signed in April 2005. The CEP came into effect in July 2005.

New Zealand’s major exports to Thailand: Milk powder and other dairy products, apples, wood pulp

New Zealand’s major imports from Thailand: motor vehicles, plastics, tyres, air conditioners and refrigerators

Agreement highlights

  • Tariffs and quotas on all New Zealand’s exports will be progressively eliminated by 2025. On 1 January 2015, 65% of our exports entered Thailand duty free, including all fisheries products, all forestry products, buttermilk, wine, honey, deer velvet, butter fats and frozen potato chips.
  • Simpler Rules of Origin (ROO) for goods to qualify as tariff-free, including removing the requirement for a Certificate of Origin and replacing it with a declaration only.
  • Easier trading through agreed rules on: customs, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, electronic commerce, intellectual property and competition policy.
  • More relaxed rules around temporary entry into Thailand for NZ business travellers.
  • Improved investment environment under the ‘national treatment’ principal that investors in each other’s countries be treated the same as local investors (with some restrictions).
  • A clear and detailed process to settle disputes related to the CEP.

Alongside the CEP, New Zealand and Thailand have signed Arrangements on Labour and Environment, where both countries agree to ensure that their labour and environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices are in harmony with relevant international obligations.

Using the agreement

Businesses trading in goods

Read the Customs fact sheet for the NZ Thailand CEP Rules of Origin for Imports [PDF, 235 KB].

Service sector businesses

To date services are not included in the NZ Thailand CEP. Services trade with Thailand is covered in AANZFTA.


Use the MFAT Guide to the NZ-Thailand CEP [PDF, 982 KB] and chapter 9, page 44 of the CEP [PDF, 388 KB] to find out how the FTA helps investors.

Deciding which FTA to use

New Zealand has a second FTA with Thailand – AANZFTA which is between New Zealand, Australia and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). This agreement came into force in January 2010. You’ll need to decide which agreement to use when doing business with Thailand – the Tariff finder(external link) will help you.

You can also use this NZIER study [PDF, 130 KB] to help you decide which agreement to use.

Media and resources

National Interest Analysis was done before formal negotiation started, and shows the potential benefits of the CEP.


Tariff schedules in HS2012

Side letters to the Agreement


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