Barriers to trade

We want to help New Zealand exporters to succeed in international markets. If you’re experiencing issues with exporting, find out below which government agency can help you.

On this page

Trade barriers are government policies and regulations that favour local suppliers. These might include unjustified standards, testing or certification procedures, investment or visa restrictions. The New Zealand Government may be able to assist you in identifying unfair trade barriers and help you to address them.

Red tape, rules and restrictions

Trade barriers such as government policies and regulations that unjustifiably favour local suppliers are called non-tariff barriers.

Education services

If you export education services and need help with non-tariff barriers, contact Education New Zealand.


If you are a manufacturer and are facing standards, regulations, rules on selling to foreign governments, or other restrictions that are blocking you from exporting, contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Food and primary industries

If you are in the primary sector and encounter non-tariff barriers, such as arbitrary rules for food safety and standards or animal welfare, contact the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Customs tariffs and duties

Customs tariffs are taxes that are levied on goods that cross international borders.

If high customs tariffs are impacting your competitiveness, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Through free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization, MFAT seeks to reduce tariffs our exporters face.

Customs can help with advice on a range of export issues, including tariff classification, and rules of origin.

Border issues

Border issues can delay or stop your goods crossing into countries. Make sure you are aware of all requirements and have everything in place to get your goods across the border smoothly.

Border clearance

If your goods have been held up on the border, the New Zealand Customs Service is the first agency you should contact.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade may also be able to provide in-market support.


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