New Zealand-United Kingdom

Free Trade Agreement

Overview

New Zealand is negotiating a high quality, comprehensive free trade agreement with the United Kingdom, one of the world's largest economies and an important, long standing partner.

New Zealand enjoys a uniquely close bond with the UK. A free trade agreement with the UK will further strengthen our relationship by creating stronger trade and investment ties between our countries.

The UK is a crucial market for some of our key exports, with two-way trade worth NZ$6 billion pre-COVID.  This free trade agreement will provide New Zealand exporters with more favourable access to the UK market, helping to build our trade back up to pre-COVID levels and go beyond that.

Preparations for a NZ-UK FTA began in 2017 but negotiations could only begin once the UK exited the European Union.

Negotiations were formally launched in June 2020.

On 20 October 2021 New Zealand and the UK reached Agreement in Principle or AIP which confirms the parameters of the deal and sets out the terms on which the text will be concluded.

Our aim is to conclude the NZ-UK FTA by the end of this year.

Read the media statement here.

Go to the AIP document here


Agreement in Principle key outcomes

  • New Zealand exporters will be able to compete on a level playing field in the UK, particularly against other global exporters who have already secured free trade deals with the UK.
  • The market access package is one of the very best New Zealand has secured in any trade deal.  All customs duties on all products will be eliminated between us – and the vast majority of these will be removed the day the FTA comes into force, including wine, honey, onions, a range of dairy products, and most industrial products.
  • A small number of New Zealand products will be liberalised over a longer time frame of up to 15 years but with improved access offered from entry into force in all cases.  This includes beef and sheep meat (15 years), cheese and butter (5 years), apples and some other dairy (3 years).
  • The NZ-UK FTA will provide opportunities for businesses large and small to grow, invest and diversify.
  • Protecting and promoting Māori interests in this free trade agreement has been a priority for us throughout this negotiation.  The NZ-UK FTA will recognise the unique status of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and will include New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi exception. This FTA will also include an Indigenous chapter that will create a platform for cooperation on a range of issues important to Māori, and will reflect Māori interests in key areas across the agreement, such as in the intellectual property and trade and environment chapters.
  • The most ambitious trade and environment provisions New Zealand has ever negotiated including commitments to eliminate fisheries subsidies, to take steps toward eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, and to promote sustainable agriculture.  
  • New Zealand’s Trade for All agenda is reflected in the inclusion of a specific chapter on Trade and Gender supporting women’s economic empowerment, as well as commitments on labour standards, development, SMEs and consumer protection.
  • The FTA will preserve the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, including for the environment, education, health and well-being of New Zealanders.
  • There will be no Investment State Dispute Settlement in this FTA.