Free trade agreements (FTAs) are designed to assist New Zealand traders (exporters and importers) by providing improved access to partner markets, and reducing trade barriers in those markets.
An FTA establishes:
preferential tariff rates for goods when imported into the countries party to that Agreement
rules by which goods can qualify for those preferential tariffs (rules of origin)
customs procedures for claiming preferential tariff rates (rules of origin procedures)
general principles for customs procedures among the countries party to an Agreement: these commit each country to facilitate trade by providing customs procedures which are always predictable, transparent and fair.
NZ Exporters looking to trade into a country we have a free trade agreement with should first make sure that they:
read the relevant Agreement before exporting
understand the preferential tariff rates that apply specifically to their products (most tariff rates will be phased out over time and gradually reduced to zero)
establish whether or not their products qualify as originating in New Zealand as set out in the Rules of Origin Chapter and the Product Specific Rules Schedule
fully understand the procedures that should be followed including documentary requirements when claiming preference
check all of the above for the specific Agreement for the market in question (tariff rates, rules of origin and procedures vary between agreements).
Detailed information on all New Zealand’s free trade agreements is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The site contains links to useful tools and additional information to help exporters in particular markets – eg, tools to locate tariff rates under specific agreements. There is also information on trade agreements which are currently being negotiated. Details on all our current and future trade agreements can be found at:
Information on rules of origin and Customs procedures is also provided in Customs fact sheets on most trade agreements.