Page load in progress

International agreements

In this section, you can source legislation covering New Zealand's close working relationships and cooperative agreements with other countries aimed at improving the movement of trade goods and enhancing the security of borders.


For additional information on New Zealand’s international trade relations see Free Trade Agreements and Mutual Recognition Arrangements.

Information related to international agreements

Joint Statement between New Zealand and the United States (2012)

The Joint Statement between New Zealand and the United States to Strengthen Border Security, Combat Transnational Crime and Facilitate Legitimate Trade and Travel (PDF 30 KB) was signed 2 May 2012 by New Zealand Customs Minister, Maurice Williamson, and United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, in Wellington.

The signing of the joint statement signalled the start of a two-year work programme to ensure New Zealand’s trade and travel with the United States is secure and efficient.

Product-specific rules for Australian Goods - Customs and Excise Amendment Regulations (2011)

Set out below is Annex G (PDF 868 KB) of the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement which are incorporated by reference by the Customs and Excise (Rules of Origin – Product-specific Rules for Australian Goods) Amendment Regulations 2011 (PDF 271 KB) in those regulations.

Customs and Excise (Rules of Origin-Harmonised System) Amendment Regulations (2011)

The Customs and Excise (Rules of Origin-Harmonised System) Amendment Regulations 2011 went to the Executive Council on 3 October 2011.

These Regulations which will come into force on 1 January 2012 make changes to New Zealand’s Rules of Origin Regulations relating to ANZCERTA, Hong Kong China and Malaysia.

The relevant rules of origin covered by this notice are new product-specific “rules of origin” applicable to imports from Australia (under the ANZCERTA), Malaysia and Hong Kong China that are the subject of claims for preferential tariff treatment upon entry to New Zealand.

These changes were required following the World Customs Organization’s review of the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (“Harmonized System” or “HS”).

These rules of origin are incorporated into the Customs and Excise Regulations by reference pursuant to section 412 of the Customs and Excise Act 2018.

Unlike other rules of origin in this Order that are applicable to imports under preference from Thailand, China, the Association of South-East Asian Nations / Australia under the AANZFTA, and from Singapore / Chile / Brunei under the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement.

None of those other rules of origin is incorporated by reference.

The relevant changes to rules of origin can be viewed in Legal documents, and by using the links below:

New Zealand–Hong Kong, China - Customs and Excise Amendment Regulations (2010)

Set out below are the provisions of the New Zealand–Hong Kong China Closer Economic Partnership done at Hong Kong on 29 March 2010 which are incorporated by reference by the Customs and Excise (Rules of Origin for New Zealand–Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership Agreement Goods) Amendment Regulations 2010 (PDF 268 KB):

Provisions of New Zealand-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement - Customs and Excise Amendment Regulations (2010)

Set out below are the provisions of the Malaysia–New Zealand Free Trade Agreement done at Kuala Lumpur on 26 October 2009 which are incorporated by reference by the Customs and Excise (Rules of Origin for Malaysia Free Trade Agreement Goods) Amendment Regulations 2010 in those regulations:

World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2003)

New Zealand ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) on 27 January 2004 and it came into force on 27 February 2005. For the full text of the Convention visit the WHO website. Updates on New Zealand’s implementation of the Convention are on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Customs has a key role in enforcing controls over the illicit trade of tobacco as part of its border protection function. As an agency, Customs must comply with Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC to ensure transparency in its dealings with the tobacco industry.

Illicit trade protocol

  • On 23 May 2017, the Government made the decision to defer consideration of New Zealand becoming a party to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products until there are changes in circumstances that warrant consideration. Information on the Protocol is on the Ministry of Health’s website.
  • Customs actively monitors and responds to instances of illicit trade in tobacco products through our normal risk assessment, intelligence and border enforcement functions.

Obligation under Article 5.3

  • This obligation requires agencies to be accountable and transparent in engagement with the tobacco industry to protect public health policies on tobacco control from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. As part of meeting this requirement, Customs maintains a public record of all of its meetings with tobacco organisations and their representatives.
  • Customs meets with the tobacco industry on an as necessary basis to discuss illicit trade in tobacco and, when appropriate, any changes to Customs’ legislation that affect importers and manufacturers.

Meeting attendees:

May 2020

Purpose: to discuss illicit trade in tobacco

Meeting attendees: Customs officials; Gary Dickson and Louise Evans-McDonald, Imperial Tobacco; and Janice Thein, British American Tobacco.

January 2020

Purpose: to discuss illicit trade in tobacco

Meeting attendees: Customs officials; and Gary Dickson, Imperial Tobacco.

November 2019

Purpose: to discuss illicit trade in tobacco

Meeting attendees: Customs officials; Gary Dickson, Imperial Tobacco; and Janice Thein, British American Tobacco.

May 2019

Purpose: to discuss illicit trade in tobacco

Meeting attendees: Customs officials; Louise Evans-McDonald and Gary Dickson, Imperial Tobacco; Janice Thein, British American Tobacco; and William Churchill, Philip Morris.

February 2019

Purpose: to discuss illicit trade in tobacco

Meeting attendees: Customs officials; Louise Evans-McDonald and Gary Dickson, Imperial Tobacco; Janice Thein, British American Tobacco; William Churchill and Sharon Buckland, Philip Morris.

  • Customs operational staff have regular contact with importers and manufacturers of tobacco products in respect of ensuring compliance with importing and excise obligations.