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New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement

New Zealand signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union on 9 July 2023 in Brussels. The NZ-EU FTA enters into force on 1 May 2024.

From day one, duties will be removed on 91% of New Zealand’s goods exports to the EU, rising to 97% after seven years.

The NZ-EU FTA will create opportunities for New Zealand businesses and provide access to one of the world’s biggest trading markets.

Customs leads the negotiation of the Rules of Origin and Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation chapters, and provided input into the negotiation of other chapters of the Free Trade Agreement, including trade in goods and border enforcement of intellectual property.  

Goods and tariffs

Currently, most New Zealand goods entering the EU are subject to a tariff, which is a tax paid at the border in order to get goods into the market.

From the first day the FTA enters into force, most New Zealand goods entering the EU will have these tariffs eliminated entirely.

For some goods like meat and dairy, tariffs will remain but there will be an increase in quota volume, with reduced in-quota tariff rates. Quotas will also increase over time.

You can check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Tariff Finder to work out the pre-FTA and FTA tariff rates for different goods.

  • View the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's key facts on NZ-EU trade to see an infographic for a visual guide
  • View the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's understanding the NZ-EU FTA for key information, including a document detailing key outcomes for New Zealand

Claiming preference under EU FTA

Under the EU FTA, a claim that goods are eligible for preferential tariff treatment is based on either the importer’s knowledge or a written or electronic statement on origin completed by the exporter and made available on request from the importing Party. 

Rules of Origin

Rules of Origin (ROO) allow New Zealand exporters to be able to claim New Zealand tariff preferences under an FTA. These determine origin based on a product being wholly obtained or meeting a proportional requirement to be considered ‘a New Zealand product’, either on the basis of value added, a change in tariff classification requirement or a specified process.

There are also provisions for ‘cumulation’ of materials and processes, and certain ‘tolerances’ regarding the level of non-originating materials that may be used in a New Zealand-originating product.

You need to check if your goods meet the Rules of Origin in order to claim the tariff advantage. These are included in the MFAT Tariff Finder and in the links below.

The NZ-EU FTA provides for self-declaration of origin. This reduces transaction costs for exporters, because rather than requiring a third-party certificate, origin can now be established with a statement that the product is originating from New Zealand made out by the exporter, or the importer’s knowledge that the product is from New Zealand.

Rules of origin provisions

Product Specific Rules

Contact Customs if you are unsure about the ROOs for your product or the customs procedures.

HS and CN codes

The EU system uses 'Combined Nomenclature' (CN) codes for identifying and classifying goods.

CN codes are 8 digits - the first 6 digits from the HS code (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System), with two more numbers added on the end to provide more detailed classification within the EU.

Find more information on customs clarifications codes for the EU, and you can use the MFAT Tariff Finder if you'd like to find out your HS/CN code.

Geographical indications

Geographical indications (GIs) are legally protected names that identify that a product comes from a particular area. They indicate that a product has a given quality, reputation or other characteristic that is strongly associated to that area. Well-known examples include Champagne and Parma ham.

New Zealand and the EU will each protect a list of the other’s geographical indications.

New Zealand’s regime for the registration of wine and spirits geographical indications will be extended to include geographical indications for agricultural products, foodstuffs and other types of beverages.

Only EU producers will be able to use the protected EU geographical indications on relevant products imported and sold in New Zealand. New Zealand producers will need to stop using terms like “sherry”, “port” and “feta” on their products.

Some of these protections will be phased in over between 5 and 9 years.

Existing users can continue to use ‘gruyere’ and ‘parmesan’.

New Zealand wine producers will be benefit from protected GIs for wines exported and sold in the EU. The EU has agreed to protect twenty-three New Zealand wine GIs (including Marlborough, Central Otago, Waiheke Island and Martinborough).

You can find more information about GIs, including a register and application details at the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office website.

More information