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New Zealand–China Free Trade Agreement

The New Zealand–China Free Trade Agreement (NZCFTA) entered into force on 1 October 2008. NZ was the first OECD country to sign a comprehensive free trade agreement with China.

On 1 October 2016, a change to the Customs Export Entry Rules 1997 comes into effect, making it necessary to enter the Certificate of Origin (COO) number in the export entry declaration, where tariff preference is requested. You can find further information on the process and frequently asked questions on the COO data for export entries to China notice.

Claiming Preference in China – Certificates of Origin

China requires all imports claiming preference under the NZCFTA to be accompanied by a certificate of origin issued by an authorised certifying body of NZ. A certificate of origin can be obtained from one of NZ’s certifying bodies.

Claiming Preference in NZ

An NZ importer may make a claim for preferential tariff treatment on the basis of a certificate of origin, a declaration of origin, or other evidence sufficient to prove that the goods satisfy the relevant rules of origin provisions. If requested by Customs, an importer claiming preference must be able to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate the claim.


Goods may transit through a non-party to the Agreement and maintain preference. However, the goods may not enter the trade or commerce of a non-party, or undergo certain operations other than unloading, reloading, repacking and other processes that are required to maintain goods in good condition while they are transported through that non-party.

China Customs may request relevant documents to confirm the goods meet the respective rules of origin. This evidence could include commercial documents, such as the commercial invoice and a through bill of lading.

Exporters who are unable to provide relevant documents should aim to ensure that the seal of the container is intact, and the seal numbers and container numbers match the information on associated commercial documents, such as the bill of lading and certificate of origin.

More information

Relevant information on the NZCFTA including a tariff finder and information on doing business in China can be found on the MFAT website.

New Zealand Customs Notices

China Bonded Warehouse Procedures (PDF 148 KB).

Rules of Origin Provisions

Customs and Excise Regulations 1996 (NZ Legislation).

Product Specific Rules