After nearly two years and seven rounds of negotiation, and following the Agreement in Principle (AiP) sealed in October 2021 (see CTPA news item), the UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was finalised and signed on 28 February 2022.
The deal aims at removing trade barriers on range of UK-originating goods and services, and provide new opportunities for British businesses. For example, tariffs will be eliminated on all UK exports to New Zealand, and the FTA will provide flexible rules of origin.
The inclusion of a dedicated Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Chapter means that small businesses will have the opportunity to benefit from practical advice and support to find opportunities for facilitated trade in New Zealand. In addition, smaller businesses will find it easier to break into the New Zealand market as a result of modernised customs procedures, such as digital documents and faster customs clearance.
More importantly, the deal brings provisions on regulatory environment and cooperation, with the aim to bring clarity, stability and certainty for UK businesses on the regulatory framework and policy making in New Zealand. Under the deal, the UK and New Zealand are seeking to enhance cooperation across any sector of mutual interest, notably for cosmetics.
Sector-specific provisions are included within Chapter 7 of the Agreement, including Article 7.15 dedicated to cosmetic products. In this Article, the UK and New Zealand have agreed provision on ongoing collaboration and established an agreement on upholding the ban on animal testing and supporting alternative methodologies.
Finally, the agreement confirmed commitments to the Paris Agreement and Net Zero, bringing the two nations closer to a more sustainable future. In this regard, the deal will also liberalise tariffs on a list of environmental goods and encourage trade and investment in low carbon services and technologies.
Please note the agreement is not yet in force, as both the UK and New Zealand are required to complete their respective domestic procedures for the agreement to come into effect. Once approved by both parliaments, businesses will be able to trade under its terms. Further information on the UK-New Zealand FTA can be found on the UK Government website.