Insights UK signs new Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

The UK has signed a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand that the Government says will “remove trade barriers on a huge range of UK goods and services and provide new opportunities for British businesses”.

The UK-New Zealand trade relationship was worth £2.3 billion in 2020 and is now expected to increase by around 60%. Under the new deal, tariffs will be eliminated on all UK exports to New Zealand, including current tariffs of up to 10% on clothing and footwear, 5% on buses and up to 5% on ships, bulldozers and excavators. Further, the Government says, 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 a six-hour customs clearance mechanism.

Other UK benefits include:

  • UK professionals, such as lawyers and auditors, being able to work in New Zealand more easily, and bring their families with them;
  • less red tape for the 5,900 UK SMEs who export goods to New Zealand and employ 233,000 people;
  • guarantees for small businesses who will benefit from practical advice and support to find opportunities and link to commercial partners in New Zealand; and
  • flexible rules of origin to give British exporters an advantage over international rivals in the New Zealand import market, which is expected to grow by 30% by 2030.

The Government says that the deal is ‘the most advanced agreement New Zealand have signed with any nation bar Australia” and is part of its “ambitious strategy to deepen trade ties with like-minded partners and create a more predictable, free and fair framework for UK businesses”. To read the Government’s press release in full and for a link to the new FTA, click here.