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New Trans-Tasman trade rules benefit NZ business

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade
Hon Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Commerce
Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Customs

19 December 2006
Media statement

New Trans-Tasman trade rules to benefit NZ businesses

New Zealand businesses can look forward to increasingly liberalised trans-Tasman trade and reduced compliance costs as of January 1, Trade Minister Phil Goff, Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel and Customs Minister Nania Mahuta announced today.

The new Rules of Origin reform under the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER) has improved the rules for New Zealand producers and exporters wanting to qualify for preferential entry into the Australian market.

Ministers Goff, Dalziel and Mahuta said the new rules are based on satisfying a change in tariff classification rather than the current 50 percent regional value content threshold.

Under the current rules, an Australian or New Zealand business must achieve 50 percent Australia- New Zealand content to be able to put their products into each other’s markets without paying tariff duty. The reforms will have a liberalising effect on trans-Tasman trade, support the competitiveness of businesses and reduce compliance costs.

The new change in tariff classification approach means for the majority of tariff lines, an exporter need simply satisfy the condition that there has been a specified change in tariff classification between any imported materials from third countries, and the completed good being exported to Australia or New Zealand.

Ministers Goff, Dalziel and Mahuta said the new rules shift the focus from the origin of imported materials to the transformation of the goods undertaken in either Australia or New Zealand, giving manufacturers greater flexibility in the choice of materials they use to make their products.

This will help increase efficiency and competitiveness, and will also significantly reduce the need to keep financial cost records to support rules of origin claims.

The agreement also provides for exporters the option of continuing under the current rules until 2012.

The move to a change of tariff classification model follows a trend towards this approach in trade agreements world-wide. It is the result of extensive negotiation between Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand businesses can view the new schedule of product-specific rules on the websites of the Ministry of Economic Development: http://www.med.govt.nz/, or by contacting the New Zealand Customs Service, Phone 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786).

ENDS

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