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Step Closer For European Union Free Trade Agreement

Hon Todd McClay

Minister for Trade

New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.

“Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to be taking forward legislation which will bring the now completed FTA into effect,” says Trade Minister Todd McClay.

“Until now, many New Zealand products have been effectively locked out of the EU market as a consequence of high tariffs and restrictive quotas. The FTA will finally level the playing field for Kiwi businesses in the EU market. It will unlock new opportunities to grow our exports and fast implementation will contribute to achieving the Government’s goal of doubling the value of exports over the next ten years.”

“The Government aims to finish its part of the procedure through Parliament by May this year, so that New Zealand exporters can take advantage of the agreement’s benefits as soon as possible,” Mr McClay says.

The agreement will come into force at an agreed date after New Zealand has passed the implementing legislation and notified the EU.

Benefits of the deal include:

· An annual boost to GDP of up to $1.4 billion, and increase of exports to the EU by up to $1.8 billion per year by 2035.

· Duties removed on 91% of New Zealand’s goods exports to the EU from entry into force, rising to 97% after seven years.

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· Tariff savings of $100 million per year on New Zealand exports to the EU from day one – the highest immediate tariff savings of any New Zealand FTA. This includes the removal of tariffs on products like kiwifruit, Mānuka honey, fish and seafood, onions, wine and industrial products.

· Additional quotas for meat and dairy.

Media contact: Hannah Miller 021 869 105

Notes for Editors:

  • In November last year, the European Parliament voted in favour of ratifying the New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement (NZ-EU FTA) by a substantial majority.
  • New Zealand needs to pass implementing legislation in order to ratify the agreement.
  • Once both New Zealand and the EU have completed ratification, they must notify each other. The agreement will come into force on the first day of the second month following notification.
  • The EU is New Zealand’s fourth-largest trade partner, with two-way goods and services trade worth NZ$20.2 billion in 2022, accounting for 10.3% of New Zealand’s total trade in goods and services.
  • Negotiations on the NZ-EU FTA concluded on 30 June 2022. The Agreement was signed on 9 July 2023 in Brussels.
  • Find more information on the NZ-EU FTA at

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