NZ-EU FTA gains Royal Assent for 1 May entry to force

The European Union Free Trade Agreement Legislation Amendment Bill received Royal Assent today, completing the process for New Zealand’s ratification of its free trade agreement with the European Union.

“I am pleased to announce that today, in a small ceremony at the Beehive, New Zealand notified the European Union of our ratification of the New Zealand European Union Free Trade Agreement (NZ-EUFTA). This enables the agreement to come into force earlier than expected, from 1 May 2024,” Trade and Agriculture Minister, Todd McClay says.

“For Kiwi fruit exporters Zespri estimates tariff removals will generate an average annual savings of up to $16,000 per kiwi fruit grower this year. While Onions New Zealand expect to see annual industry savings of $6.5 million.

“The Agreement also reduces regulatory barriers on service exports by 10 to 20 per cent, contributing an additional $95 to $187 million to our GDP once implemented.

“The EU is an important and like-minded international partner for New Zealand. This FTA provides a platform to further grow our trade relationship and deepen business connections,” Mr McClay says.

Upon entry to force on 1 May, the Agreement is set to increase our total exports to the EU by $1.8 billion annually.

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.
  • Tariff savings of $100 million per year on New Zealand exports to the EU from day one.
  • Significant new quota access for beef, sheep meat, butter and cheese – worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year, if filled.