Free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand

14/06/2024    47

On 1 May 2024, a new free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand entered into force, with the aim of eliminating tariffs on goods originating in these countries over the period of seven years. The agreement also provides for quantitative quotas for certain products. Once these quotas are reached, a contractual (standard) tariff rate will apply to imports into the EU.

The application of the agreement itself is based, as is usual for similar agreements, on the preferential origin of goods. The agreement includes specific rules for the determination of preferential origin and their recognition in the context of reciprocal trade. Importers will be able to prove the preferential origin either by submitting a declaration of origin issued by the exporter or on the basis of the so-called importer’s knowledge.

1. Declaration of origin

In cases of the declaration of origin application, the origin can be declared either individually for each consignment or by a long-term declaration valid for several consignments. The declaration has a prescribed wording which must be followed. In addition, if the value of the consignment exceeds the specified value limits, the declaration must be accompanied by a REX number for exports from the Union and a client code for exports from New Zealand. These thresholds are set at 6 thousand Euros for exports from the Union and 1 thousand NZD for exports from New Zealand. In all cases, the declaration of origin is issued by the exporter without the need for confirmation by the customs authorities in the exporting country (self-certification system).

2. Demonstration based on importer’s knowledge

The second way of proving the preferential origin, i.e. on the basis of the importer’s knowledge, consists in the importer’s knowledge that the product is original. This knowledge has to be corroborated by specific documentation from the exporter, available to the importer, which can reliably verify that the product meets the preferential origin criteria.

The validity of the origin declaration is 12 months from the date of issue. Preference and the preferential duty rate refund can be claimed retrospectively within three years of importation.

If you intend to certify the preferential origin of goods for exports to New Zealand, the goods must comply with the rules set out in the FTA in question. The same applies to supplier declarations.

In view of the fact that the application of the preferential rule depends on the tariff classification of the goods, sufficient attention must also be paid to this area.

Further simplifications and benefits

The agreement also introduces mutual recognition of standards (mutual recognition of sanitary and phytosanitary or hygiene measures), legal protection of the geographical indications of food products, certain simplifications in the cross-border provision of services or facilitation in the area of digital trade.

Source: Deloitte