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New Zealand deal is a ‘win’ for business

Published:  21 October, 2021

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has welcomed news of a potential Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand, which could lead to the removal of all tariffs on goods between the two countries.

The Government revealed this morning that it had made an agreement in principle with the country after 16 months of discussions.

According to the Department for International Trade, trade between the UK and New Zealand was worth £2.3bn last year, and this could grow significantly under the deal.

Wine “could be cheaper to buy” from New Zealand, while tariffs as high as 10% are expected to be removed on a huge range of UK goods, from clothing to food and drink products.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This is a great trade deal for the United Kingdom, cementing our long friendship with New Zealand and furthering our ties with the Indo-Pacific.

“It will benefit businesses and consumers across the country, cutting costs for exporters and opening up access for our workers.”

Under the deal New Zealand and the UK have committed to a Wine Annex and a Distilled Spirits Annex. This contains provisions of recognition by the UK of New Zealand wine-making practices. It also confirmed the removal of VI-1 certification requirements on New Zealand exports.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA commended both nations on the “significant progress”.

“It’s great to see the UK Government reach ‘agreement in principle’ with New Zealand for a FTA. For craft gin exporters, New Zealand represents a great export opportunity with UK gin exports doubling in the last three years,” he said

“Showing the value of imports, New Zealand wine supports thousands of jobs right across the supply-chain in the UK, from bottling all the way to hospitality and retail. New Zealand wine is the sixth largest wine category by value and growing, and represents a UK consumer desire to drink high quality wines.”

He added: “A final FTA that removes tariff barriers and makes it easier to export and import will be a win for UK business and for wine and spirit drinkers in both nations.”

The news was also welcomed by New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The agreement is very positive for the New Zealand wine industry. We understand the agreement will mean significant progress for wine, including a specific wine annex. This will help remove technical barriers to trade and minimise burdens from certification and labelling requirements,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The UK is New Zealand’s second largest export market for wine, with exports valued at over $400m over the past 12 months. The agreement will reduce trade barriers and remove tariffs on New Zealand wine exports to the UK, which will make a big difference for many within our industry.”