Exporting guide to

New Zealand


The UK- New Zealand trade relationship was worth £2.3 billion in 2020 and is set to grow under a free trade agreement.

Trade statistics

£1.4 billion total UK exports to New Zealand for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

54th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

0.2% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

Strong foundations for business

The UK signed a free trade agreement with New Zealand on 28 February 2022. The benefits of the deal will make it easier for smaller UK businesses to break into the New Zealand market.

The deal will include commitments to:

  • remove tariffs on a range of goods
  • cut red tape for the UK's advanced tech and service companies
  • tackle climate change
  • boost gender equality
  • unlock the power of digital trade

Similarities to the UK

The UK and New Zealand share a common language and culture, as well as business and legal practices such as intellectual property (IP) protection and the rule of law. This makes it a relatively easy place for British companies to do business. Pro-competition regulation, an efficient tax regime, an open political system and investment in innovation have all contributed to an efficient and competitive economy.

Ideal test market

New Zealand is a highly educated, wealthy and tech-savvy market with a population of over 5 million people, including over 285,000 people who were born in the UK (Stats NZ, 2018 Census). Around 42% of the population live in New Zealand’s 3 major cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch (Stats NZ, 2020) making it easy to prioritise where to test and launch your product or service.

Top five UK goods exported to New Zealand, in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

Goods Value (£million)
Cars 160.9
Specialised machinery (capital) 64.0
Other manufactures (consumer) 43.8
Road vehicles other than cars (consumer) 40.8
Medicinal & pharmaceutical products 36.9

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: November 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for New Zealand.

Top five UK services exported to New Zealand, in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

Service Value (£million)
Telecommunications, computer and information services 173.0
Insurance and Pension 114.0
Other Business Services 93.0
Financial 53.0
Travel 51.0

Source: ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for New Zealand.

New Zealand: at a glance

Economic growth


Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita


Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is $47,329 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)


New Zealand dollar

Business language


Time zone

GMT +12

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in infrastructure, technology, fintech, agri-technology and e-commerce.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in New Zealand

Preparing to export


Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on most goods and services in New Zealand. The current GST rate is 15%. Learn more about GST on the New Zealand government website.

Import duties

All goods imported into New Zealand for business or commercial purposes are liable for customs duty, GST and other applicable fees. Indicative rates can be found in the Working Tariff Document of New Zealand. The Customs NZ website explains how the charges are calculated.

Standards and technical regulations

All products sold in New Zealand must be safe. There are two key laws that deal with product safety:

  • The Consumer Guarantees Act, which gives minimum standards of quality for goods and services
  • The Fair Trading Act, which promotes product safety

Importers must ensure products meet the minimum standards for the products to be allowed to enter the country. You can check the required standards at Standards New Zealand.

Labelling requirements

Packaging must meet New Zealand consumer health and environmental legislation. There are specific labelling requirements for:

  • chemical products
  • cosmetics
  • electronic goods
  • foodstuffs
  • most therapeutic products

All labelling must use the metric system.

You can read guidance on food labelling from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

Payment terms

Payment terms and method should be set out in your contract and must be factored into prices. For business-to-business transactions these can range from immediate payments on receipt of goods (often with a negotiated small discount) to a negotiated 60-day payment.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial. Rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office’s International IP Service provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support can be accessed through the service’s network of IP attachés. Based in key UK export markets, they provide guidance to British businesses on local IP matters.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with New Zealand.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in New Zealand

Business culture

In general, business etiquette is very similar to the UK. Face-to-face meetings can be very important to develop business relationships and prompt replies to enquires are recommended. Visits should be planned in advance – ideally at least 4 weeks.

Punctuality is very important. New Zealanders tend to be informal in their business interactions. First-name terms tend to be the norm in most business situations. Directness and plain speaking are valued.

New Zealanders often take holidays during school holiday periods, especially over the New Zealand summer holiday period, which is January. As a result, visits during these times may not be productive.

Logistical challenges

New Zealand’s distance from the UK means you may face challenges in:

  • travelling (at least 24 hours from the UK by plane)
  • the time and money needed to ship or send goods
  • the time difference (12 to 13 hours ahead of the UK)

Next steps

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Get ready to do business abroad

Step-by-step lessons to accelerate your exporting ability.

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Contact an international trade advisor

Get in touch with your local trade office for advice from an international trade adviser.

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