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New Zealand rules of origin

Free Trade Agreement overview

Taking advantage of lower tariffs secured through the UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Step 1: find your commodity code

Knowing your commodity code is essential for completing customs declarations and other customs processes. You can use the UK's Trade Tariff tool to help identify your code. You can also use your commodity code to determine what rules you need to comply with to claim preferential tariffs for your goods.

Step 2: determining rules of origin

To benefit from reduced tariffs, products must qualify for originating status. Originating status means a good or material fulfils certain conditions to be classified as originating from either the UK or New Zealand. This is now granted more simply and with less paperwork involved.

Make sure you check the Product-Specific Rules of the FTA to understand how your product can qualify as originating from the UK and qualify for zero tariffs.

Different goods will have their own product-specific rules which allow a good containing third country materials and inputs to count as originating, but only if those materials or inputs have undergone certain changes.

If a UK business uses originating materials from New Zealand to produce a good, those materials count towards the originating material in that good when exported to New Zealand. There is guidance available to help you determine the status of your good.

Step 3: proving rules of origin

An importer of goods into New Zealand may make a claim for preferential tariff treatment based on a proof of origin – either an origin declaration or importer’s knowledge. The origin declaration may be completed by the UK exporter or producer and must fulfil the minimum data elements for an origin declaration. By completing the declaration, the exporter or producer is declaring that the good is originating and they possess evidence to demonstrate this. Additional guidance is available for completing origin declarations.

Declaration of origin

  • an origin declaration can be completed by the producer or exporter of the good
  • an origin declaration must be in written format (hard copy or electronic) and may be provided on, or attached to an invoice or other commercial document that contains some of the required minimum data elements, provided all the minimum data elements (for example, details of the exporter, producer, importer - specified in the guidance on origin declarations) are included on or with the origin declaration
  • an origin declaration is valid for at least 12 months from the date it was completed and will be applicable to a single shipment of one or more goods or multiple shipments of identical goods that occur within a specified period not exceeding 12 months after the date of original declaration

Importer’s knowledge may be used by the importer in New Zealand, removing the need for an origin declaration.

Importer's knowledge

To use this procedure, the importer needs to be in possession either of:

  • documentation demonstrating that the good is originating
  • supporting documentation provided by the exporter or producer upon which they can reasonably rely that the good is originating

The requirement to present a proof of origin is waived for low value shipments. A good imported in New Zealand does not require an origin declaration if its customs value does not exceed $2,000 New Zealand dollars, or such higher amount as established by New Zealand.

Step 4: filing documentation

If a UK exporter or producer provides an origin declaration, they should keep it and any records demonstrating the good’s originating status for four years. All records can be kept in any medium, including electronic, provided they allow for prompt retrieval.

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