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Service Access

UK companies can enjoy a level playing field when trading in services in New Zealand as a result of the UK-Australia FTA.

Cross border trade in services

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) guarantees that British service suppliers – from accountancy and legal services to financial services and engineering – can compete in New Zealand on an equal footing. It will keep licensing and authorisation procedures transparent and straightforward; help facilitate the recognition of UK qualifications in New Zealand, and support innovation in financial services.

  • UK businesses will not be required to have a local presence in the form of a representative office or residency in New Zealand in order to provide a service.
  • New Zealand will not place limitations on the number of service suppliers, or the value of the service provided, for British businesses.
  • New Zealand must provide transparent and reliable processes for acquiring the licences or qualifications necessary to perform economic activities.

Note there are non-conforming measures that define what sectors are not covered by the benefits of this chapter.

Professional services and recognition of professional qualifications

Professional services are a major UK export and play an essential role in facilitating broader trade and investment. To support this important sector, the FTA commits the UK and New Zealand to encourage their regulators to establish and maintain routes to recognition for each other’s professional qualifications, which could remove costly and burdensome requirements.

The FTA also supports regulators to agree mutual recognition arrangements which can provide bespoke arrangements for specific professions.

The agreement has secured reciprocal access for UK and New Zealand lawyers wishing to practice law in New Zealand and the UK respectively. This gives UK lawyers certainty and clarity that they can advise on home (UK), foreign and international law in New Zealand using their ‘home’ title and qualification – i.e. without the need for requalification or needing to have their qualifications formally recognised in New Zealand. This will include arbitration, mediation, and conciliation services, for example in high-value areas such as construction and engineering.

The Professional Services Working Group will help to monitor and drive results on the recognition of professional qualifications by facilitating engagement between UK and New Zealand governments and the relevant regulatory bodies.

The UK-New Zealand FTA explainer on services, mobility and investment has additional information.

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