Exploring trade opportunities with New Zealand

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Oceania is the third largest trading bloc in the world, and Australian businesses are well positioned to take advantage of this growing market. With New Zealand being Australia’s closest trade neighbour with a shared history, there are many opportunities for businesses to explore when it comes to expanding into new markets and taking advantage of trade agreements.

Australia and New Zealand have a strong economic relationship, with the two countries’ relationship being referred to as Trans-Tasman relations. Both countries are also members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and have also signed a couple of free trade agreements between themselves, one of them being the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA). This agreement includes the mutual recognition of standards, in which products and services can be shipped between the two countries without having to meet additional requirements.

Australia's trade with New Zealand

According to Trading Economics, in 2021, the total value of imports shipped from Australia to New Zealand was worth AU$12.12 billion, with the top exported goods from Australia being electronics and electrical equipment, machinery, medical apparatus, vehicles, and pharmaceutical products, amongst others. Meanwhile, imports from New Zealand to Australia totalled AU$7.7 billion, with the main imported goods from New Zealand being dairy products, beverages, mineral fuels, and plastics. 

Such is New Zealand's popularity, the DHL Export Barometer has identified the country as the top export destination for Australian businesses in 2022. Also, with the ANZCERTA agreement in place, this presents Australian businesses a great opportunity to explore new markets and industries here in New Zealand and capitalise on them, be it through exporting their products and services or by setting up physical stores in the country.

What's in it for Australian businesses?

For Australian businesses, there are many reasons to consider new business opportunities in New Zealand. Firstly, Australia and New Zealand have a long-standing history of strong trade relations. This makes it easier for businesses to navigate new markets with the assurance that their goods and services are accepted. Additionally, there are several free trade agreements between the two countries that ensure that goods can pass between the two countries without being subject to additional duties or other forms of taxation. Other potential benefits for Australian businesses include access to new consumers, access to a diversity of new supply chains and manufacturers, as well as new opportunities for joint ventures and partnerships.

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What are the considerations when trading with New Zealand?

When trading with New Zealand, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, each country has its own set of prohibited and restricted goods, which businesses should be aware of. Secondly, both countries have different customs duties and taxes that may affect the cost of doing business across borders. Thirdly, you will need to familiarise yourself with the relevant documentation required by authorities to ensure compliance when shipping from Australia to New Zealand. Read on to understand what’s necessary: 

1. Prohibited and restricted items

Both Australia and New Zealand have a list of prohibited or restricted items that are not allowed to be traded between the two countries. To ensure compliance, it is important for businesses to research the regulations and familiarise themselves with the lists of items before trading. 

For items that are prohibited from entering the country, they consist of arms and ammunition, drugs and narcotics, as well as objectionable material contained on various media platforms. As for restricted items, they include products derived from endangered animal species as well as medication and controlled drugs. In the event that there are restricted items involved, businesses will need to apply for the relevant permits and licences in order to be allowed to ship these goods from Australia into New Zealand. 

2. Customs duties and taxes for both countries

When trading with New Zealand, businesses must be aware of the different customs duties and taxes in both countries. Although Australia and New Zealand have a free trade agreement which eliminates most tariffs on goods that can be traded between them, there are still some taxes that need to be paid. One of which is the Goods & Services Tax (GST), which is at 15% and is applied to all imported goods, even if they are not shipped from Australia.

Additionally, businesses should be aware of the Import Entry Transaction Fee (IETF) which is a cost that businesses have to cover when importing goods into New Zealand. The amount of IETF payable depends on the nature and value of the imported goods, so it's important for businesses to understand this potential cost as well before trading across borders. Businesses can find out more about the various customs duty fees by visiting the New Zealand Customs’ What’s My Duty estimator page.

3. Relevant documentation required 

When shipping from Australia to New Zealand, relevant documentation is required for customs clearance and compliance. This includes: 

  • An export declaration

  • Import licence

  • Commercial invoice

  • Bill of lading

  • Air waybill

  • Certificate of origin

  • Insurance certificate

  • Any other documents that may be required by the local authorities 

Do make sure that your documents are organised and submitted in the correct format, as failure to do so may delay customs clearance. Another important point to note for businesses who are importing goods from Australia is the sending of an electronic lodgement of the import entry to the New Zealand customs before the goods can be cleared.

How DHL Express facilitates AU-NZ Trade

Since 1992, DHL Express has been operating an overnight service between Sydney and Auckland, and in 2020 launched one connecting Melbourne to Auckland and Christchurch. Committed to providing the highest quality international express delivery service and having extensive experience shipping between Australia and New Zealand, DHL Express is the choice for businesses looking to take advantage of the many opportunities available in New Zealand. By leveraging our expertise, businesses can trust that their shipments will be delivered on time and with maximum efficiency – taking away the hassle of trading across borders. Open an account with DHL Express and discover how we can help you boost your business.