Brexit and what it means for New Zealand’s primary industries

The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) single market and customs union on 31 December 2020. Find out what it means for New Zealand's primary industries.

The Brexit process

Following the UK's exit from the EU single market and customs union, new border processes for goods traded between Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) and the EU were implemented. New border processes were also implemented for goods traded between Northern Ireland and Great Britain under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

What it means for primary industry exporters

The UK is now an independent trading nation. Primary industry products sent from New Zealand to Great Britain need to comply with Great Britain export requirements instead of EU export requirements.

Great Britain export requirements

As Northern Ireland is aligned with EU rules and import systems, the EU export requirements continue to apply to primary industry products sent directly between New Zealand to Northern Ireland.

The UK also applied its own tariff schedule. The UK global tariff schedule applies to third country exporters, including New Zealand. To find out which tariff applies to your products use the UK Global Tariff tool.

UK Global Tariff tool

How MPI prepared for Brexit

MPI engaged at all levels with decision-makers in the UK and the EU, particularly on trade and economic matters. We wanted to help minimise disruption to New Zealand individuals and businesses from Brexit changes.

We worked to protect our current market access arrangements, including quota access into both the EU and UK post-Brexit. This included replicating existing EU trade agreements and arrangements with the UK.

The New Zealand Government has also started negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK.

New Zealand-United Kingdom FTA – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Get help exporting

MPI continues to work closely with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the New Zealand Customs Service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide coordinated support for New Zealand exporters.

MPI Brexit advice for primary industry exporters:

F72/20 Brexit update: Exporting plants, plant products, wine and organic products to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) from 1 January 2021 [PDF, 148 KB]

F22/21 New Great Britain export certificate templates and onward certification

Note: this is a password-protected document. If you are involved in exporting animal products, you can apply for access by completing this online application form.

Application to view protected documents

The MPI Exporter Regulatory Advice Service (ERAS) supports New Zealand primary industry exporters by making it easier to understand exporting requirements.

Exporter Regulatory Advice Service (ERAS)

Additional Government information on Brexit is available on the following websites:

Brexit – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UK & Europe market information – New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Brexit – New Zealand Customs

Helping manage uncertainties – The Treasury

The UK and EU have both issued guidance outlining the impacts of Brexit on businesses and individuals.

Brexit: new rules are here –

Relations with the United Kingdom – European Commission

Who to contact

If you have questions, email

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