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

The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 entering a transition period which will expire on 31 December 2020. Find out what it may mean for New Zealand's primary industries.

The Brexit process

Following the end of the transition period, the UK will fully exit the EU single market and customs union and there will be new border processes for goods traded between Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) and the EU, as well as between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

What does it mean for primary industry exporters?

At the end of the transition period, the UK will be an independent trading nation. Primary industry products sent from New Zealand to Great Britain will need to comply with Great Britain export requirements instead of EU export requirements.

Great Britain export requirements

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

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

UK Global Tariff tool

What is MPI doing in response to Brexit?

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

We have been working 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, with round 3 scheduled to begin in January 2021.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UK

Get help exporting

MPI continues to work closely with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs), and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) 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]

F71/20 Brexit update: Exporting animal products to Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) from 1 January 2021

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 updates on Brexit and how it could affect New Zealand are also available on the following websites:

Brexit: The UK and the European Union - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Preparing your business for Brexit - NZTE

Brexit - New Zealand Customs

Helping manage uncertainties - The Treasury

The UK and EU have both issued guidance outlining the impacts that the end of the UK’s transition period will have on businesses and individuals.

UK guidance -

EU guidance - European Union website

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