How to get access to an overseas market

We work with foreign governments to improve overseas market access for exporters.

What market access is

Market access is the ability to sell products across borders. For people in New Zealand to be able to export things to other countries, the destination country needs to accept them.

Market access for different products is negotiated between the governments of the importing and exporting countries.

The rules and requirements agreed to during these negotiations may form the basis of documents like OMARs (Overseas Market Access Requirements) and ICPRs (Importing Countries Phytosanitary Requirements).

How access is negotiated

MPI works with officials from other governments to agree on importing and exporting terms and requirements. This might be by holding government-to-government discussions, or through longer-term free trade agreement negotiations.

Free trade agreements

MPI contributes to the negotiation and implementation of free trade agreements (FTAs). FTAs include frameworks and cooperation programmes, which provide opportunities to exchange and share information with other countries.

Help getting access to a market

Sometimes trade barriers arise that can make it difficult to access a certain market, and sometimes there is no agreement in place between the countries.

Your first step should be to try to get an import permit. If you can get an import permit, you should be able to export into that market even if there's no wider agreement between the countries.

If you think you need help at a government level, you can contact us. Requests for help are prioritised according to the potential scale of any agreement. A lot of work goes into putting an agreement in place between countries, so we need to be sure it will benefit as many New Zealand exporters as possible. If you have an industry body, speak to them first – requests from industry bodies are prioritised above requests from individuals.

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