Preparing for Brexit and a possible 'no deal'

Update 11 April: The United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) have agreed a Brexit delay until 31 October 2019. This means we expect existing conditions for primary sector trade between New Zealand and the UK to stay the same until at least 31 October.

What does Brexit mean for New Zealand's primary sector?

The provisional exit agreement reached between the UK and EU includes a transition period until the end of 2020. During that time, existing conditions of trade access for countries, including New Zealand, would continue. During this transition period, the UK and EU would also negotiate the terms of their future relationship.

If an exit agreement is not agreed between the UK and EU, there will be no transition period. This scenario is known as a 'no-deal' Brexit.

Specific issues for primary sector exporters to consider include:

  • risks related to seasonality of trade
  • tariff quotas
  • perishable products
  • sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.

What is MPI doing to prepare for Brexit?

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is closely monitoring Brexit developments and working to minimise any disruption to New Zealand's primary sector exporters where possible.

MPI is focused on preparing for all Brexit scenarios, including that of a ‘no deal’. To ensure regulatory continuity, MPI is seeking clarity from the UK around trading requirements and replicating existing EU arrangements with the UK.

We're also working closely with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs), and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to ensure we have a coordinated approach to communicating to and engaging with New Zealand exporters on Brexit.

Exporting to the UK and EU under a ‘no deal’ Brexit

We have extra guidance available on specific questions you might have. We'll update this information when it's made available.

If there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit, MPI will publish the UK Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMAR) on our OMAR web page before the UK leaves the EU.

Tariff rate quotas

New Zealand's main dairy and meat exports in the EU market are under tariff rate quotas.

Access to country tariff quotas in the EU (including the UK) is managed by the New Zealand Meat Board (for high-quality beef and sheep meat) and MPI (for butter, cheddar cheese, and cheese for processing). 

We have prepared some extra information for exporting under these tariff rate quotas under a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.

Extra guidance about Brexit, including tariff rate quotas

Find out more

Read about the dairy quota programme

Read about the meat quota programme – NZ Meat Board website

If you have questions about tariff quotas for:

Get help with exporting

The Exporter Regulatory Advice Service supports New Zealand exporters by making it easier to understand exporting requirements.

If you have a question, use our online form. One of our Export Regulatory Advice Service (ERAS) team members will then contact you. Depending on the complexity of your query, you can expect a reply within 1 to 3 working days.

Complete the online form

Or you can:

NZ government advice available on Brexit

Other websites with Government updates on Brexit and information on how it could affect New Zealand are:

Advice from the UK Government and the EU

If you export to the UK or EU, they also have information to help you prepare for a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Last reviewed: