The government have announced that the New Zealand – Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will come into force on 20 December 2015.  Negotiations towards an FTA with Korea commenced in 2009.

The 20th of December 2015 will see the first cut in tariffs which will be quickly followed by a second round of cuts on 1 January 2016. Overall, approximately 98% of tariffs on New Zealand exports to Korea will be abolished.

Approximately $229 million is currently paid each year in duties on New Zealand exports. Duty savings in the first year alone are estimated to be around $65 million dollars.

The FTA will benefit many sectors including kiwifruit, beef, lamb, and dairy producers (particularly for cheese, butter and proteins). Processed deer velvet, buttercup squash, cherries and wine will also benefit. The forestry sector and the fisheries industry are also set to benefit, as are manufacturers of industrial goods including iron, steel, aluminium, plastics, organic chemicals and minerals.

A small number of products have been excluded including squid, apples and pears, unprocessed deer velvet, onions, capsicums, honey, persimmons and several minor wood product lines.

Baldwins have extensive experience in obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights in Korea. Please contact us if you have any questions on how the FTA may impact your business.