EU-New Zealand: Council adopts the decision to sign free trade agreement

30 JUNE 2023

On 27 June, the Council of the EU adopted a decision on the signature of the free trade agreement (FTA) with New Zealand.

The European Union concluded negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious trade agreement with New Zealand on 30 June 2022. On 17 February 2023, the Commission proposed to the Council to authorise the signing of the FTA.

NZ fish, seafood, and honey

New Zealand is a significant exporter of farmed salmon and under the agreement, tariffs will be eliminated at entry on almost all New Zealand fish, and mussels, squid and other shellfish exported to the EU: from entry into force, 99.5% of New Zealand’s current fish and seafood trade will face zero-duties, increasing to 99.9% within five years, and 100% within seven years.

Mānuka honey from New Zealand will benefit from duty-free, quota-free access to the EU from the date of the entry into force of the FTA.

Mānuka honey currently faces a 17,3% duty. According to the EU’s tariff liberalisation schedule, this applies to Mānuka honey, monofloral or multifloral, as defined by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries.

New Zealand’s other natural honeys, other than Mānuka honey, also currently face a 17,3% duty. These honeyes will see this duty eliminated by the EU in four equal annual stages beginning at the entry into force of the FTA to reach duty-free status by 1 January of Year 3.

Natural honey from the EU, which currently faces a 5% duty upon entry into New Zealand, will benefit from zero duty upon the entry into force of the agreement.

Entry into force

After the signing takes place, the Council will request the European Parliament to give its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement. Once the European Parliament has given its consent, the agreement has been ratified by New Zealand, and the two sides notify each other about the completion of their internal procedures, it can then enter into force.

The entry into force will take place on the first day of the second month following the confirmation by both sides that they have completed legal requirements and procedures or on another date agreed by the parties.

More information:

Contact: Lebo Mofolo,