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New Zealand trade deal could mean cheaper wine for UK shoppers

Published:  01 March, 2022

The UK has signed a far-reaching trade deal with New Zealand to remove trade barriers on many UK goods and services and provide new opportunities for British businesses.

Last October, after reaching an agreement in principle, tariffs will be eliminated on all UK exports to New Zealand.

UK consumers will also have access to a standalone consumer chapter (protecting consumer welfare), while high-quality products that British shoppers love could become more affordable, including Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Manuka Honey and kiwi fruit. 

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “UK spirits exports to New Zealand are worth £15m a year and growing, with British gin exports doubling in the last three years. Thanks to this agreement, the removal of tariffs and red tape will continue to support those exports and help send British gins around the globe. 

“Perhaps more significantly, this is a great deal for the UK’s wine importers and the jobs supported across the UK, which relies on over £750m in sales of New Zealand wine in the UK annually – from bottling and logistics to hospitality and retail.”

Under the deal, New Zealand and the UK have committed to a Wine Annex and a Distilled Spirits Annex. This contains provisions of recognition by the UK of New Zealand wine-making practices. It also confirmed the removal of VI-1 certification requirements on New Zealand exports.

Beale added: “The establishment of a new wine and distilled spirits working group is a dynamic innovation that will also 'future proof' the agreement so that new practices and developments in our sector can be recognised in a light-touch manner. This means the agreement can continue to deliver for traders of wines and spirits in both directions into the future.”

The news has also been welcomed by New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The agreement is very positive for the New Zealand wine industry. This will help remove technical barriers to trade, and minimise burdens from certification and labelling requirements. It will also support future growth in the market, and encourage exporters to focus on the UK,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

He added: “The UK is New Zealand’s second largest export market for wine, with exports valued at over $400 million over the past 12 months. The agreement will reduce trade barriers on New Zealand wine exports to the UK, which will make a big difference for many within our industry.”