ExportNZ Trade & Policy Update

March 2023

The Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

The United Kingdom is close to accession after talks with CPTPP partners earlier this month.

The UK’s accession has been a challenging process, particularly in relation to how to handle existing Parties’ trade quotas.  This has been New Zealand’s priority issue in the negotiations. New Zealand negotiators doing their best to agree outcomes that would go some way to mitigating the impact of the UK being granted access to existing Parties’ quotas.

Given that this is the first accession, it is essential to get this process right as it will set the precedent for future applicants to CPTPP.

CPTPP Ministers are due to meet in New Zealand in July.  Decisions on how the new applications are to be handled will be expected by then (at the latest).  Senior officials meet again in person on 18 and 19 April.

United Kingdom and European Union Free Trade Agreements

The NZ-UK FTA is in the penultimate stage in the UK House of Lords and there are minor amendments that will need to go back to the House of Commons. Once the amendments have been confirmed, the Bill will receive its Royal Assent, then we can expect the Agreement to come into force shortly after.

We will need to wait for signature of the Agreement before the FTA begins its process through NZ and EU parliaments. ExportNZ hopes that legislation will be introduced before NZ Parliament rises before the election, but it’ll be tight. See below chart from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade for the steps towards completion.

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

IPEF partners gathered in Bali for the second round of negotiations over the past week. It is currently too soon to know the outcomes of that meeting, but MFAT will be releasing a public summary of the negotiations next week – so keep an eye out for that one.

Supply Chains and Logistics


Ports of Auckland reinstated fixed berthing windows on the 6th March, they expect to period of continued disruption as they smooth out the process and return to scheduled arrivals and departures – certainly a move in the right direction.

Maersk announced last week that they will pull its national coastal shipping service after less than a year of operation. However they have announced that they will upgrade its trans-Tasman Polaris service to a weekly service effective from April, with three ships deployed as part of the service. More information on this can be found here.


Global supply chain pressures have decreased significantly according to the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index. The Index has fallen below the historic average for the first time since August 2019 and currently sits at -0.26 this is from a high of 4.31 in December 2021 to 0.95 in January 2023. This suggests that global supply chains conditions have now returned to  a pre-Covid “normal”. Although conditions in New Zealand are still far from ‘normal”.

Sea Intelligence also tells a different story, global schedule reliability declined to 52.6 per cent reliability in January (from 56.6 per cent in December) and continues to be well below pre-Covid normality (around 75-80 per cent).

The average global delay for late vessels decreased slightly to 5.26 days.

Credit: Sea Intelligence, 01 March 2023

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) the world’s largest cargo shipping line is optimistic that trade demand will pick up and demand for containers will grow in the second half of 2023. Container inventories are reportedly high in Europe and North America, and they are also seeing a strong return in China to North Europe demand.

ProdCom: Improving Economic Resilience to Supply Chain Shocks [OPEN]

The Government ha asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the resilience of the New Zealand economy to supply chain disruptions.

The Government wants to identify policies and interventions that can enhance the resilience of New Zealand’s economy and living standards to persistent medium-term supply chain disruptions.

You can access the Issues Paper here. ExportNZ will be contributing to the inquiry, if you would like to have a chat please contact Josh Tan – [email protected]. Submission are welcome until the 17th April 2023.

MPI: Draft Food & Beverage Industry Transformation Plan [COMPLETED]

ExportNZ submitted on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Draft Food & Beverage Industry Transformation Plan. Our submission broadly supported many of the initiatives proposed by the draft ITP, but also raised a number of issues that the ITP lacked. These included; addressing the difficulties processed food manufacturers have when dealing with MPI regulatory systems, the need for a simple, open, and permissive immigration system that supports talent attraction, and support for an accelerated depreciation scheme on PPE investments.

You can read our full submission here. MPI will considered the advice submitted and release a final Food & Beverage ITP to be implemented.

Health Select Committee: Therapeutic Products Bill [COMPLETED]

The Therapeutic Products Bill has been a contentious piece of legislation, and one that we believe has a fair bit to go before anything is passed.

ExportNZ wrote a letter of support for the submissions from the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand, and Natural Health Products New Zealand.

While ExportNZ (along with our industry partners) believes the bill will provide some much needed regulation, we also see the unintended consequences of the proposed legislation that will need to be addressed, including the potential reassessment of 250,000 medical devices already in use in New Zealand, and potential for double regulating export products that already comply with substantial overseas requirements.

ExportNZ will continue to support our industry partners and keep a watching brief as the Bill continues to develop.

You can read our Letter of Support here.

MBIE: Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan [RELEASED]

The Hon. Stuart Nash launched the finalised Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan on the 13th March. While there has been some criticism of the finalised plan, it was co-created by businesses, unions, government, Māori, Pacific Peoples, and wider stakeholders, and has buy-in from all those groups.

ExportNZ and the wider-BusinessNZ Network is committed to working with industry partners and the government to implement the Plan and grow the manufacturing sector.

You can read the finalised Advanced Manufacturing ITP here.

28 Mar, 2023
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