Technical amendments to the EU-New Zealand Agreement on sanitary measures in live animals and animal products have recently been made to boost existing trade relations. This updated agreement, which has been in place since 1996, is the most advanced international bilateral agreement in the area of animal health, animal welfare and food safety systems.
Key innovative features that will lead to further trade opportunities whilst reducing costs for exporters are:
- Enhanced equivalence provisions including EU standards for raw milk products;
- Mutual recognition of microbiological controls and chemical testing standards for seafood;
- Trade conditions to permit trade in certain products with agreed treatments during disease outbreaks;
- Reduced physical inspection rates on products;
- Resumption of fresh pig meat exports to New Zealand; and
- Simplified certification and a move to electronic certification in 2016.
Worth €427 million in 2014, EU agricultural exports to New Zealand have increased significantly with a 20% annual average growth over the last five years. Several key commodities have also experienced high growth over recent years including pork products and cheese. New Zealand has authorised imports of high value raw milk products, such as Roquefort, Camembert and Emmental and fresh pig meat, from the EU. Both these products have significant potential for growth. New Zealand was also the very first country in the world to re-authorise exports of EU beef following the BSE crisis.
Other important benefits of cooperation between the EU and New Zealand are:
- The EU and New Zealand are complementary suppliers of high-quality products. Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, their production and exports peak in a way that is counter-cyclical to EU pastoral producers. This means products from New Zealand complement those from the EU, maintaining year round availability of certain products.
- The EU is New Zealand’s largest source of imported goods and services.
- Through the mutual recognition of regionalisation under the Agreement, trade in animal products such as pork to continue, despite recent EU outbreaks of African Swine Fever, from regions that remain unaffected by the disease.
These benefits bring substantial economic incentives and maintain sustainable trade flows between both parties.