$20 million win for NZ seafood

Photography by: Getty Images

The New Zealand fisheries sector is set to gain $20 million in tariff reductions following the conclusion of a trade deal with the European Union.

Almost all fish and seafood will have an immediate tariff elimination.



Seafood New Zealand chief executive Jeremy Helson said it was welcome news at a time when the industry was doing it tough.

The deal means 99.5% of New Zealand’s current fish and seafood trade will enter the EU tariff-free from day one, increasing to 99.9% within five years, and 100% within seven years. It will result in tariff savings of $19.6 million per annum.

Tariffs will be eliminated at entry into force on almost all fish, as well as mussels, squid and other shellfish.

"Seafood New Zealand would like to thank the negotiators, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Trade and Export Growth Minister, Damien O’Connor for getting this agreement over the line," said Helson.

He said the NZ-EU FTA has been in negotiations for seven years and is more valuable to New Zealand than the recently agreed NZ-UK FTA. It will deliver $100 million in tariff savings per annum from day one.

"This agreement is the boost that New Zealand’s primary sector has been desperate for and couldn’t have come at a better time for the seafood industry."

New Zealand seafood exports are currently at $1.9 billion per year and Helson said the agreement with the EU will considerably increase those earnings.

"The impact of this deal will be felt right across the sector, from large companies to small family-run fishing businesses," he said.

"The sector has been waiting for good news and this agreement delivers."

The agreement is expected to be signed in 2023.

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