spiritsNEWS March 2023

EU-New Zealand FTA Ratification on the Way

On 17 February 2023, The European Commission decided to present the EU-New Zealand trade agreement for ratification. This is a welcome step, which will take EU exporters one step closer to more attractive trading conditions with New Zealand, in support of the growing need for trade diversification.

Aside from its geopolitical importance, the EU-New Zealand FTA has been branded as the “greenest” and most ambitious FTA ever negotiated by the EU. It contains ambitious market access and environmental provisions, as well as helpful mechanisms to facilitate regulatory cooperation with New Zealand.

For EU spirits specifically, the agreement will bring several benefits. First of all, any tariffs on EU spirits currently in place will be removed as of entry into force of the agreement.

Secondly, the use of logistics hubs will be recognised and operators will be able to make use of them to split consignments, store products and preserve them in good condition, and add or affix marks, labels, seals, or any other documentation to ensure compliance with specific New Zealand’s and EU’s domestic requirements.

A third important benefit of the agreement is the adoption of a wine & spirits annex, with helpful labelling provisions, including the protection of lot codes against defacement.

Similar to other agreements, a wine & spirits committee will be established and report to the Trade Committee. It will be able to consider any matters of mutual interest in the wine & spirits sectors – which will greatly facilitate regulatory cooperation.

Last but certainly not least, the agreement provides for the recognition of 231 EU spirits GIs & 3 New Zealand spirits GIs.

spiritsEUROPE strongly welcomes the EU-New Zealand Agreement and calls on all member states and MEPs to take the necessary steps to complete its ratification process without delay.

We hope that this positive development with New Zealand will soon be followed by an equally positive development with Australia.

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