As Brexit looms, MFAT wants to hear from you

​The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has opened public consultations on the shape of a post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United Kingdom, aspects of the ongoing European Union New Zealand negotiations, and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) e-commerce negotiations.

We can assist you to make the best use of these opportunities.

UK-NZ: Free Trade Agreement

The areas MFAT is currently seeking public feedback include:

• what New Zealand's priorities should be in a future FTA with the UK

• any areas where the UK and New Zealand could cooperate more closely

• potential trade barriers businesses may face in trading with the UK after Brexit

• specific industries or products that could benefit from better access to the UK market, and

• other outcomes that would make it easier to do business in the UK, including visa options.

Submissions close on 11 February 2019.

Once the negotiations are underway, MFAT will launch a further consultation round on specific issues.  For further information, contact MFAT at UKFTA@mfat.govt.nz.

EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement: Geographical Indications

Negotiations on the EU-NZ FTA have been underway since June 2018.  As part of these, the EU is seeking to secure Geographical Indications (GIs) to protect products with characteristics linking to a specific territorial area or terrain.

The EU wish list includes household names, such as Scotch Whisky, Feta and Prosciutto di Parma. 

GIs are collective rights, meaning that any trader that complies with the provisions governing the use of the GI is entitled to use it.

We encourage New Zealand agricultural, wine, spirits, aquaculture and other foodstuff producers and relevant producer bodies to make a submission where protection of any names may negatively affect them. Objections should be sent to EU-FTA@mfat.govt.nz by 19 March 2019

WTO: e-commerce negotiations

Announcing New Zealand's decision to join the WTO negotiations to establish global e-commerce trade rules, Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said that participation would “ensure we can strongly advocate on a global stage for issues of importance to New Zealanders, including the need for robust personal privacy and consumer protections, transparency and openness, while making it easier for businesses and consumers to take advantage of the opportunities presented by e-commerce".

More information is available at: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/wto-e-commerce-negotiations.

Submissions close on 31 March 2019.  You can register your interest at e-commerce@mfat.govt.nz

How Chapman Tripp can help you

We urge you to engage with the process if you want your views reflected.  For further advice or help with preparing a submission, please contact the lawyers featured.

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Related topics: International trade & investment; International trade agreements

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