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Export Market Guide - New Zealand

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All regulatory information for exporting wine to New Zealand, including the regulatory environment, duties and taxes, and permitted additives.

New Zealand comprises two main islands, the North Island and the South Island. The total land area is approximately 268,000 square kilometres with a temperate climate displaying sharp regional contrasts. New Zealand is predominantly mountainous.

Australia and New Zealand have a strong and co-operative relationship stemming from the close geographic proximity and historical ties. Australia and New Zealand are parties to the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (or CER), which came into effect on 1 January 1983, creating one of the world’s most open and successful free trade agreements. Stemming from this agreement as well as the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement, any good that may be legally sold in Australia may be legally sold in New Zealand, and vice-versa.

Further to this, Australia and New Zealand share the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code which came into effect on 20 December 2002 aligning our food and labelling laws. The exceptions to this are Maximum Residual Levels and Food Safety Standards, which are administered in New Zealand under their own laws, and in Australia by Australia’s Wine Production Requirements.

New Zealand has a developed wine culture with wine consumption around 18 litres per capita. New Zealand has an international reputation as an outstanding producer of white wines, most particularly through the success of its Sauvignon Blanc. While it is best known for production of this variety, New Zealand also produces Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Merlot and Pinot Noir in sizeable quantities. Marlborough is the best-known wine growing region in the country.

New Zealand wines account for an estimated 49.2 million litres of the 90.2 million litres sold on the domestic market in 2021, leaving the remaining 41 million litres (45.5 per cent) made up of imported wine. The total import market was valued at USD$236 million in 2021 according to Global Trade Atlas.

Australia is the dominant exporting country to the market with almost 50 per cent of the import market by value. France is the number two exporting country to the market with more than a 33 per cent share of market value. The remaining market share is made up in smaller volumes from Italy, the US, Spain, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

Wines from Australia and Chile enter the New Zealand market tariff free due to the Free Trade Agreements in place between the countries. Australia exported 32 million litres to NZ in 2021, valued at USD$84 million.

Wine consumers in New Zealand are quality-conscious and brand driven. New Zealand is predominantly an urbanised society with the majority of the population residing in the urban areas of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. New Zealanders are generally very health-conscious. Consumers are loyal to local white wines but are big consumers of Australian red wines. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the best performing varieties. Australian red wines are seen as delivering consistent quality at a range of prices.

Supermarkets dominate the wine trade accounting for around 60 per cent of total wine sales. The other major distribution channels for wine include liquor stores, specialist wine retailers, on-premise restaurants and hotels. Direct mail is also increasingly important, particularly for boutique wineries.
 

 

Regulatory environment

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is responsible for administering food regulations. Relevant legislation includes the Food Act 2014, Food Regulations 2015 and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the Wine Act 2003 and Regulations 2006, and the Wine (Specifications Notice) 2006. By virtue of the shared Code, domestically labelled products meet the legal requirements for export to New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand share a Trans-Tasman trade agreement known as the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement. Under this Agreement, any product that has a 50 per cent or more Australian content can enter New Zealand duty free. New Zealand Customs Service is responsible for regulating the importing process.


Import procedures for the New Zealand market

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Duties and taxes for the New Zealand market

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Labelling requirements for the New Zealand market

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Wine standards for the New Zealand market

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

Levy payers/exporters
Non-levy payers/exporters
Find out more

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.