4 March 2022
Natural Health Products NZ, the peak industry body representing 80% of the natural health sector extends our congratulations to Minister O’Connor and the team from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the signing of the historic NZ/UK Free Trade Agreement.
This agreement provides huge opportunities for export growth including high value exports of natural health products. The natural health sector is growing strongly internationally as the consumers increasingly value evidence based natural health products for their daily health and wellbeing. New Zealand’s industry is strongly placed to meet this demand. Our manufacturers and brands are recognised internationally for their quality and for our trustworthiness. New Zealand ingredients are sought after for their unique effective and evidence-based health benefits.
INTERNAL TRADE BARRIER
Unfortunately, our industry is still held back by out-of-date regulations preventing exported products from meeting labelling, composition and health claim requirements of international markets. Many millions of dollars of export opportunity continue to be lost each year due to this anomaly. Other countries permit export-only exemptions to facilitate trade but New Zealand does not.
Natural Health Products NZ has been working diligently with Minsters and officials to remedy this issue for a year and now, in the light of the UK FTA being signed we again urgently call upon Ministers O’Connor, Verrall and Little for action to permit an export-only exemption. It is a ridiculous situation that we still have this outdated and anomalous barrier to trade.
The UK is currently New Zealand’s 5th largest export market overall, however exports of natural health products to the UK compared with other countries such as Australia who have export only exemptions already in place are tiny. There is huge scope for export growth in our sector and we need government to enable this.
We want to participate in the trade-led recovery program and our own internal trade barriers are holding us back.