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Export Opinion: Certificates of Origin

China General Interest

To gain the benefits negotiated within the FTA, an authenticated Certificate of Origin is now required as explained by Cameron Gordon, of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, one of the three agencies currently authorised by NZ Customs to authenticate Certificates of Origin.


New Zealand’s historic Free Trade Agreement with China commenced on October 1st of this year. The phase-down or removal of tariffs commenced on that date and by 2019 tariffs will have disappeared on 96% of New Zealand’s current exports to China.

 

To take advantage of the FTA and the preferential benefits it offers, exporters will need to be able to prove that their goods qualify under the rules of origin as set out in the agreement. Additionally, they will be required to include a New Zealand-China FTA Certificate of Origin with their export documentation. Two of the major benefits available to exporters as a result of the signing of the FTA between New Zealand and China are tariff reductions and guaranteed clearance of goods through Chinese Customs within 48 hours.

 

Some exporters to China will see the requirement to obtain a New Zealand-China FTA certificate of origin as an inconvenience. However, it is a price worth paying to have preferential access to the world’s largest economy.

 

To take advantage of favourable caveats and provisions within the New Zealand China FTA, it is extremely important that exporters understand the basics of how their goods qualify as being of New Zealand origin under the New Zealand-China FTA and thus qualify for preference. One place for exporters to locate this information is on the New Zealand Government’s official New Zealand-China FTA website.

 

Section 1 within Chapter 4 of the New Zealand-China FTA should be the first port of call for exporters who are looking to educate themselves about the eligibility of their goods for preference under the agreement. To visit this section of the New Zealand-China FTA click here. Essentially goods can qualify as being of New Zealand origin in three different ways. Article 19 within Section 1 of Chapter 4 of the New Zealand-China FTA states that:

A good shall be considered as originating when:

  • the good is wholly obtained or produced in the territory of a Party as set out and defined in Article 20, including where required to be so under Annex 5. To check whether your good is eligible under the wholly obtained or produced category click here.
  • the good is produced entirely in the territory of one or both Parties (New Zealand and China), exclusively from materials whose origin conforms to the provisions of Section 1 in Chapter 4 of the New Zealand-China FTA.
  • the good is produced in the territory of one or both Parties, using non-originating materials that conform to a change in tariff classification, a regional value content, a process requirement or other requirements specified in Annex 5, and the good meets the other applicable provisions of Section 1 in Chapter 4 of the New Zealand-China FTA. For information about the eligibility of your export product under the Product Specific Rules of Origin (PSR) classification click here to read Articles 21 to 31 of the FTA.

 

If you have any questions about how your export good qualifies as being of New Zealand origin under the New Zealand-China FTA you can contact the New Zealand Customs Service or call one of its authorised agents (as set out below).

 

In addition to gaining an in-depth knowledge of how your export products qualify as being of New Zealand Origin under Chapter 4 of the New Zealand China FTA, the following resources are also useful when you are putting together your application for a China FTA Certificate of Origin:

 

Working Tariff Document of New Zealand

One of the most important pieces of information that you will require in your application for a China FTA Certificate of Origin is the Harmonised System Code (HS Code) for your export product. The HS Code for your product can be found in The Working Tariff Document of New Zealand. To access an online version of this document click here.

Alternatively, if you are unsure of the HS code for your product you can contact the National Tariff Advisory Unit for a ruling at ntau@customs.govt.nz

 

New Zealand-China FTA Tariff finder

The tariff finder at www.chinafta.govt.nz allows you to find both the tariff applying at the date the FTA comes into force and the rates for each year while tariffs are being phased out. To access the tariff finder click here.

 

The following agencies have been appointed by NZ Customs to authenticate the certification of China FTA Certificates of Origin under the New Zealand-China FTA and, in addition to Customs itself, will undoubtedly be happy to ease you through the required paperwork:

  • The New Zealand Chambers of Commerce
  • Independent Verification Services Limited
  • The Wine Institute of New Zealand (wine exports only)

 

For more information you can also visit these useful websites: