UK trade deals with Australia and New Zealand take effect
UK trade agreements

UK trade deals with Australia and New Zealand take effect

On May 31, 2023, the bilateral trade agreements signed in February by the UK and Australia and New Zealand respectively, have come into force.

First trade deals since Brexit

The new trade deals between the UK and Australia as well as New Zealand are the first ones to come into effect since Brexit and the UK’s exit from all of the EU’s bilateral trade agreements. The two agreements with Australia and New Zealand remove customs barriers for trade between the UK and its former colonies on the other side of the world.

While the trade deal is lauded by the British government as a game-changer that is expected to increase bilateral trade with Australia by 53% and with New Zealand by 59%, critics point out that it will only contribute an 0.08% increase to the UK’s GDP by 2035 per the government’s own forecast. Its impact on Rishi Sunak's declared goal of "economic growth" may therefore be limited. 

With the service industry making up 80% of the UK's economic output, access to new markets for the sector is especially relevant, however the trade agreements do not include Mutual Recognition Arrangements, leaving the recognition of qualifications in place as a hurdle for businesses. 

Seize the full potential of free trade

The software Origin & Preferences from AEB helps you to tap the benefits and realize the opportunities of free trade agreements.

Benefits include access to public sector contracts

Among the benefits for British companies, besides tariff free access to both markets, are access to public sector contracts in both countries, especially relevant for the UK’s services industry, access to work visas for UK professionals in Australia that are not subject to its changing ‘skilled occupation list’ and “progressive rules on digital trade and data flows”. A bone of contention for UK farmers are the regulations on agricultural imports from Australia and New Zealand, however, the government maintains that the trade agreement contains “robust protections”.

More details

Details as well as the full length texts of the trade deals can be found on the website of the Department of Business and Trade and the government's website: 

Details on trade agreement with Australia
Full text trade agreement with Australia

Details on trade agreement with New Zealand
Full text trade agreemnet with New Zealand