We want to help exporters be successful. Use the tools below if you have questions about exporting, need advice or guidance.

Several government agencies contribute to helping exporters. We may be able to give you practical advice, guidance and tools, as well as work with other governments to minimise rules that could be blocking you from exporting.

Barriers to trade

Trade barriers such as government policies and regulations that favour local suppliers are called non-tariff barriers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other government agencies can help reduce or prevent some of these barriers.

Non-tariff barriers are rules that make it costly or difficult to export to a particular market. You might experience these as red tape, roadblocks or costs of doing business.

The barriers can arise with any type of export from food to digital goods and services.

Examples include:

  • administrative procedures
  • quantity restrictions (such as quotas)
  • licensing requirements
  • data storage requirements
  • privacy requirements
  • board director requirements
  • procurement rules
  • price controls
  • subsidies
  • product labelling requirements
  • phytosanitary or technical regulations and standards.

Help available to break the barriers 

We and other government agencies can help with trade barriers. We may be able to reduce, resolve or even prevent them from happening. That might be by government officials talking through the issues with overseas agencies. Or it might be through longer-term free trade agreement negotiations.

Some barriers can be cleared up quickly, but others can take years to resolve. It depends on their nature and the willingness of the foreign partner to sort them out. Some may never be resolved for reasons beyond New Zealand’s control.

Tell us through the Trade barriers website if a barrier is holding back your business.

Trade barriers website (external link)

Sometimes non-tariff barriers exist for good reasons – for example, regulations to protect public health or the environment.  In those cases, foreign governments may agree that New Zealand’s regulations provide equivalent protection. Or they may improve their regulations so they meet their purpose without impeding free trade.

Services for exporters

If you’re experiencing issues with exporting, find out which government agency can help you.

Services for exporters

Guide to free trade agreements

Free trade agreements can make your business more competitive. Find out about the processes you need to follow to get the benefits of free trade agreements.

Guide to using free trade agreements

Tariff Finder

Compare the tariff rates for goods across different free trade agreements and ensure that you are maximising your returns.

Tariff Finder (external link)

Non-tariff measures

Tell us about any problems you have with non-tariff measures. We may be able to help.

Non-tariff measures notification form

How the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade helps

We are committed to building and maintaining trade access for New Zealand’s goods and services exporters. We are the government's principal advisor and negotiator for free trade agreements and have a network of staff around the world.

How MFAT helps exporters

Real-life examples

Exporters can sometimes experience hurdles in getting goods and services into international markets. Learn from these case studies how others have worked through issues to become successful and grow their business.

Exporter case studies