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New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand, hereinafter referred to as the “ Parties

  • Inspired by the traditional links of friendship and cooperation between them and their shared regional interests and ties;

  • Recognising that the strengthening of their economic partnership will bring economic and social benefits and improve the living standards of their people;

  • Recognising further the importance of securing trade liberalisation and an outward looking approach to trade and investment in order to expand economic relations between them;

  • Conscious that open, transparent and competitive markets are the key drivers of economic efficiency, innovation, wealth creation and consumer welfare;

  • Affirming the rights of their governments to regulate in order to meet national policy objectives;

  • Aware that closer social and political relationships and economic partnerships can play an important role in promoting sustainable development;

  • Building on their rights, obligations and undertakings under the World Trade Organisation, and other relevant agreements and arrangements;

  • Mindful of their commitment to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) goals of free and open trade and investment;

  • Recognising the significance of good corporate governance and the need for a predictable, transparent and consistent business environment to enable businesses to conduct transactions freely, and use resources efficiently and take investment and planning decisions with certainty; and

  • Desiring to strengthen the cooperative framework for the conduct of economic relations to ensure it is dynamic and encourages broader and deeper economic cooperation.

Have agreed as follows:

Chapter 1:   Objectives and General Definitions

Article 1.1 Objectives

1. The Parties hereby establish a free trade area consistent with the WTO Agreement, based upon the principles of common interest and cooperation and the goals of free and open trade and investment.

2. The objectives of the Parties in concluding this Agreement are to

  • (a) strengthen their trade and economic relationship;

  • (b) liberalise trade and investment and to create favourable conditions for the stimulation of trade and investment flows;

  • (c) support the wider liberalisation and facilitation process in APEC;

  • (d) build upon their commitments at the World Trade Organisation, and to support its efforts to create a predictable, and more free and open global trading environment;

  • (e) encourage and facilitate cooperation in areas of mutual interest in support of the aims of the Agreement;

  • (f) improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their trade sectors by promoting conditions for fair competition, for innovation and for mutually beneficial business collaboration; and

  • (g) facilitate trade and investment by establishing a framework of transparent rules and seeking to minimise transaction costs.

Article 1.2 General Definitions

For the purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified:

(a) “Agreement” means the New Zealand-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement;

(b) “APEC” means Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation;

(c) “CEP Joint Commission” means the Closer Economic Partnership Joint Commission established under Article 16.1 of this Agreement;

(d) “customs administration” means the competent authority that is responsible under the laws of a Party for the administration of customs laws, regulations and policies;

(e) “customs duties” includes any customs or import duty and a charge of any kind imposed in connection with the import of a good, including any form of surtax or surcharge in connection with such import, but does not include any:

  • (i) charge equivalent to an internal tax imposed consistently with Article III.2 of GATT 1994;

  • (ii) anti-dumping or countervailing duty applied consistently with the provisions of GATT 1994, the WTO Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, and the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures; and

  • (iii) fee or other charge in connection with importing commensurate with the cost of services rendered;

(f) “days” means calendar days, including weekends and holidays;

(g) “food standards” means a mandatory requirement that is either an SPS measure or a technical regulation as defined in the TBT Agreement which relates to food and is made pursuant to relevant laws administered by a Party;

(h) “GATS” means the General Agreement on Trade in Services, which is part of the WTO Agreement;

(i) “GATT 1994” means the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, which is part of the WTO Agreement;

(j) “goods” means all kinds of movable property, including animals, as understood in GATT 1994;

(k) “goods” and “products” shall be understood to have the same meaning unless the context otherwise requires;

(l) “originating goods” means goods that qualify as originating in accordance with the relevant provisions of Chapter 4;

(m) “person” means a natural person or a juridical person;

(n) “SPS Agreement” means the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, which is part of the WTO Agreement;

(o) “SPS measure” means a sanitary or phytosanitary measure and shall have the same meaning as in Annex A, paragraph 1 of the SPS Agreement;

(p) “TBT Agreement” means the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, which is part of the WTO Agreement;

(q) “territory” means the territory of a Party, as well as the exclusive economic zone, seabed and subsoil over which the Party exercises sovereign rights or jurisdiction in accordance with international law, but with respect to New Zealand does not include Tokelau;

(r) “WTO” means the World Trade Organisation;

(s) “WTO Agreement” means the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation, done on 15 April 1994.

Chapter 2: Trade In Goods

Article 2.1 Scope and Coverage

Except as otherwise provided, this chapter applies to trade in all goods of a party.

Article 2.2 National Treatment

Each Party shall accord national treatment to the goods of the other Party in accordance with Article III of GATT 1994. To this end, the provisions of Article III of GATT 1994 and its interpretative notes are incorporated into and shall form part of this Agreement, mutatis mutandis.

Article 2.3 Elimination of Customs Duties

1. The provisions of this Chapter concerning the elimination of customs duties on imports shall apply to goods originating in the territory of the Parties.  

2. A Party shall not increase an existing customs duty or introduce a new customs duty on imports of an originating good. 

3. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, each Party shall progressively eliminate its customs duties on originating goods of the other Party in accordance with its Tariff Schedule at Annex 1. The base rate and the interim rate of customs duty at each stage of reduction for an item are indicated for the item in each Party's Schedule. Reductions shall occur upon entry into force of the Agreement and thereafter on 1 January of each year, as provided for in each Party's Schedule.  

4. Each Party may adopt or maintain measures necessary to administer a tariff quota set out in its Tariff Schedule, including allocating access to that quota opportunity. Such measures shall be transparent and predictable and shall not have trade restrictive effects on imports additional to those caused by the imposition of the tariff quota. 

5. On the written request of the other Party, a Party applying or intending to apply measures pursuant to Paragraph 4 shall consult to consider a review of the administration of those measures.

Article 2.4 Accelerated Tariff Elimination

1. Each Party is prepared to eliminate its customs duties more rapidly than provided for in Article 2.3 or otherwise to improve the conditions of access of originating goods taking into account its general economic situation and the economic situation of the sector concerned.

2. On the request of a Party, the Parties shall promptly enter into consultations to accelerate the elimination of customs duties on originating goods as set out in its Tariff Schedule in Annex 1.

3. An Agreement by the Parties to accelerate the elimination of customs duties on originating goods shall enter into force after the Parties have exchanged written notification advising that they have completed the necessary internal legal procedures and on such date or dates as may be agreed between them.

4. A Party may at any time accelerate unilaterally the elimination of customs duties on originating goods of the other Party set out in its Tariff Schedule. A Party considering doing so shall inform the other Party as early as practicable before the new rate of customs duties takes effect.

Article 2.5 Administrative Fees and Formalities

Each Party shall ensure, in accordance with Article VIII.1 of GATT 1994, that all fees and charges of whatever character (other than customs duties, charges equivalent to an internal tax or other internal charge applied consistently with Article III.2 of GATT 1994, and anti-dumping and countervailing duties) imposed on or in connection with import or export are limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered and do not represent an indirect protection to domestic goods or a taxation on imports or exports for fiscal purposes.

Article 2.6 Agricultural Export Subsidies

1. For the purposes of this Article, agricultural goods means those products listed in Annex 1 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture [external link]

2. The Parties share the objective of the multilateral elimination of all forms of export subsidies for agricultural goods and shall work towards an agreement in the WTO to eliminate those subsidies and prevent the introduction in any form of any new export subsidies for agricultural goods. 

3. Recognising the trade-distorting nature of export subsidies and consistent with their rights and obligations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, neither Party shall introduce or maintain any form of export subsidy on any agricultural good destined for the territory of the other Party.

4. If a Party believes that a policy or measure implemented by the other Party has the effect of providing an export subsidy on any agricultural good exported to that Party, it may request consultations with the aim of preventing such subsidisation occurring on trade between the Parties.

Article 2.7 Non-Tariff Measures

1. A Party shall not adopt or maintain any non-tariff measures on the importation of any good of the other Party or on the exportation of any good destined for the territory of the other Party except in accordance with its WTO rights and obligations or in accordance with other provisions of this Agreement. 

2. Each Party shall ensure the transparency of its non-tariff measures permitted in Paragraph 1 and shall ensure that any such measures are not prepared, adopted or applied with a view to or with the effect of creating unnecessary obstacles to trade between the Parties.

Part 2

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