Hong Kong, China - New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement in force tomorrow
Friday, December 31, 2010
The Hong Kong, China - New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEP Agreement) will enter into force on January 1, 2011, a government spokesman announced today (December 31).
The CEP Agreement, signed on March 29, is Hong Kong's first free trade agreement (FTA) with a foreign economy. It covers a wide range of areas of mutual interest to Hong Kong and New Zealand, including liberalisation measures in both trade in goods and services.
Under the CEP Agreement, New Zealand will phase out over six years its import tariffs on all goods originating in Hong Kong. Over 90% of New Zealand's tariff lines will become duty free within two years after the CEP Agreement has entered into force.
On trade in services, Hong Kong service providers and the services they provide will enjoy secured preferential opportunities in the New Zealand market in a variety of service sectors. These include logistics and related services, audiovisual services, various business services, computer and related services, maritime transport services, management consulting services and services incidental to manufacturing. The CEP Agreement also covers the six industries where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages and is promoting their further development, namely, education services, medical services, testing and certification services, environmental services, innovation and technology, and cultural and creative industries.
In terms of market access, there will not be any restrictions in the form of limitations on foreign capital, number of service providers or operations, value of service transactions, number of persons employed, types of legal entity or joint venture requirements in a variety of service sectors in the New Zealand market. Hong Kong service providers and the services they provide in a wide range of sectors will be treated no less favourably than their New Zealand counterparts in similar circumstances. They will also automatically enjoy more service liberalisation measures which New Zealand undertakes in its future FTAs with other trading partners.
To facilitate movement of business persons, without compromising legitimate immigration control, business persons of the two economies in the categories of business visitors, intra-corporate transferees, and installers or servicers in specified service sectors will be granted temporary entry into Hong Kong and New Zealand under favourable conditions.
To further enhance bilateral investment flows, the two sides have also agreed to negotiate an Investment Protocol to the CEP Agreement, with a view to concluding the investment negotiations in two years after the CEP Agreement has entered into force.
To enjoy the preferential tariff treatment granted under the CEP Agreement for exporting Hong Kong goods to New Zealand, a declaration of origin will be required by New Zealand. For apparel and clothing products falling within Chapter 61 or Chapter 62 of the Harmonised System, New Zealand requires the importer to obtain a Certificate of Hong Kong Origin - New Zealand issued by the Trade and Industry Department (TID) or one of the Government Approved Certification Organisations. For details, please refer to the relevant trade circulars issued by TID: www.tid.gov.hk/english/aboutus/tradecircular/all_in_one/2010/as032010.html, and www.tid.gov.hk/english/aboutus/tradecircular/all_in_one/2010/as042010.html
Details of the CEP Agreement, including its full text, can be accessed at the TID website: www.tid.gov.hk/english/hknzcep.