Government agencies can help when you export

If you’re dreaming of selling to the world and making your brand a household name, maybe you can. Draw on the resources that government agencies have developed to support exporters like you. 

Anyone can export, and it’s easy to do accidentally without realising it. But exporting successfully over the long term requires careful thought and planning. What can you export? What permits do you need? What taxes do you pay, and in which country? Where can you go for help if you hit a barrier?

What you need to know about exporting

You don’t need to figure things out alone. Experts from government agencies have drawn on years of experience and created resources for both new and experienced exporters. Different agencies offer different resources, so you’re sure to find something that meets your needs and suits your learning style.

These agencies can help when you’re planning and doing business as usual:

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Ministry for Primary Industries

New Zealand Customs Service

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand Export Credit Office

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Education New Zealand

If you have specific questions, contact the Trade Barriers Export Helpdesk. They’ll send your questions to the right government agency.

Trade Barriers Export Helpdesk

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) | Te Taurapa Tūhono

NZTE focuses on helping all businesses find success overseas. They offer advice, specialist expertise and in-market support to businesses internationally. Do three things to make the most of what they offer.

Explore myNZTE 

This is NZTE’s website for export resources. Once you’re there, signing up to become a customer takes minutes. Answer a few questions so NZTE can tailor information to your needs, and you’re good to go. 

Signing up unlocks a wealth of extra information, from an “Export Essentials” course to prepare your business for international growth (see below), to comprehensive information on over 40 export markets. Learn how to strengthen your supply chain. Use tools, templates and calculators to plan and make decisions.

Learn how to grow your business overseas with myNZTE’s free tools and guides(external link) — NZTE

Take the Export Essentials course

This excellent free online course is your best-practice guide to selling internationally. You can learn at your own pace or join an online group.

Log in to your myNZTE customer account. In the menu at the top, choose “Upskill”, then “Export Essentials”. You’ll cover things like:

  • what exporting will cost
  • how to reach your customers
  • how to choose the right export market
  • how to get noticed and make sales in market
  • who you’ll need on your team.

Export Essentials: your best-practice guide to selling overseas(external link) — NZTE

Learn how to raise capital in the InvestEd course

InvestEd is a free online course with extensive practical information and advice on preparing to raise capital. You can work at your own pace and choose what you want to learn. You can find out how to:

  • raise the capital you need
  • prepare your business 
  • build your financial model
  • approach investors
  • close the deal.

Planning to raise capital(external link) — NZTE

Contact NZTE

0800 555 888

Fill in NZTE’s online contact form(external link) — NZTE

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) | Manatū Ahu Matua

MPI supports New Zealand’s food and fibre sectors across the whole export chain. They also set and enforce export rules.

MPI’s work helps maintain the reputation of New Zealand’s primary industries in overseas markets, and supports export growth.

Learn about how MPI can help you

MPI can help you:

  • find rules that apply to your food and fibre products
  • ensure your products meet New Zealand’s domestic requirements 
  • apply for certification to confirm that your products meet the export rules 
  • navigate export trade barriers relating to food safety or animal welfare.

MPI’s role in exporting(external link) — MPI

Support for exporters

MPI provides a variety of support and resources for exporters of all levels of experience. This includes:

  • custom, one-to-one advice and guidance for businesses across the export chain 
  • sessions in the regions to meet MPI’s technical and export advisory teams
  • online workshops and presentations to build businesses’ understanding of the export process
  • online guidance and resources to help exporters to resolve their issues.

A beginner’s guide to exporting from New Zealand(external link) — MPI

Exporting food and fibre products(external link) — MPI

Contact MPI

0800 00 83 33

Commercial export query form(external link)(external link) — MPI

New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) | Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa

Customs focuses on New Zealand’s border. They promote the country’s international trade. They work with other countries’ customs agencies to make sure lawful travellers and items can move in and out of the country smoothly. They also seize illegal imports and exports, collect duties (payments) for the government, and manage sanctions (penalties) for other government agencies.

Learn about exports and customs

The information on their website includes information on things like:

  • export entries, forms and documents for customs clearance 
  • what a Certificate of New Zealand Origin is and when you need one
  • Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) with countries that have similar supply chain security standards
  • requirements you need to meet to export animals, including pet dogs and cats
  • import entries to bring something back into the country
  • prohibited and restricted goods.

Information, guidance and documentation for export(external link) — Customs

Sign up for their weekly newsletter, “Customs Release”(external link) — Customs

The Secure Exports Scheme (SES) simplifies exporting

The scheme helps you clear customs more quickly, both here and overseas. Customs certifies export goods that are packed, stored and shipped according to global customs standards. The certification assures customs agencies overseas that the supply chain is secure, meaning your goods are less likely to be delayed at borders.

Secure Exports Scheme(external link) — New Zealand Customs Service

Contact Customs

0800 428 786 — National Contact Centre

export2fta@customs.govt.nz

SES@customs.govt.nz

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) | Manatū Aorere

MFAT focuses on New Zealand’s relationships with the rest of the world.

For example, they:

  • pursue the government’s international goals
  • advise the government how events in the rest of the world could affect New Zealand
  • promote free and open trade.

Their focus on trade will be especially relevant to you if you’re thinking of exporting. 

Learn about how MFAT can help you

Their website is full of reports and intelligence, and information on policy, strategy and trade agreements. MFAT also provides support overseas.

Learn about trade agreements and get help

Free-trade agreements(external link) — MFAT

How MFAT helps exporters(external link) — MFAT

New Zealand and the World Trade Organisation(external link) — MFAT

Trade law and dispute settlement(external link) — MFAT

UN Security Council sanctions(external link) — MFAT

Read reports, policy and strategy

Market intelligence reports(external link) — MFAT

Māori engagement and interests in trade(external link) — MFAT

Trade statistics and economic research(external link) — MFAT

Guide to trade acronyms(external link) — MFAT

COVID-19 and trade(external link) — MFAT

New Zealand’s trade policy(external link) — MFAT

New Zealand’s trade recovery strategy(external link) — MFAT

Find support overseas

You’re welcome to contact MFAT’s local staff in the country you want to export to. They might be able to put you in touch with someone who has the local knowledge you need. They may even attend meetings with you.

If you’re organising a product launch or promotional event overseas, consider involving MFAT. Holding an event at an embassy or high commission, or getting an ambassador’s or high commissioner’s support, can give your event a boost and raise your profile.

Contact MFAT

Find an embassy(external link) — MFAT

0800 824 605 

exports@mfat.net

New Zealand Export Credit (NZEC) | Te Tai Ōhunga

NZEC helps New Zealand’s exporters and their suppliers grow. NZEC provides financial guarantees and insurance when a bank or insurer may not be able to help. 

Make the most of their solutions for you

Manage your cashflow

Producing your export product or service can create financial challenges. NZEC can help you manage these challenges by accessing more working capital (money for short-term needs).

Protect your income

Non-payment is every business’s worst nightmare. NZEC’s Trade Credit Insurance reduces this risk and provides protection for non-payment and order cancellation.

Grow your business

NZEC can be your guarantor for your bank (NZEC can promise to pay if you cannot), so you can access more bank facilities and scale your business.

Solutions for exporters(external link) — NZEC

Show the economic benefits of your exports

To get help from NZEC, you’ll need to show that your exports have economic benefits for New Zealand.

Contact NZEC

04 917 6060

exportcredit@treasury.govt.nz

Other government agencies that can help

The following agencies can also help if you have non-tariff issues (non-tax issues).

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

If you’re a manufacturer trying to export and you face barriers, MBIE can help with:

  • standards
  • rules in selling to foreign governments
  • other restrictions to export.

tradebarriers@mbie.govt.nz

Education New Zealand (ENZ)

If you teach international students, either in New Zealand or overseas, you’re exporting. Education New Zealand can help you if you export education services, and you face barriers like:

  • licensing requirements
  • restrictions on investment and foreign ownership
  • getting qualifications recognised.

tradebarriers@enz.govt.nz

ENZ also offers advice and funding to providers who sell education services overseas.

Support services(external link) — ENZ

Trade Barriers Export Helpdesk Kaweake Tēpu Āwihina

The Trade Barriers Export Helpdesk helps exporters overcome trade barriers

Trade Barriers Export Helpdesk(external link)

Check out their FAQ page to see if your question has already been asked. If it hasn’t, email or phone the helpdesk with your question. They’ll send it to the government agency best placed to answer it.

Six agencies run the helpdesk:

  • Education New Zealand
  • Ministry for Primary Industries
  • Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • New Zealand Customs
  • New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

Contact the Trade Barriers Export Helpdesk

0800 824 605

exports@mfat.govt.nz

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