The proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Europe and New Zealand will impact different industries, including pet food manufacturers.
Under the new rules, key products—including pet food—will experience a 0-tariff rate. According to official figures, removing tariffs is predicted to save businesses €140 million ($157.4M) in duties per year.
A spokesperson from the European Commission wrote to GlobalPETS saying the agreement allows “additional market access opportunities.” Currently, the EU is New Zealand’s 3rd largest trade partner, so facilitating trade is of great importance.
Bilateral trade in goods between the 2 parties reached almost €9.1 billion ($9.9B) in 2022 and officials in Brussels forecast a trade increase of 30% after the adoption of the agreement.
The Council and the European Parliament gave the green light to the FTA in the last weeks of 2023. The agreement is expected to enter into force in early 2024, after New Zealand completes its legal requirements and procedures.
Beef and sheep meat
The EU Commission stresses that the new framework includes rules for products of animal origin and their by-products “which are not fit for human consumption but often used to produce pet food.”
One of the most common pet food ingredients listed under the new FTA details is beef meat. The EU will allow a tariff rate quota of 10,000 tons to be imported with a reduced duty of 7.5%. The “modest volume” is due to the “sensitivity of the sector and is limited only to high-quality grass-fed beef,” reads the official document.
Another main by-product found in pet food is sheep meat, which was highlighted under the FTA as well. The statement indicated that 38,000 tons of sheep meat can be imported duty-free.
For both sheep and beef meat, the volume imported “will be gradually phased in over 7 years from the entry into force of the agreement.”
Discussions on the agreement started in 2018 and have entailed 12 rounds of negotiations.
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