TPP Bill introduced to Parliament
On 9 May 2016, the Minister of Trade, the Hon Todd McClay, announced the introduction of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill (133-1) to Parliament as an omnibus Bill.
The Bill amends New Zealand law as part of the implementation of the free trade agreement named the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement between New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Viet Nam signed at Auckland on 4 February 2016.
The Minister said that the Bill will make all domestic legislative changes required to comply with New Zealand’s obligations to TPP, with the exception for obligations related to plant variety rights, which New Zealand has a three-year period following entry into force to implement.
The introduction of the Bill is the latest step in New Zealand’s domestic processes. The Minister noted that the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee has already examined the TPP text and the TPP National Interest Analysis and tabled its report in Parliament.
The legislative amendments introduced by the Bill will not come into effect until TPP enters into force for New Zealand. The TPP could come into force by late 2017/early 2018, once countries have completed their respective domestic processes necessary to ratify the agreement.
The Bill introduces amendments to a number of enactments including the Customs and Excise Act 1996. The proposed amendments to the Customs and Excise Act will allow the New Zealand Customs Service to issue advance rulings on the valuation of imports to TPP importers, exporters, or producers, as required by the customs administration and trade facilitation chapter of the agreement (ss 119, 120 and 122 of the Customs and Excise Act to be amended).
Marilyn Hay, Consultant Editor