New Zealand - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers

Includes the barriers (tariff and non-tariff) that U.S. companies face when exporting to this country.

Last published date: 2022-07-31

U.S. companies face few trade barriers in New Zealand.


The U.S. pharmaceutical industry has voiced strong concerns over access to New Zealand’s pharmaceutical market, in which the government of New Zealand is the primary purchaser of pharmaceuticals in the country.  Some U.S. pharmaceutical companies have left the market or substantially scaled back operations since the Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) was created in 1993.  PHARMAC administers the Pharmaceutical Schedule of over 2,000 medicines, which lists medicines that are entitled to subsidies from the New Zealand Government.  It also manages the Exceptional Circumstance program (medical funding for people with rare conditions).  PHARMAC’s role includes purchasing hospital drugs and some medical equipment.  Within the budget, which is set by the Minister of Health, PHARMAC essentially decides what medicines to fund, negotiates prices with pharmaceutical companies, and sets the subsidy levels and conditions.