National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers - DOC by ldq11237

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									HIT LIST (issues which feature regularly)

STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

      For a long time the U.S. had major concerns about restrictions put on the sale and
       manufacture of genetically modified organisms in NZ. In 2003/4 NZ relaxed its policies
       which seems to have helped but it is still mentioned as an area of concern is each of the
       National Trade Reports done on NZ.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

      It is constantly noted that NZ has a very strict sanitary and phytosanitary regime. Pork,
       poulty, table grapes and beef have all been subject to restrictions during the 6 year period
       looked at. Currently (2007) all remained areas of concern for the U.S. although some e.g.
       Pork, had only to agree on certain labeling requirements before full trade was resumed.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS PROTECTION

      This is an area where the U.S. has clearly become increasingly concerned.
      In particular, it is NZ’s rules surrounding parallel importing which the U.S. don’t like.
       Reforms to PI rules in 2004 prevent the import of new film (for 9 months after release
       date) but don’t address music industry and program industry concerns.
      There was also concern that NZ’s laws did not do enough to punish (and thus deter)
       copyright and trade mark breaches. These concerns were addressed gradually between
       2001 and 2007 (with increased fines, prison time, and shifting the burden of proof) and
       now seem to be at an acceptable level for the U.S.
      Also important is the pharmaceutical industries concern over NZ patent rules which the
       U.S. also believes does not do enough to encourage innovation and development of new
       pharmaceutical products by NZ research companies.
      New Intellectual property laws were due last year (although I don’t think they have come
       into force yet) and the U.S. hopes that these will bring NZ into line with internationally
       acceptable standards.

Local Content Quotas

      Concerns over local content quotas is a common theme. Although quotas are
       voluntary, they where only adopted after threats by NZ government that they
       would become compulsory if the industry did not adopt them voluntarily. U.S. is
       concerned that this would put NZ out of its GATS obligations.

Telecommunications

      U.S. industry continues to be concerned about the role played by Telecom in the
       telecommunications market. It is believed that the dominance of Telecom, and the
       lack of competition, has led to extremely high prices (amongst the highest in the
       world for some services).
Investment Screening

         U.S. concerned about regulations in place which can restrict foreign investment
          into NZ. They are particularly concerned given the trend has been to make the
          regulations more stringent and thus (potentially) allow less investment. Although
          in practice very few applications for investment are denied, U.S. industry is
          concerned about the “such other matters as seen fit” catch all phrase which leaves
          the process open to political influence.
         The U.S. believes that these regulations may put NZ in violation of GATS
          obligations.

Pharmaceuticals

         This is a major area of concern and features strongly in each of the reports.
         PHARMAC and the way it acts to control and regulate the NZ pharmaceutical
          industry is of most concern to the U.S. and U.S. industry.
         The power of PHARMAC and its lack of transparency, accountability and
          predictability are constantly emphasized as a major concern for the U.S.
         U.S. manufacturers have also expressed concern over the new agreement between
          NZ and Australia regulating medical devices, medicines, dietary supplements etc.
          They are concerned that this agreement may lead to increase costs (because of the
          need to register products etc) which may discourage exports of their products to
          NZ.


National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
(more detailed look)

New Zealand

2001

STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

Biotechnology

         Restrictions on full commercial release of Genetically Modified Organisms.
         Prohibition on the sale of food produced using gene technology unless it has been
          assessed by the Australia/New Zealand Food Authority.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

         NZ has a very strict sanitary and phytosanitary regime which limits access for
          some U.S. agricultural products.

Poultry
         No imports of uncooked chicken are currently permitted.
         Strict rules on import of cooked chicken.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS PROTECTION

Parallel Imports/IPR Laws

         U.S. unhappy about NZ parallel importing laws.
         Temporarily placed on special 301 watch list in 1999 but subsequently removed
          after promises by NZ government to strengthen copyright laws.

SERVICES BARRIERS

Local Content Quotas

         Government had announced it would introduce format specific quotas for local
          content on radio and broadcast television. U.S. concerned this would violate NZ
          commitments under GATS.

ANTI-COMPETITIVE PRACTICES

Telecommunications

         Concern about the actions of telecom and their capacity to make it difficult for
          new providers to enter the market place.
         A government commissioned enquiry found a number of problem areas and made
          a number of recommendations. Some of these recommendations were adopted in
          new legislation.
         U.S. still not completely happy but says its moving in the right direction.

Other Barriers

Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC)

         Although NZ does not restrict (directly) the sale of non PHARMAC subsidized medicines,
          insurance companies don’t cover them, and doctors are reluctant to prescribe them. Thus
          PHARMAC has a large say in what medicines will be sold in NZ, and to a large extent their price.
         Also concerned about PHARMAC’s exemption from Commerce Act’s competition provisions.

2002

IMPORT POLICIES

Tariffs

         Tariffs of 5 percent ad valorem on liqueurs and 6.5 percent ad valorem on vodka
          and gin. NZ is an important export market for distilled spirits and therefore U.S.
          wants an elimination of remaining tariffs.
STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

Commercial Release Moratorium

      U.S. unhappy with the two year moratorium on any release of bioengineered
       products. It believes it is a departure from NZ’s stated policy of regulating these
       areas based on science.
      U.S. is also concerned that the moratorium does not fit with the principles of the
       WTO since there is no scientific evidence which suggest that bioengineered foods
       are more dangerous to the public than those developed in conventional breeding
       programs or using other technologies.

Food Labeling

      Concern that labeling requirements for food produced through gene technology
       may not be WTO consistent (i.e. U.S. would monitor to see how the rules operate
       in practice).

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

      Concern that new measures introduced in 2001, which prohibited the importation
       of a number of U.S. products where not implemented as a result of sound science.

Pork Meat

      NZ introduced measures stating that any country with PRSS must cook its pork
       meat to certain temperatures before importing it, or have it cooked in special NZ
       facilities after it is imported. U.S. is concerned with the effect that this has had on
       sales (consumers have reacted in a negative manner to the darker meat which
       comes as a result of the cooking).
      U.S. government informed NZ that they were concerned there was no scientific
       rationale for the measures.

Poultry Meat

      In 2001 NZ Ministry of Agriculture implemented measures suspending the
       importation of poultry meat from some places including the U.S. This was due to
       the risk of introducing IBD.
      The U.S. continues to question the scientific basis of conclusions made in the risk
       assessment which led to these measures.

Table Grapes

      NZ suspended imports of U.S. table grapes after finding Black Widow and other
       exotic spiders in them.
      U.S. is unhappy because in 2001 the number of spiders found in tables grapes was
       within the level considered to be of acceptable risk under NZ standards.
      U.S. industry is disappointed and believes that NZ is singling out table grapes
       (other known pathways for spider movement has not been restricted).

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) PROTECTION

Parallel Imports/IPR Laws

      NZ allowance of parallel imports raises concerns among U.S. manufacturers that
       it will be more difficult to detect and combat piracy.
      Related concerns have been expressed that NZ’s law does not do enough to deter
       and copyright and trade mark violation.
      U.S. happy with promises by NZ government to shift burden of proof to the
       defendant in cases of copyright breach.

SERVICES BARRIERS

Local Content Quotas

      U.S. concerns that format specific quotas for local content on radio and broadcast
       television would fall outside NZ GATS obligations.
      NZ government announcement that it was sensitive to WTO implications and
       therefore planned to make quotas voluntary eased U.S. concerns, but they still
       plan to monitor closely.

Telecommunications
      U.S. happy with the creation of the Telecommunications Commissioner
       (responsible for resolving industry disputes and promoting competition).
      U.S. still concerned about Telecoms failure to provide interconnection at cost-
       oriented and non-discriminatory rates or access to unbundled network elements.
      Also concern that NZ’s universal service regime is not consistent with its WTO
       commitments.

INVESTMENT BARRIERS

Investment Screening

      New Zealand’s screening of foreign investment by the Overseas Investment
       Commission has raised concerns in the U.S. Although the criteria is currently
       being applied liberally (and therefore the majority of purchases are being
       approved), U.S. companies have expressed concern over the potential for the
       criteria to be applied more strictly or for investment applications to be the subject
       of political intervention.

OTHER BARRIERS

Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC)
      Same concerns expressed previously re: PHARMACS exemption from the
       Commerce Act’s competition provisions allows it to exert de facto monopsonisitc
       power over the pharmaceutical industry.
      Also serious concern about the transparency, predictability and accountability of
       PHARMAC’s operations.
      PHARMAC also fails to differentiate between patented and non-patented
       medicines in setting a reference price. Industry claims that this erodes the value of
       the patented medicines intellectual property.

Trout Import Ban

      The U.S. continues to express concern over the banning of trout importation into
       NZ.

2003

STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

Biotechnology

      U.S. continues to have concerns over NZ’s biotechnology policies and discussions
       continue over these policies.

Commercial Release Moratorium

      U.S. industry concerned that NZ may impose non scientific based regulatory
       guidelines which could significantly tighten compliance requirements for the
       release of GMO’s.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures

      U.S. remains concerned about NZ’s highly conservative regulatory approach on
       SPS matters.
      Progress has been made in a number of areas: Table Grapes, Pistachios, Pork
       Meat, Poultry Meat.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) PROTECTION

      Continued concern about parallel importing and its ability to disrupt the detection
       of piracy.
      Also concern that NZ law does not adequately punish copyright and trademark
       breaches.
      NZ remains on special 301 watch list because of these concerns.
      U.S. concerned about amendments to Patents Act which makes it permissible for
       someone to make, use, exercise or vend an invention for purposes related to
       gaining regulatory approval in NZ or overseas. Pharmaceutical company in
       particular has a problem with this “spring boarding” legislation.
SERVICES BARRIERS

Local Content Quotas

      Concern about imposition of quotas on radio and broadcast television (U.S.
       considers this a breach of WTO obligations).
      Although industry agreed on voluntary quotas, this was only done after it was
       made clear that mandatory quotas would otherwise be forthcoming.

INVESTMENT BARRIERS

Investment Screening

      US concerned about the OIC’s power to prevent foreign investment.
      Of particular concern is the catch all phrase (enabling refusal of investment) “such
       other matters as thought fit.”
      Amongst other things, U.S. concerned that the screening process puts NZ in
       violation of its GATS obligations.

OTHER BARRIERS

Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC)

      U.S. government continues to raise concerns with NZ over the role of
       PHARMAC (same reasons as 2002).

2004

STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

Biotechnology Commercial Release Moratorium

      Alterations to NZ restrictive biotechnology policy’s in 2003 have be viewed
       favorably by the U.S.

Biotechnology Food Labeling

      Mandatory labeling requirements for foods produced using gene technology became
       effective in December 2001.
      The U.S. continues to express concern that New Zealand food retailers are discouraged
       from sourcing biotechnology food products because of these regulations.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures

      The United States and New Zealand have held discussions on New Zealand’s highly
       conservative regulatory approach as well as on specific SPS issues.
      TABLE GRAPES: U.S. now seeking to reduce the measures imposed by NZ in order to
       allow table grapes into NZ.
      POULTRY: NZ continues to only allow canned poultry from the U.S.
      PORK: although NZ now allows microwave treatment of pork, the discoloration
       continues to put consumers off imported products. U.S. notes NZ willingness to look at
       new scientific evidence in this area.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) PROTECTION

      NZ made changes to parallel importing rules which make it more restrictive (i.e. can’t PI new
       release movies for 9 months after they are released). However did not address concerns by music
       and software producers.
      Changes to the Copy Right Act make it easier to prosecute those in breach.
      Introduction of tougher penalties for breach of Copy Right and Trade Marks.
      Pharmaceutical industry still concerned about 2002 amendments to Patents Act.

SERVICES BARRIERS

      “voluntary” quotas for radio and television broadcast now being respected but U.S. still concerned
       about NZ governments threats to make them mandatory.

INVESTMENT BARRIERS

Investment Screening

      Concerns remain over the power of the OIC to restrict foreign investment and how this effects
       NZ’s GATS obligations.
      Recent trends of foreigners buying coastal property has led to government commissioned review
       of the powers of the OIC (in particular whether environmental, historical and cultural
       considerations should be mandatory considerations).

OTHER BARRIERS

Pharmaceuticals

      U.S. continues to express concerns over PHARMAC.
      The United States has serious concerns relating to the transparency, predictability and
       accountability of PHARMAC's operations.

2005

STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

      NZ government passed the New Organisms and Other Matters (NOOM) Bill 2003
       which provides for a new conditional release category of approval for new
       organisms, including biotechnology products. This allows New Zealand's
       Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) to accept for review and its
       approval applications for release of biotechnology products with controls applied
       on a case-by-case basis.
      A Green Party Member introduced a Bill which would reinstate the ban on commercial
       releases of Genetically modified organisms into the environment but it had not had its
       first reading yet.
Biotechnology Food Labeling
      Continuing concern over how food labeling regulations effect how retailers (supermarkets etc)
       source their products.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures

      U.S. continues to express concern over NZ’s highly conservative regulatory
       approach in this area.
      BEEF: US Beef and variety meats were restricted from importation into NZ in
       2003 after U.S. announced the existence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy
       (BSE) in the U.S. U.S. Wants a reassessment of measures and the Ministry of
       Agriculture has complied.
      TABLE GRAPES: Although table grapes now allowed, U.S. is concerned with
       the steps regulations require must be taken before they are allowed in (complain
       that it is too costly etc). U.S. would like a change to the regulations so that they
       are less stringent.
      PORK MEAT: NZ has made further allowances (after having completely banned importation of
       U.S. pork in 2002) so that pigs that are imported into the U.S. from Canada for immediate
       slaughter, can now be exported to NZ with microwave or cooking.
      POULTRY: U.S. remains unhappy with being unable to export poultry to NZ.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) PROTECTION

      U.S. unhappy that amendments which restrict parallel importing film, do not
       extend to music and software. U.S. industries, particularly producers and
       distributors of music and software, have voiced concerns that allowing parallel
       imports makes it more difficult to detect and combat piracy and erodes the value
       of their products in New Zealand and in third-country markets.
      The music industry also is concerned about a proposed amendment to the
       Copyright Act that would legalize the duplication of sound recordings in other
       formats for a purchaser's private use.
      The music industry also has expressed concern over another proposed exception
       to the Copyright Act, which would allow the unauthorized time-shifting of
       virtually all works communicated to the public.
      Following a government review of the Patents Act 1953 that began in August
       2000, the Ministry of Economic Development has drafted legislation intended to
       bring the act into closer conformity with international standards. The draft's
       prohibition of patents for methods of medical treatment concerns some
       pharmaceutical companies.
      Pharmaceutical companies also continue to express dissatisfaction with the 2002 amendments to
       the Patents Act.

SERVICES BARRIERS

Local Content Quotas
      U.S. maintains same concerns i.e. although local content quotas were adopted voluntarily, this was
       done only after government threats to impose a mandatory regime (which the U.S. believes would
       be in violation of its GATS obligations).

Telecommunications
      Continuing concerns over Telecom’s dominance of the telecommunications sector.
      Competitors of the formerly state-owned monopoly Telecom were disappointed
       by the New Zealand government's decision in May 2004 against unbundling the
       local loop.
      U.S. industry has also expressed concern about the cost of completing calls onto
       mobile networks in New Zealand, which is among the highest in the world.

INVESTMENT BARRIERS

Investment Screening
      U.S. continues to express concern over NZ’s investment screening process which were stiffened
       by 2004 legislation.
      They have raised concerns about the continued use of this screening mechanism.
       The U.S. considers New Zealand's commitments under the GATS Agreement of
       the WTO to be limited as a result of New Zealand's screening program.


OTHER BARRIERS

Pharmaceuticals

      U.S. continues to have serious concerns about the regulation of NZ’s
       pharmaceutical sector. It believes that it does not value innovation and thus
       diminishes the contribution NZ research and development has in the development
       of innovative pharmaceutical products.
      The power of PHARMAC and its lack of transparency, accountability and
       predictability of re emphasized as a major concern for the U.S.
      U.S. manufacturers have expressed concern over the new agreement between NZ
       and Australia regulating medical devices, medicines, dietary supplements etc.
       They are concerned that this agreement may lead to increase costs (because of the
       need to register products etc) which may discourage exports of their products to
       NZ.

2006

STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

Biotechnology Regulations

      Simply states current position (New Zealand's Environmental Risk Management
       Authority (ERMA) reviews applications for the release of new organisms,
       including biotechnology products, on a case-by-case basis. ERMA, an
       independent body, can issue three types of approval for the release of new
       organisms: contained trials, conditional release, and full, unconditional release).
      Any kind of restrictions on the use of biotechnology still seems to be at odds with
       U.S. requests.

Biotechnology Food Approval
      No developments, just states the position as it was in 2005.

Biotechnology Food Labeling

      Reiterates the fact that regulations on biotechnology food labeling discourage New
       Zealand food retailers from carrying biotechnology food products.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures


      States current position:

Imports of U.S. poultry meat (except canned product) remain suspended due to
restrictions on countries that have infectious bursal disease. Imports of U.S. pork meat
products are subject to a pre-cooking requirement because of the presence of Porcine
Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome in the United States. Imports of California table
grapes were restarted in 2005 as a result of changes in import requirements, while
cherries from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington also gained market access.

      An agreement was reached to lift the ban on beef and variety meat imports into
       NZ. However both sides have yet to agree on the certification which much
       accompany such imports.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) PROTECTION
      Reiterates the concerns over NZ’s intellectual property rules.
      Notes a proposed overhaul of NZ intellectual property laws and considers that these may bring NZ
       into line with international standards.

SERVICES BARRIERS

Local Content Quotas

      Same concerns re: voluntary but only after threat of compulsory and how this
       would affect GATS obligations.

Telecommunications
      The NZ regulating authority determined in 2005 that mobile network operators were able to set
       unreasonably high prices because the relative lack of competition in the industry. Agreed that
       prices should be regulated.

INVESTMENT BARRIERS

Investment Screening

      U.S. raised same concerns (that the investment screening affects NZ’s capacity to meet its GATS
       obligations).

OTHER BARRIERS

Pharmaceuticals

      Same concerns reiterated re: PHARMAC and NZ Australia agreement to regulate
       medicines, cosmetics, sunscreens.

2007

STANDARDS, TESTING, LABELING AND CERTIFICATION

Biotechnology Regulations

      No new concerns – outlines where the law is at and the historical background (as
       was done in previous reports).

Biotechnology Food Labeling

      With few exceptions, a food in its final form that contains detectable DNA or protein
       derived by the use of biotechnology must be so labeled. Meeting New Zealand's
       biotechnology food labeling regulations can be extremely burdensome and is especially
       relevant for U.S. agricultural exporters who deal primarily in processed food.
      The effect of these regulations is to discourage New Zealand food retailers from carrying
       biotechnology food products.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

      In 2006, New Zealand implemented new processes for undertaking risk analyses and
       developing import health standards. This initiative is intended to streamline existing
       processes and provide consistency in the way New Zealand undertakes these tasks.
      During the 2006 U.S.-New Zealand TIFA discussions, the United States Government
       requested that New Zealand develop an import standard for Pacific Northwest stone fruit
       (plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots).
      NZ completed its assessment on the risk of U.S. chilled pork. It found that there is no risk of the
       PRSS disease entering into NZ. NZ is in the process of removing restrictions.
      NZ standard for wood packaging is strict. NZ requires that the wood be bark free – the U.S.
       requested that this requirement be suspended until international studies could be published but NZ
       has refused.
      There is still no agreement on the wording required for certificates which must accompany the any
       imported bovine products.
      NZ continues to suspend imports on all poultry (except canned).

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) PROTECTION
      Again discusses NZ’s proposed IP reforms (which haven’t come into force at this stage).
      Reiterates US music industry opposition to law allowing duplication of sound recordings in other
       formats for purchasers private use.
      United States pharmaceutical companies have expressed concerns about a prohibition of
       patents for methods of medical treatment in New Zealand’s draft patents legislation.

SERVICES BARRIERS

Local Content Quotas

      Reiterated same points from 2006.

Telecommunications

      In May 2006 the New Zealand Minister of Communications announced a comprehensive
       package of reforms to improve the telecommunications regulatory environment and
       improve broadband access.
      The United States commends New Zealand for taking positive actions towards enhancing
       the competitive environment, which may lead to increased opportunities for U.S. service
       providers and equipment manufacturers in New Zealand’s market.

INVESTMENT BARRIERS

Investment Screening

      Reiterated same points as 2006.

OTHER BARRIERS

Pharmaceuticals

      The U.S. Government continued to raise concerns about New Zealand's support for
       innovation in the research and development of innovative pharmaceutical products.
      Reiterates concern over PHARMAC and NZ/Australia regulations of medicines and
       health products (Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill)

								
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