Home > Business > Trade & tariffs > Trade environment > Economic relationship with Australia > Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement
Document Actions
 

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement

The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) is a non-treaty arrangement between New Zealand and Australia's commonwealth, state and territory governments.

It is a cornerstone of a single economic market, and a powerful driver of regulatory co-ordination and integration.  It's central to developing an integrated trans-Tasman economy and a seamless market place, as envisioned by the Australia and New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement.

  • Lower business costs.
  • More competitiveness resulting from manufacturing to one standard.
  • Greater consumer choice.
  • Greater co-operation between regulatory authorities.
  • Greater discipline on regulators contemplating the introduction of new standards, regulations and occupation registration requirements.

 

The arrangement is supported by overarching legislation, which means all laws are subject to it unless specifically excluded or exempt.

In particular, there are implications for the sale of goods, and occupational registration.

  • Goods legally sold in one country can be sold in the other.  This principle operates regardless of different standards, or other sale-related regulatory requirements between New Zealand and Australia.
  • Someone registered to practise an occupation in one country is entitled to practise an equivalent occupation in the other country, without further testing or examination.

Top

The arrangement does not affect laws relating to:

  • customs controls and tariffs
  • intellectual property
  • international obligations
  • tax laws
  • regulations on how goods are sold
  • quarantine
  • endangered species
  • firearms and other prohibited or offensive weapons
  • fireworks
  • indecent material
  • ozone protection
  • agricultural and veterinary chemicals
  • gaming machines.

 

Temporary exemptions can be made to stop the sale of goods for up to 12 months for health, safety or environmental reasons.

Some goods are permanently exempt from the operation of the TTMRA.

The permanent exemptions include:

  • quarantine
  • endangered species
  • firearms and other prohibited or offensive weapons
  • fireworks
  • indecent material
  • ozone protection
  • agricultural and veterinary chemicals
  • gaming machines
  • hazardous substances
  • therapeutic goods
  • radio communications equipment
  • vehicles
  • wildlife
  • some gas appliances.

 

The arrangement took effect on 1 May 1998 and is implemented here through the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.

The operation of the TTMRA is regularly reviewed. The most recent review was undertaken by the Australian Productivity Commission (APC). The APC made recommendations regarding the TTMRA (and the Mutual Recognition Agreement between Australia’s states and territories) following this review in 2009.

That APC report can be read on the Australian Government Productivity Commission website

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the New Zealand Government have established a Cross-Jurisdictional Review (CJR) Forum to monitor the operation of the mutual recognition schemes and implement the findings of Productivity Commission reviews of the Mutual Recognition Schemes.

 

Practical guide to the TTMRA

Guides are available to help you understand and gain full benefit from the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement.

Read more about Practical guide to the TTMRA

Full text of the TTMRA

Download the full text of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement.

Read more about Full text of the TTMRA

Last updated 18 September 2014