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China to cut paper and wood tariffs from New Zealand from April 7

Stacks of logs for export line the dockside at Wellington's port, New Zealand.   © Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China will implement an upgrade to the free trade agreement between Beijing and Wellington to eliminate tariffs of 12 wood and paper products imported from New Zealand from April 7, the Ministry of Finance said on Sunday.

The move follows the deal signed by the two governments in January to upgrade their existing free trade pact, allowing 99% of New Zealand's $3 billion wood and paper trade to China to receive tariff-free access over a 10-year implementation period. 

Import tariffs for products such as toilet or facial tissue stock and paper used for writing will be reduced to 6.8% and 4.5% from April 7 from current rates of 7.5% and 5%, respectively, and will be gradually cut over the next 10 years to reach zero.

"2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand and April 7th is the 14th anniversary of the signing of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA)," the finance ministry said in the statement.

"The implementation of the agreed tariff rates will further promote trade and investment between the two countries."

China has eliminated or reduced tariffs on 75 wood and paper tariff lines for New Zealand products since the existing FTA entered into force in 2008.

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