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Coronavirus – information for Exporters

February 5, 2020

The following information is republication of the information regarding the coronavirus outbreak on the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website ( www.nzte.govt.nz)

NZ China Council supports the people and city of Wuhan. “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the outbreak and the authorities working to address the serious public health challenges which have emerged.” said Sir Don McKinnon, Chairman NZ China Council.

This site is to help New Zealand exporters plan, prepare and mitigate any potential impact from the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Revised: 4 February 2020

The site will be reviewed every 24 hours and updated accordingly.

To help us build a clearer picture of the situation and determine what support may be needed we encourage you to report any export issues (see below).


We anticipate ongoing disruption to business, particularly with various Chinese local governments encouraging citizens to either work from home or self-isolate for up to 14 days.

This is putting pressure on customs, border and logistics operations. However, there is no change to the regulatory settings for trade between New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China. 

MFAT staff in New Zealand’s Embassy in Beijing and Consulates General in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu are currently focussed on the welfare of New Zealanders affected by the outbreak. NZTE staff in market are focussed on supporting exporters affected by the outbreak as a matter of priority. 

Contact information 

For existing NZTE Customers, please contact your New Zealand Customer Manager. If you are not registered with NZTE please fill out this contact form.

NZTE, on behalf of other government agencies, is collecting information on business impacts, so please share as much information with us as possible so that we can assist you.

Media: mediaenquiries@nzte.govt.nz

Exporting to China

There are reports of delays in products being unloaded from docks and clearing customs in China. This is likely due to lockdowns and restrictions on travel and people movements. We recommend contacting your distributors and customers in market to determine if your goods will be impacted. This is particularly critical for livestock and perishables.

For Exporters who have already shipped: 

  • It will be important to stay in contact with your shipper and buyer; 
  • Monitor payments; and 
  • Have an open line of discussion with your trade credit insurer and/or bank. 

 For Exporters, considering shipping: 

  • Consider reviewing your terms of payment (such as payment upfront); 
  • Talk to your trade credit insurer or bank to ensure your payments are adequately covered.

News links: 

HR Compliance in China during the Coronavirus Outbreak: FAQs, Dezan Shira Associates, 3/2/2020 

Coronavirus Costs China’s Service Sector $144 Billion in a Week, Caixin Global, 1/2/2020 

China Trade Rebound – The Asian Financial Crisis and SARS Impact, Post Coronavirus Implications, Dezan Shira Associates, 3/2/3030 

Coronavirus: How to Secure Your Supply Chain, Gatner, 3/2/2020 

Maersk, CMA CGM blank sailings as coronavirus spreads, Supply Chain Dive, 3/2/2020 

Coronavirus: 16 Chinese ports offer reduced charges, Sea Trade Maritime News, 3/2/2020 

Managing people and risk

Coronavirus: Managing the impact on workers and business, Ashurst, 3/2/2020 

How Businesses Should Handle the Coronavirus Outbreak, Entrepreneur.com, 31/1/2020 

Managing HR in China during the Coronavirus Outbreak, Dezan Shira Associates, 30/1/2020 

How to Operate Your China Business Remotely during the Coronavirus Outbreak, Dezan Shira Associates, 29/2/2020 

Status of Major Tradeshows and Events

China Chamber of Commerce NZ Annual Charity Dinner, Auckland, 10 February, Postponed   

Tmall Global workshop and TP matching event, Auckland, 18 February, Postponed 

Beijing Pet Fair, Beijing, 21-23 February, Postponed 

NZHKBA Chinese New Year event, Auckland, Postponed  


MFAT advice is do not travel to China and that New Zealanders currently in China depart at the earliest opportunity. Many airlines have paused or reduced scheduled flights to mainland China.

Keep an eye on SafeTravel for up-to-date travel advisories. 

Inbound business delegations are also likely to be disrupted, with additional border measures implemented from 2 February. These measures deny entry to New Zealand for anyone who has left or transited through mainland China, except for: 

  • New Zealand citizens (including those from the three countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family;
  • Air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

You can keep up-to-date on developments from Customs here and Immigration New Zealand here.

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