Click the headings below for advice on minimising COVID-19 disruption for your export business. You can also visit myNZTE, our free online portal offering curated, in-depth information and guidance to help you navigate your export and capital raising journeys.
advice to New Zealand exporters
Leading people & wellbeing
Make the safety and wellbeing of staff your immediate priority, and ensure you make use of available support from Government if required.
Be proactive, keep up regular communication with staff, and ensure they are safe, healthy and supported.
Check in with your local business partners to see how they are doing and how you might be able to support them during this time.
Supporting contract tracing
As of Wednesday 19 August, all New Zealand businesses must display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code at their premises, either at main entrances or in a prominent place. This helps customers and visitors to keep track of where they’ve been – allowing for faster contract tracing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces or in the community. Find more information and create your own QR code poster here.
WorkSafe - how are you adapting to COVID-19?
Our colleagues at WorkSafe have created a platform (#BetterWorkNZ) for businesses and workers to share, collaborate and connect on a wide range of challenges or opportunities facing them as a result of COVID-19. The goal is to help New Zealand businesses realise more of their potential and to create the best workplace possible.
Now is a good time to re-examine the demand assumptions that drive your revenue lines – not just demand from your customers, but from customers' customers, as well as all your associated cost assumptions.
Even if you don't see any direct exposure, there is likely to be an indirect effect on sales. Aim to reserve cash flow immediately to give you more options down the track.
Look closely at your forecast working capital position over the next six months and consider what adjustments you need to make. Keep a close eye on current assets such as debtors, monitor your current ratio, and stay in touch with any key creditors.
Start conversations early with your banks and financiers to keep them updated and see what support is available. Make sure you're top of mind for your existing shareholders and equity funders. Think about what they're looking for and how you can deliver the outcomes they are seeking.
Consider your solvency position, now and in six months. What options do you have available to improve your position or make smarter use of assets? What other funding sources, or methods of extending existing funding, could you draw upon?
To help support New Zealand exporters, NZTE has produced a suite of cashflow tools and templates, and we are also holding 1:1 cash flow clinics. To find out more, please visit our Cashflow: tools, templates and clinics page.
You'll also find more useful tools and resources on cash flow at myNZTE - our free online portal offering curated, in-depth information and guidance to help you navigate your export and capital raising journeys.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) advises all New Zealanders not to travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and travel restrictions. See the latest SafeTravel COVID-19 updates here.
Wherever possible, you should pause or reschedule international travel for yourself and your staff, and replace scheduled trips or meetings with virtual meetings or videoconferencing.
Many international borders are now closed or apply strict health or quarantine requirements for travellers. In some cases previously approved visas may not be valid for entry.
Airlines worldwide are pausing or reducing scheduled flights, meaning you may find it difficult to travel to or within markets. You may be at risk of being stranded overseas if your return flights are disrupted.
If you get sick or injured while travelling, pressure on healthcare systems from COVID-19 may prevent you from getting the level of care you'd expect in New Zealand, even if you have valid health insurance in place.
Returning to New Zealand
New Zealand's borders are currently closed to almost all travellers. Only New Zealand citizens, New Zealand residents with valid travel conditions, and visitors with specific exemptions granted by Immigration New Zealand are able to enter the country.
The Government recovers some of the costs for managed isolation. This is to share the costs in a way that fairly reflects the benefits of a robust system, both for the New Zealand public and for those leaving and entering the country.
Freight & logistics
The current COVID-19 situation has created a lot of uncertainty for our exporters, particularly around air freight capacity and scheduling. The Government has moved quickly to ensure New Zealand has the supplies it needs and to back our exporters by keeping open air channels to key international markets.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is working with Air New Zealand, freight forwarders, exporters and government agencies to support additional charter flights. To deliver this freight capacity, NZTE and the Ministry of Transport (MOT) are assisting Air New Zealand with funding support. Find out more about our air freight support here.
While the Government is not aware of any formal restrictions on market access for goods exports and imports as a result of COVID-19, the pandemic is disrupting trade flows and the wider international economy.
This useful report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) gives a global overview of supply chain issues around the world as of June 2020, including trends in air and sea freight availability.
Proactive and daily communication with your logistic and insurance providers is essential. Maintain close contact with your preferred freight forwarders and shipping lines, as they will be receiving constant updates from their own networks.
There are a number of major shipping, road and air freight companies providing excellent snapshots and updates on the current logistics situation around the world. See the links below:
Take a strategic look at your 2020 plans. Incorporate the latest market condition changes into your 2020 budget, and rebalance costs and activity based on revised revenue forecasts.
You'll need to monitor your supply chain closely, realign your product offerings, commercial organisation, channel partners and marketing approach to respond to changing market conditions - both now and after the epidemic ends.
Keep a close watch for potential opportunities and be ready to move quickly if they present themselves.
We advise that you:
Map and prioritise key risks to your business
Map potential future scenarios and develop an action plan for each scenario
Update business continuity and emergency plans, and communicate these to employees, customers, suppliers and partners.
Some insurance providers may not insure for loss, damage or delay to some cargo under the current circumstances.
We advise that you:
Get in touch proactively with your insurance provider – and stay in touch daily
Review applicable insurance policies
Understand what the impacts of force majeure mean
Prepare for potential claims.
In the short term, business continuity remains the priority. Stay in daily contact with your supply chain and your logistics partners so you're aware of the situation in their businesses and how it might affect you.
Look for any choke points or critical links in your supply chain, and consider the feasibility of sourcing from alternative suppliers to help mitigate the risk of depending on a single source for essential components.
For goods exporters, keep in touch with your freight forwarders or shipping lines, which will be providing regular updates.
You'll also find more useful tools and resources on supply chain at myNZTE - our free online portal offering curated, in-depth information and guidance to help you navigate your export and capital raising journeys.
MFAT Monitoring International Supply Chains
Air freight remains significantly impacted as a result of COVID-19. Countries representing nearly 90% of New Zealand’s 2019 trade are showing slightly or significant reduced air freight operations. Air Freight costs remain elevated.
Sea freight has not been as strongly affected as air freight. Countries representing more than two-thirds of New Zealand’s trade are showing normal sea freight operations.
Staying connected with markets
Maintain regular contact with your importers, distributors and other channel partners in affected countries. This lets you keep up to date on their state of operation, understand any specific challenges they are facing, and offer support during this difficult period.
Your overseas partners will have first-hand insights into how their markets may be changing, including what channels are working and how to manage any logistics or supply chain constraints.
Have open and empathetic dialogue with your partners. Whilst there may be immediate short-term problems to solve, make sure you're also discussing the mid-term outlook for the market to help you plan further ahead.
You'll find more useful tools and resources on managing relationships at myNZTE - our free online portal offering curated, in-depth information and guidance to help you navigate your export and capital raising journeys.
Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.