Pet care company first to use new Korea FTA
New Zealand natural pet care company WashBar discovered they were the first to take advantage of the new free trade agreement between Korea and New Zealand. The FTA came into effect overnight on Sunday December 20 and WashBar were off the mark on Monday morning with paperwork for an export order to their distributors in Seoul. So fast off the mark in fact that Certificate of Origin documentation templates weren’t available on the MFAT website.
“I had a good laugh with the person I spoke to at MFAT,” says Peter Gregory from WashBar, “when they told me someone had to be the first."
The company began exporting to South Korea in late 2014 and is pleased to see the tariffs removed from their products.
Managing director and founder Jules Smith said that WashBar won’t see pricing reduce in the market – instead their distribution partner will be able to use the extra funds to help promote the brand.
WashBar is the brainchild of Kiwi inventor and animal lover Smith, who created her products in response to a rapidly growing global trend where pet owners are shunning chemically heavy products in favour of natural and kinder, equally effective pet-care ranges.
“It’s exciting watching our brand grow in popularity in the Korean market,” she says, “it’s great to know that people all over the world are concerned about what they are putting on their pets. Whilst communication in some of our Asian markets can be a challenge we find you start to break through that with good visual marketing, a strong brand, and a willingness to visit your market.
"The removal of tariffs is an added bonus – it makes us a little more attractive in a market dominated by US brands.”