New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, who is observed by James Webster, Australia`s High Commissioner for New Zealand, signed the Heads of Agreement on 15 December 1982 which paved the way for the establishment of the amf;d naum trade agreement between Australia and New Zealand, better known as the ERC, which came into force on 1 January 1983. In the background is National MP Hugh Templeton, one of New Zealand`s top negotiators. On the big screen is the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Douglas Anthony. Alexander Turnbull LibraryReference: EP/1982/4383/11-FPhotographer: Ross GiblinPermission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be preserved before any reuse. The Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER) is a free trade agreement between the governments of New Zealand and Australia. On March 28, 1983, the treaty itself was signed only by the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Lionel Bowen and the New Zealand High Commissioner for Australia, Laurie Francis, in Canberra, Australia. One of the main results of the ERC was the Protocol on Accelerating the Free Movement of Goods, which led to the total abolition of tariffs or quantitative restrictions between the two countries until 1 July 1990, five years earlier than planned. Home Photos and Media Photos Signing the Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, which builds on the 1966 Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand-Australia, was THE ERC New Zealand`s first comprehensive bilateral trade agreement and one of the first such agreements in the world. The two main stumbling blocks in the negotiations were New Zealand`s desire to improve access to its dairy products in Australia and Australia wants New Zealand to remove export incentives and quantitative restrictions. As both obstacles were overcome in December 1983 through the Heads of Agreement, the ERC was formally signed on March 28, 1983. The 2013 ERC Investment Protocol is an ambitious investment agreement and maintains the ERC`s status as one of the most comprehensive free trade agreements in the world. The protocol reduces compliance costs and provides trans-Tasman investors with greater legal certainty by setting higher thresholds for foreign investment.

New Zealand and Australia are committed to creating a seamless trans-Tasman economic environment that allows New Zealanders to do business in Australia as easily as it is to do business in and around New Zealand.