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The Minister of Customs, Jenny Salesa, has welcomed new customs arrangements between New Zealand, Singapore and Canada that will streamline trade and benefit traders.

The Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) to recognise supply chain security standards of respective trade programmes were recently signed at the World Customs Organization headquarters in Brussels.

New Zealand exporters that are part of the New Zealand Customs’ Secure Exports Scheme will benefit from streamlined customs clearance processes and priority treatment at these borders.

“Both countries are important trading partners for New Zealand Ā– Singapore is currently ranked sixth with two-way trade valued at an estimated NZD$5.2 billion, and Canada ranks fourteenth with an estimated NZD$2.1 billion of two-way trade per year,” says Jenny Salesa. “These formal customs arrangements are great news as over half of our exporters that send goods to Canada and Singapore already belong to New Zealand Customs’ Secure Exports Scheme. I encourage those that aren’t members to sign up.

“The MRAs take effect from 1 August 2019. Accredited exporters will be recognised as trusted traders, and can expect clearance at the Canada and Singapore borders to be more streamlined with less chance of inspection, giving them a competitive edge.

“Accredited exporters from the two countries will also receive similar treatment for their goods in New Zealand, which is good news for our importers. As a trading nation, the importance of customs agencies working together to promote and facilitate legitimate trade, cannot be underestimated.”

New Zealand has similar customs arrangements with the United States of America, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

In the 2018-2019 financial year to 31 May, New Zealand sent more than 8000 shipping containers to Singapore and over 5000 to Canada. Secure Exports Scheme members sent over 5000 and 2700 of these shipping containers respectively, and will qualify for more streamlined service once the MRAs take effect on 1 August 2019

Top 25 countries on total trade list

  • Singapore is No.6 in total value of two-way trade (goods & services) = $5.245 billion (For goods only: Imports = $2.0 billion and Exports = $1.17 billion)
  • Canada is No.14 in total value of two-way trade (goods & services) = $2.115 billion (For goods only: Imports $713 million and Exports = $736 million)

 *Trade figures are from Statistics NZ website, for 12 month period ending 31 March 2019.

Total container exports in 2018/2019 (to 31 May 2019)

  • Singapore: 8177 (5113 or 63% were sent by Secure Exports Scheme partners)
  • Canada: 5110 (2730 or 53% were sent by Secure Exports Scheme partners)

* For more information about the New Zealand Secure Exports Scheme, visit: 

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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