Customs agreement with Japan signed

Wednesday 14 May 2008, 3:09PM
By Rt. Hon Helen Clark

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said today that New Zealand and Japan have signed a Customs Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) which will help exporters move their goods more quickly and efficiently between the two countries.

The MRA was signed in Tokyo by New Zealand Comptroller of Customs, Martyn Dunne and his Japanese counterpart Mr Yukiyasu Aoyama.

“This agreement establishes a much closer relationship between the two Customs authorities which will facilitate trade between our two countries,” Helen Clark said.

“In particular, businesses in New Zealand who have joined New Zealand Customs’ innovative Secure Exports Scheme (SES) will enjoy the advantages of having this scheme recognised in Japan. Their shipments will get into Japan more quickly and with less scrutiny at the border. About 106 New Zealand companies are part of the SES scheme

“Japanese exporters who have joined Japan’s equivalent – the Authorised Economic Operator scheme (AEO) – will enjoy similar benefits getting their goods into New Zealand,” Helen Clark said.

Japan is New Zealand’s third largest export market with exports reaching $3.365 billion in 2007.

Nanaia Mahuta said that this agreement was only the second of its kind around the world. The first was signed between New Zealand and the United States in June last year.

“New Zealand Customs is a world leader in developing and implementing this sort of agreement. It meets increased needs for border security around the world and at the same time enhances the ability of our traders to do their business more efficiently,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Helen Clark will tomorrow give the keynote opening speech at the Japan-New Zealand Partnership Forum. This is a business-led initiative bringing together senior political figures, top executives, and opinion leaders. Trade Minister Phil Goff is also speaking at the Forum.