Plans to make trans-Tasman border clearance easier 6/11/2015

New Zealand Customs and the Australian Border Force signed a Statement of Intent in Canberra yesterday to support supply chain security and enhance trade facilitation between the two countries.

Both agencies have agreed to work towards a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), which is a formal arrangement between customs agencies that recognises each other’s supply chain security programmes. Members of these programmes enjoy a commercial advantage, with fewer border checks and speed to market for export products.

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Photo: Australian Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg and the New Zealand Customs Service Comptroller Carolyn Tremain sign the Statement of Intent in Canberra.

An MRA will allow traders from both countries that meet the required standards to access the trade facilitation benefits of both programmes. This also provides border agencies greater end-to-end assurance over the imports and exports.

Australian Comptroller-General of Customs Roman Quaedvlieg says Australia’s first MRA is an important step in delivering a mutually beneficial outcome that increases both Australia’s and New Zealand’s contributions to international supply chain security and trade facilitation.

“The Australian Trusted Trader programme is progressing well through its pilot phase. The MRA with New Zealand Customs will increase the success of the fully operational programme from July 2016.

“We look forward to continuing to work with New Zealand Customs to facilitate trade between our countries”. 

NZ Customs Comptroller Carolyn Tremain says both agencies already share a close partnership, and the MRA will underpin the trusted trader programmes in the two countries.

“We’ve been working with Australia as they develop a trusted-trader programme, and there should be a close alignment between their programme and our own Secure Export Scheme.

“Joint work will start soon on an MRA. Recognition will benefit trusted trans-Tasman traders by reducing clearance times and making customs processes easier,” Ms Tremain says.

Ms Tremain says work on the MRA is expected to conclude by June next year, and it will come into effect shortly after. To conclude an MRA, New Zealand and Australia will need to undertake a comparison of each other’s programme.

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trans-Tasman border clearance 3.jpgPhoto: Members of the NZ Customs and Australian Border Force executive leadership teams.

Trade in goods between the two countries totals approximately $18 billion per annum. Australia is usually one of New Zealand’s top two trading partners, and New Zealand is currently Australia’s ninth largest trading partner.

New Zealand already has MRAs with the United States, Japan, and Republic of Korea. Learn more about NZ Customs’ Secure Export Scheme and Australian Trusted Trader.

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This page was last updated on: Friday, 06 November 2015 .

News stories - Plans to make trans-Tasman border clearance easier