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Mutual Recognition Arrangement to ease trade with the United Kingdom

02.36pm 04 July 2022 | News

A new Customs arrangement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom (UK) will make it easier for our exporters to access one of New Zealand’s largest export markets, Christine Stevenson, Customs Comptroller and Chief Executive said today.

A Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) was signed on 2 July 2022 as part of the Free Trade Agreement that was formalised with the United Kingdom on 28 February 2022 (1 March NZT).

“New Zealand Customs is pleased to have reached this Mutual Recognition Arrangement with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of the UK. This will fast-track customs processing for businesses and promote market access for exporters between each country,” Ms Stevenson said.

“The UK is one of the world's largest economies and New Zealand's seventh largest trading partner, with two-way goods and services trade worth NZ$6 billion pre-COVID-19. This MRA gives accredited New Zealand businesses streamlined border access to the UK’s $3 trillion consumer market.”

Mutual Recognition Arrangements enable businesses in signatory territories to operate under Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) partnership programmes. New Zealand’s programme has 140 export businesses, representing about 65 percent of New Zealand’s export trade to MRA countries, and 50% of all exports.

Customs Group Manager Revenue & Assurance Craig Chitty added “Exporters who are members of our AEO programme meet rigorous safety, security and other integrity measures. In return, they receive priority at the border, with less inspections and quicker clearing of their goods. This saves them time and money, and means Customs agencies can focus on higher risk cargo.”

“New Zealand Customs appreciates the cooperation our UK colleagues have provided to reach this Mutual Recognition Arrangement and we’re proud to be playing our part in helping the smooth, safe and secure flow of trade for New Zealand businesses,” Mr Chitty said.