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Progressing partnerships with India

10.16am 20 February 2024 | Social Media

Comptroller of Customs Christine Stevenson and Deputy Chief Executive International and Governance Jamie Bamford, travelled to Mumbai and Delhi, India from 7-15 February to enhance New Zealand Customs' strategic relations with key Indian agencies.

They were joined by Customs Counsellor to India (based in Kuala Lumpur), Brent Litherland, throughout the visit.

The visit included a meeting with Mr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs of India (CBIC), in New Delhi, the agency responsible for revenue collection, customs and excise, and border protection where discussions covered trade facilitation, smuggling at the border and greater cooperation to improve capabilities of both administrations such as around targeting and data analytics.

Parties also discussed avenues for future bilateral engagements at all levels.

Christine and Jamie were given a tour of the Air Cargo facility at Delhi Customs, where the air cargo clearance process was discussed, and notes on best practice and the importance of information exchange for interdicting suspect consignments were shared.

The visit also included a meeting with the Director-General of the Narcotics Control Bureau, the federal agency responsible for preventing the flow of illicit substances domestically and at the Indian border. The meeting with Director-General Mr Satya Narayan Pradhan, and Deputy Director General (Ops) Mr Gyaneshwar Singh, focussed on how both agencies can better direct drug enforcement activity in the future. The Comptroller also thanked the Bureau for their ongoing collaboration in exchanging information to disrupt organised criminal syndicates operating between our two countries.

In Mumbai there was a meeting with the New Zealand Trade Commissioner as well as meeting with New Zealand businesses operating in the region.

Brent Litherland said, “India is a key strategic partner for New Zealand and presents a growing a market for New Zealand exports. Outcomes of the trip included agreement to enable greater cooperation and information sharing, agreement to share knowledge and best practice across a range of topics, and a deepening of the bilateral relationship with Indian law enforcement partners to combat transnational organised crime.”