New Zealand and Hong Kong agree to streamline trade

  • Hon Meka Whaitiri

Significant trade benefits for New Zealand and Hong Kong will flow from a formal arrangement recognising the supply chain security programmes of both economies, says Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri.

The Acting Comptroller of the New Zealand Customs Service, Christine Stevenson, and the Commissioner of Hong Kong Customs and Excise, Mr Hermes Tang, signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) in Brussels on 28 June during the World Customs Organization Council session.

“Hong Kong is an important market for New Zealand, being our 9th largest goods export market. These exports were worth NZ$1.1 billion in 2017, while our services exports to Hong Kong reached $411 million,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“The signing of this MRA between New Zealand and Hong Kong Customs grows that relationship through streamlined customs procedures and tighter assurances around risk management, so legitimate trade can flow more smoothly.

“Under this arrangement, members of New Zealand Customs’ Secure Export Scheme will benefit through faster clearance of their goods by Hong Kong Customs.

“The Secure Export Scheme ensures exporters who sign up are seen as a ‘low security risk’, ensuring their businesses greater certainty at international borders and minimal delay.

“Being a smaller economy, enhanced trade facilitation is important for New Zealand, as we are highly-dependent on the smooth and efficient flow of international trade.

“This MRA means we now have arrangements in place with six of our top ten trading partners, including the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia and China,” Meka Whaitiri said.