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Dairy Industry Amendment Bill Introduced

The Dairy Industry Amendment Bill was introduced today by the Minister of Agriculture, Hon Jim Sutton.

The Bill amends the Dairy Industry Act 1952 in order to provide a framework for the provision of official assurances,? Mr Sutton said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides official assurances, such as export certificates, to foreign governments upon request, in order to facilitate trade. These assurances are statements that certain requirements or standards have been met.

The law change was necessary because of recent regulation changes in Europe, Mr Sutton said.

The amendment is necessary to give legislative backing to the issue of certificates relating to the butter and cheese quotas that New Zealand has with the European Union.

"The New Zealand Dairy Board presently issues these certificates, known as Import Monitoring Arrangement certificates. In line with new requirements agreed to by the European Commission and the New Zealand Government, MAF will issue these certificates instead."

The Bill inserts provisions into the Dairy Industry Act to enable regulations to be made providing the certification and verification systems necessary to provide official assurances. It is intended that these regulations, and the Bill, will be in force by 1 July 2000.

The Bill will be referred to the Primary Production Committee after its first reading, which is expected to be later this week.

ends

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