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Restrictions on small parcels to Iraq lifted

New Zealanders will now able to post small parcels of humanitarian goods to Iraq without Ministerial consent, acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jim Sutton announced today.

Mr Sutton said that all parcels sent to Iraq have required Ministerial consent since sanctions against the country came into effect in 1991.

"The lifting of postal restrictions means New Zealand Post will now accept parcels weighing two kilograms or less to Iraq, providing it is clear from the accompanying customs declaration that they contain humanitarian goods such as medicines, foodstuffs or items of clothing."

Previously, such items required specific Ministerial consent before New Zealand Post would accept them for postage.

"This is a small step towards enabling contact between Iraqi families in New Zealand and Iraq, alleviating the humanitarian crisis affecting the Iraqi people as a result of economic sanctions."

Economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations against Iraq remain, but the export of some humanitarian goods or goods for essential civilian needs is allowed under the United Nations' Oil for Food programme.

Parcels weighing more than two kilograms or not of a humanitarian nature will still require Ministerial consent via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Legal Division, Mr Sutton said.


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