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Exporters helping to increase export security

Exporters helping to increase export security

Three significant players in the export sector are working with the New Zealand Customs Service on a pilot partnership aimed at enhancing the security of New Zealand's export supply chain.

Customs Minister Rick Barker said that the Port of Napier, Hawke's Bay meat producer Richmond Ltd and Auckland-based manufacturer Argent Metals Technology Ltd (AMT) are to be pilot partners in the Secure Exports Partnership Scheme.

"The Secure Export Partnership is a new initiative that Customs is developing with business and other Government agencies.

"It's part of Customs' programme to enhance New Zealand's reputation as a safe and secure trading partner and to minimise the risk of our export trade being adversely affected by new security requirements imposed by our trading partners."

The Secure Exports Partnership is intended to be a voluntary agreement between individual exporting companies and the New Zealand Customs Service covering the following elements:

· security over people, premises and processes · official assurance around the packing and contents of containers from a security standpoint · application of a tamper-indicator seal · container seal checks at transfer points · transport and storage according to agreed security plans or standards

Customs National Manager Goods Allen Bruford said the role of the pilot partners would be to advise Customs on how to develop a formal structure that met Customs' security requirements, without imposing unnecessary additional procedures or costs.

"The pilot partners will assist in developing a practical and workable scheme that will then be opened up to all interested businesses."

At least two other significant exporters in the primary production sector were assisting Customs and they may also join the pilot scheme later.

The pilot also involves working closely with MAF and FSA assessing existing food safety requirements.

Customs' export security programme is based on the same principles that it applies to imports: (1) electronic reporting of information about shipments; (2) intelligence-based risk assessment; (3) examining cargo identified as high risk to New Zealand or trading partners, using both non-invasive technology and physical inspection as required; (4) establishing and monitoring a supply chain security regime to reduce the level of risk in the New Zealand supply chain.

Rick Barker, who is also the MP for Tukituki, said he was delighted to see Hawke's Bay businesses assisting the Government to meet the challenge of protecting New Zealand.

"New Zealand has an excellent international reputation for providing goods that meet food safety standards, are of high quality, and are delivered reliably and on time. We now want to extend that reputation to assure our trading partners that our goods are secure from tampering by those with evil intent.

"It is particularly important to have a Port company involved alongside export businesses because of the crucial role ports play in the supply chain."

Port of Napier Chief Executive, Garth Cowie said the Port was a willing participant in the Secure Exports Partnership.

"We clearly recognise the role ports play in the changing international trading environment and look forward to working with Customs, Richmond and other parties in the supply chain to help ensure New Zealand meets the increased security requirements."

Richmond acting Chief Executive Graeme Milne said the meat producer was delighted to be participating in the pilot programme.

"The company will assist in information gathering for a draft agreement covering all aspects of security, in line with the United States Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)."

When completed, the draft agreement will be presented to the New Zealand Meat Industry Association, representing all domestic meat companies.

AMT is one of New Zealand's largest exporters of manufactured goods, supplying aluminium alloy road wheels and other components to the automotive industry.

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