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Successful year for New Zealand Customs

16 July 2006

Successful year for New Zealand Customs

Making the largest drug seizure in New Zealand's history and the signing of a Declaration of Principles with the United States are among key achievements made by the New Zealand Customs Service over the past year.

The Customs 2005/2006 annual report, released today, also highlights other notable achievements, including the collection of $8.4 billion in revenue, and ongoing convictions from Operation Tercel, where a number of people were charged with importing child pornography. This was a result of a joint investigation between Police, Customs and Department of Internal Affairs.

"The annual report shows that Customs has performed well over the last twelve months and continues to be a leader in border management," Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.

"It also highlights the fact that the Service continues to be an important source of revenue for New Zealand, helping drive economic transformation, and that it is committed to keeping our communities safe from threats such as drugs and other international criminal activity. This is evidenced by the seizure of $135 million worth of crystal methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine in May this year - the largest ever haul by New Zealand border control agencies.

"Over the 2005/06 year, Customs has also established a National Targeting Centre, which has already improved the efficiency of intelligence-gathering and enhanced the effectiveness of risk targeting at the border by various government agencies.

"Customs is continuing to develop a strong international presence, through newly established posts in Beijing and Washington. This is in addition to existing posts in Sydney, Bangkok and Brussels, and enables the organisation to work across a range of policy, enforcement, and trade roles.

"The signing a Declaration of Principles with United States Customs and border protection agencies also provides assurance that New Zealand's exports will continue to have smooth access to the US, even in times of heightened security.

"Customs continues to keep New Zealand safe, secure and prosperous. Over the next year, it will concentrate on helping to develop New Zealand's trading through greater security in our import and export sector," Nanaia Mahuta said.

A copy of The Customs Service Annual Report 2005/06 is available at http://www.customs.govt.nz/nr/rdonlyres/b859fd1e-74d4-44aa-b9e0-c304c10aee47/0/annualreport2006web.pdf

ENDS

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