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WCO visit highlights Customs’ international reputation

24 August 2012

WCO visit highlights Customs’ international reputation

This week’s visit by the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO) highlights New Zealand’s strong reputation for border management says Carolyn Tremain, Comptroller of Customs.

“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary General. New Zealand takes our WCO responsibilities very seriously and we work closely with the WCO to develop global standards for trade.

“Our work with the WCO helps to ensure a stable trade environment for New Zealand businesses to operate in around the world.”

The Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya noted that the WCO is impressed with the capacity building assistance NZ Customs has given its Pacific neighbours, and enjoyed discussing New Zealand’s valuable contribution to the WCO, with Customs and the Minister of Customs, the Hon Maurice Williamson.

The Pacific is an important region for New Zealand and NZ Customs has recently worked with the Cook Islands to introduce new technology and systems to improve border security to help facilitate legitimate trade and travel.

“New Zealand has been an influential member of the WCO, and has world leading expertise, particularly with its involvement in the development of a standardised data model for trade,” said Mr Mikuriya.

Ms Tremain, noted New Zealand is committed to continuing its strong working relationship with the WCO.

“In recent years this has included the development of a standardised customs data model that will be used in the Joint Border Management System (JBMS). This data model is unique as it incorporates biosecurity and food related information, and means for the first time, one data message can contain all information that border agencies require. This will streamline border processes for clients who will use the Trade Single Window when it is introduced next year.”

“We look forward to continuing our work with the WCO to help set international standards that facilitate cross-border trade,” says Ms Tremain.

The New Zealand Customs Service is the government organisation that protects the community from potential risks arising from international trade and travel, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people and goods across the border. Established in 1840, it is New Zealand’s oldest government agency.

As New Zealand's gatekeepers our role includes intercepting contraband (such as illegal drugs); checking travellers and their baggage cargo and mail; protecting businesses against illegal trade; and assessing and collecting Customs duties, excise, and goods and services tax on imports. We use intelligence and risk assessment to target physical checks of containers, vessels or travellers. As a law enforcement agency we conduct investigations and audits, and prosecute offenders.

Customs works closely with other border agencies, in particular the Ministry for Primary Industries and Immigration New Zealand.

More information about Customs can be found on our website:


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