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Faster clearance for Singapore exports to New Zealand with new customs agreement

COMPANIES certified by Singapore Customs as having robust security practices will benefit from faster clearance for their goods exported to New Zealand.

Singapore customs and its New Zealand counterpart inked an agreement on Thursday which recognises these companies as having lower risks. As such, they will enjoy reduced documentary and cargo inspections.

Companies certified by New Zealand will similarly receive the same treatment for exports to Singapore under the signed Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes.

The Singapore-New Zealand MRA recognises the compatibility of the supply chain security measures implemented by companies certified or accredited by the two countries, Singapore Customs said in a media release on Friday. It reinforces the close cooperation between both customs administrations, said Singapore’s Director-General of Customs, Ho Chee Pong.

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Bill Perry, the Acting Comptroller of New Zealand Customs Service, said: "This arrangement further strengthens trade relations by allowing streamlined clearance for accredited exporters who will be treated as ‘low-risk’ at both borders, while giving customs administrations greater assurance over goods.

"Singapore is one of our top 10 trading partners, with many New Zealand businesses operating in South-east and East Asia using Singapore as a base."

Singapore’s total trade with New Zealand amounted to more than S$4 billion in 2018, said Singapore Customs.