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WCO visit highlights Customs’ international reputation

WCO visit highlights Customs’ international reputation

A visit in late August by Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), highlighted 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.”

Mr Mikuriya noted that the WCO was impressed with the capacity building assistance the New Zealand Customs Service has given its Pacific neighbours, and enjoyed discussing New Zealand’s valuable contribution to the WCO, with Customs and the Minister of Customs, Hon Maurice Williamson.

The Pacific is an important region for New Zealand and 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 that 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. This data model is unique as it incorporates biosecurity and food related information, and means that 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,” said Ms Tremain.

Mr Mikuriya was given a tour of the Integrated Targeting and Operations Centre and  also took the time to meet with Customs staff in the Wellington Customhouse during his pōwhiri and at a panel discussion for staff.

Pictured top: Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General; Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister of Customs; Carolyn Tremain, Comptroller of Customs. Second-fourth: Mr Mikuriya receives a traditional Māori welcome from Te Mara Ārai o Aotearoa.