Customs minister, Nicky Wagner, has announced the launch of a data sharing system between New Zealand and Chinese Customs claiming it will give New Zealand exporters a competitive advantage. However New Zealand has missed its chance of being the first country to have such a system.
According to Wagner the new system automatically sends New Zealand’s Certificate of Origin data to China electronically, allowing overseas clients to claim tariff benefits.
“JEVS makes the customs process simpler to accelerate border clearance, provide greater assurance over goods, and decreases the risk of goods being held up due to minor issues,” she said. “It will give New Zealand businesses the opportunity to maximise our Free Trade Agreement with China while minimising the risk of goods being held up at the border.”
She said New Zealand was only the second country in the world to have such a system in place with China and it would therefore give New Zealand a big advantage over other exporters to China.
However New Zealand has missed the chance to be the first country to have such a system. Plans for JEVS were announced in April 2016 with Wagner claiming it would be launched later in 2016 and would make New Zealand the first country to have such a system.
At the time Wagner said:“China is our largest goods trading partner, with two-way trade more than doubling since the NZ-China FTA came into force. “I am pleased our Customs agencies are working together to make it easier for our businesses to maximise the trade opportunities created by the FTA.’
That announcement came more than a year after Wagner had flagged plans for such a system, in February 2015 when she said: "Both customs administrations have committed to a joint electronic verification system that will provide greater assurance over documents used to gain tariff preference for our traders in China."