WELLINGTON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Customs Minister Tim Macindoe on Tuesday welcomed the signing of a customs cooperation agreement with the European Union (EU) in Brussels overnight.
The agreement will strengthen cooperation with the EU in such areas as customs procedures and supply chain security and risk management.
Macindoe said in a release that this agreement signifies the two parties' joint ongoing commitment to close cooperation.
For New Zealand, the agreement will allow for closer cooperation on the delivery of technical assistance and capacity building activities New Zealand provides to other countries, particularly in the Pacific.
It will enable the two parties to learn from each other particularly in terms of research and development in customs technology, and also provide the opportunity to develop agreements with the EU covering other facets of the customs relationship, according to the release.
"The agreement also represents a necessary first step towards agreeing a mutually recognized secure trade scheme," which will ultimately allow accredited companies faster clearance of exports into the EU and New Zealand, Macindoe said.