New Zealand and Vietnam sign on electronic certification for agro-food products

July 22, 2020 | 15:33
Vietnam and New Zealand will step up trade facilitation by signing a Cooperative Arrangement to establish the first electronic certification for food and agriculture products between the two countries via Vietnam’s National Single Window.
new zealand and vietnam sign on electronic certification for agro food products
Representatives of New Zealand and Vietnam signed the agreement on electronic certification

Being aware of the importance in enhancing food and agricultural trade to ensure trade and economic links continue to flourish between New Zealand and Vietnam, on July 21, the representatives of the New Zealand Ambassy to Vietnam, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) signed an agreement to establish an electronic certificate for food and agricultural products.

Electronic certification (e-Cert) is the direct digital transfer of agreed information between government agencies in different countries to facilitate the border clearance of agri-food products. Complex global supply chains trade, especially during the COVID-19 era, and advances in technology have highlighted the importance of quick, secure, and reliable transfer of information via electronic means. Consequently, an increasing number of countries are moving away from paper-based documentation systems to secure electronic ones.

The direct transfer of certification data simplifies procedures for importing and exporting agri-food products and will facilitate faster clearance at entry points, reduce costs, increase reliability and transparency, and reduce potential for falsification in agri-food trade. Therefore, the implementation of e-Cert will make business easier for both countries’ importers, exporters, and border officials.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh of the MARD said, “The establishment of the electronic certification with New Zealand is an important step to assist Vietnam to integrate further into global trade and provide smooth pathways into potential markets.”

Ambassador Wendy Matthews welcomed this e-Cert cooperation: “Put simply, this arrangement will make trade faster, more secure, and cheaper between our two countries. New Zealand has been a world leader in electronic certification for over 20 years. New Zealand has successfully implemented e-Cert with a number of trade partners, with an increasing focus on the ASEAN. We are honoured to work with the Ministries of Finance and of Agriculture and Rural Development to further enhance trade cooperation between our countries and to support Vietnam in realising its Fourth Industrial Revolution ambition.”

New Zealand and Vietnam celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations this year. Since the establishment of New Zealand’s Comprehensive Partnership with Vietnam in 2009, there has been steady growth in bilateral trade, which more than tripled since 2010 when the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) came into force.

By Kim Oanh

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