New era in cheese and butter exports begins

24 August 2000

Electronic certification of butter and cheese quota exports has begun.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has implemented the new IMA (Inward Monitoring Arrangement) certification system, which will allow the New Zealand government to certify quota butter and cheese exports to the European Union. This is worth up to $150 million a year in quota rents.

New Zealand has country-specific access into Europe for 76,667 tonnes of butter, 7,000 tonnes of cheddar cheese, and 4,000 tonnes of cheese for processing, as a result of the GATT Uruguay Round.

MAF took over the responsibility for issuing butter and cheese export certificates from the New Zealand Dairy Board last month. The Ministry had been working towards that date for more than a year.

The Ministry has established verification and compliance systems based on the amended regulations and provisions negotiated between New Zealand and the European Union. The requirements significantly change the way butter and cheese destined for Europe is verified and certified.

This transfer of responsibility to MAF was done at the request of the European Commission, which revised its regulations to include more rigorous requirements for verification and certification. The hand-over of certification to MAF was part of that move.

New Zealand cheeses and butter is exported to the EU under the terms of the European Union’s tariff quotas. The New Zealand Dairy Board (NZDB) initiates butter and cheese exports, with dairy companies manufacturing and despatching product to fill the quota. Export certificates are the main mechanism for managing quota volumes and providing information to overseas customs officials and the EU.

To hear more about this system and its impact on our cheese and butter exports, media are invited to witness the Director-General of MAF, Bruce Ross, launch the new IMA system on Monday. The Minister of Agriculture, the Hon Jim Sutton, will also attend.

Date: Monday, 28 August 2000
Place: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Cameron Room, 101-103 The Terrace, Wellington
Time: 3pm

Further information:

contact Laurie Knight, MAF Food, Dairy and Plant Products Group. Phone: 04 470 2757.

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33