Joint Standards Submission

13 January 2017

To read full submission, click Download PDF. 

Summary

The NZMEA supports the submission on Joint Standards by Plastics New Zealand (PNZ).

Manufacturing is one of New Zealand’s largest export earners.  New Zealand manufacturers exported $3.76 billion worth of manufactured goods to Australia in 2014, making up 42.1% of all exports to Australia in that year.  Of this, $0.74 billion were simply transformed manufactures, while $3.02 billion were the generally higher value elaborately transformed manufactured products.

Both simply and elaborately transformed manufactured products rely on a clear understanding of standards to ensure their products can gain access and certification to export markets, including Australia. 

Manufacturers support the continued practice of developing and using Joint Standards, especially with Australia, one of our most important markets for manufactured goods.

The continued development and use of joint standards gives greater clarity and ease for the majority of our manufacturing exporters who trade with Australia. 

We agree with PNZ on the point of a Commissioner.  This needs to continue to be run through MBIE and Standards New Zealand, who are best placed to oversee any joint standards process, with input and support from industry. 

Requiring Joint Standards development processes to be led and funded largely by the relevant industry poses serious issues.  Firstly, there is the financial burden under a “user pays” system, with a risk that this could become excessive in some cases.  More importantly, however, the proposed system would introduce great inefficiencies, as each industry sector or even individual company would have to engage or make available expertise to deal with the complex processes involved in setting standards, leading to a duplication of resources and requiring a significant investment of time and expertise.  Again, we believe Standards New Zealand is best placed to act as the lead in most standard developments, which support and input from industry.  Putting this responsibility on industry also tends to mean it becomes lead by larger companies, who have more resources, both in time and money – we need to ensure standards work for all companies operating, small and large. 

We would also like to see more information sharing between Standards New Zealand and industry on the recent changes made, to ensure our manufacturing members can fully understand any ways they may be impacted.