Waikato products are increasingly heading overseas, according to the region's Chamber of Commerce.

Chief executive Sandra Perry said the organisation, which acts as the agent for New Zealand customs in providing certificates of origin, had seen a steady increase in demand this year. The documents are used in international trade as proof that goods are produced, manufactured or processed in the country of origin.

The Chamber currently processes on average 370 certificates a month, for a $35 fee, excluding GST. However, Chamber members receive a discount. While not all countries require certificates of origin, and some companies require multiple certificates for different products or countries, Perry said demand for the document was a good indicator of how exports for the region were doing.

"We have clear statistics on the growth," she said.

"When we are doing lots of them, it shows exports are buoyant." Perry said in the time she had been chief executive of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce, the number of certificates processed had doubled.

"We are not only talking about food . . . we are also talking about companies that export components." Waikato companies export to about 30 countries, and the top five exporters are all meat companies, she said. Demand for the certificates tended to fluctuate depending on international conditions.

The recent Fonterra food safety scandals had seen demand decrease for China for a while.
"I can tell you when there was a change in China, then we would have a lesser volume of work to do.

"It is a bit of an indicator as to what's going on," she said.

narelle.henson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz
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