How to Become a Secure Exports Scheme Partner (and What are the Benefits for Exporters) 

4-minute read

The Secure Exports Scheme (SES) is designed to make exporting easier by helping NZ exporters clear Customs here and overseas. Exporters will need to ensure their goods are packed, stored and transported in a way that meets global customs standards.

For NZ Customs, the Secure Exports Scheme means they have confidence in the exporter’s supply chain security. For exporters, this means less chance of border delays and greater certainty at international borders.

Secure Exports Scheme is New Zealand’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme and is recognised by overseas Customs administrations through Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA). 

NZ has MRAs with:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • United States of America

Additional MRAs are currently being negotiated.

Benefits of being a Secure Exports Scheme partner

  • 50% reduction on all export entry transaction fees;
  • Dedicated SES team to assist you with border compliance;
  • Lower intervention rates at the time of export and when entering the overseas border – this reduces the cost of goods if subject to inspection, delays to market and potential for product deterioration;
  • Priority at international borders during times of trade disruptions;
  • Strengthen your brand value by advertising to international traders that you are an AEO SES partner;
  • Focused support from the SES team in NZ and our Customs International Liaison Officers deployed across the world. 

What level of security is required?

Every business is unique and needs different measures to achieve the outcome of securing cargo. Customs’ approach is to have the exporter demonstrate what they are doing to secure their export goods and assess these practices against the minimum standards.

Minimum standards cover the following processes: procedural, documentation and physical security, access controls, personnel security, education and training and other government agency requirements. 

Are there any legal obligations?

Legislation in the form of section 281 and Schedule 6 of the Customs and Excise Act 2018 underwrite the Secure Exports Scheme.

As soon as the export package is sealed or marked with an approved seal, marking, substance or device, it is deemed under the control of Customs, and it is an offence for the seal or package to be tampered with unless authorised by Customs or other lawful access is required. 

What you need to do

To be approved as a Secure Exports Scheme partner, you need to:

  • be exporting seafreight (full container loads) or airfreight;
  • submit a registration of interest form – at this stage, a member of the Secure Exports Scheme team will contact you to complete the application process;
  • meet the World Customs Organization Safe framework minimum standards for the security of your premises/personnel/processes.

There is a list of exporting companies that are members of the SES programme and have chosen to be listed. If your company is considering applying to become a member of the programme, you will have the option of being added to this list.

All the companies on this list have demonstrated to NZ Customs that they are part of a secure supply chain, take security seriously, and are dedicated members of the international trade community.

You can visit SES partners webpage to see who’s on the approved list here

A recent addition to the list is a skincare and beauty product specialist Aotea. This family-run business, which is inspired by mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), will now find it easier to export its goods to key markets.

Senior Customs Officer Ellen Taylor helped guide Aotea through the application process and said,

“Customs is pleased that we can support their business. They are very passionate, hard workers with a vision of expanding, which contributes to New Zealand’s economy.”

How to Become a Secure Exports Scheme Partner (and What are the Benefits for Exporters) 1

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of being a Secure Export Scheme partner?

  • There is no joining fee
  • International recognition of exports sent via NZ’s secure supply chain
  • Less documentation checks and inspection interventions
  • Reduced export entry fees for partners
  • Customs people based in 13 international locations help SES members interpret trade agreements and nontariff barriers and help with clearance issues.

Is there a joining criteria?

Your export volume, export destinations, export growth plans and your commitment to meeting the requirements of a secure supply chain will determine whether you are ready to join the scheme.

How do businesses start the SES application process?

Complete registration of interest form. NZ Customs will explain the application process and help you decide if you are ready to submit an application to start the joining process.

How long does it take?

It will vary depending on the supply chain complexity. The four key areas NZ Customs will assess are product storage, container packaging, transport, and export loading.

Wanting more information?

Source: New Zealand Customs Service

P.S. Easy Freight Ltd helps New Zealand importers & exporters to save money on international freight and reduce mistakes by guiding how to comply with Customs and biosecurity rules. 

➔  Contact us now to learn how we can assist you.