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Exporting gets easier with online application

01.31pm 08 August 2023

A new online application is making it quicker and easier for exporters to apply to join Customs' Authorised Economic Operator Secure Exports Scheme (SES).

From 9 August 2023 businesses, secure load sites and transport operators can apply to become members of the Secure Exports Scheme online, in one place, through Business Connect

Business Connect is a cross-agency digital platform which allows businesses to access a range of government services through a single site.

Since December 2022, businesses and secure load sites could submit their SES applications electronically. In June 2023, SES was expanded to enable transport operators have also been able to join.

The new digital service aims to simplify and streamline the process, making it easier and more accessible for small to medium-sized exporters to join and benefit from the scheme.

Craig Chitty, Customs’ Group Manager Revenue and Assurance, said this is a big step forward for customer service.

 “It is now significantly easier for businesses to apply to join the Secure Exports Scheme. It is now a lot more streamlined and customer-friendly.

 “The Secure Exports Scheme helps exporters save time and money. By removing barriers during the application process, we hope more businesses are encouraged to apply.”

Steve Urquhart, product and market development manager at sustainable mineral exporter Geo40, says he found the registration form straightforward to work through.

“I was familiar with new vendor application forms for our growing number of overseas clients, which can be extensive in some cases, so knew it may be similar. The form gives you warnings about how much time it will take, and how you were progressing through the steps, which I liked. It was good that it was online rather than an exhausting 10-page Excel spreadsheet. It required 37 minutes to complete,” he said.

Steve said he sees the benefits of being part of the scheme, even for a mature start-up, such as Geo40. 

“As a global exporter in the past we’ve been asked for various offshore certifications, and we've investigated whether we need them or not. Any government alliance is very helpful in certain markets around the world and in this case being part of the Secure Exports Scheme is valuable to our organisation.”

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