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Secure Exports Scheme

The Secure Exports Scheme (SES) helps New Zealand exporters minimise Customs delays at international borders and get priority in recovering from trade disruptions.


Impacts on the international trade environment

Since 2000, global competitors have developed new networks of free trade agreements with each other.  

At the same time, following the September 11 attacks against the United States, Customs authorities around the world strengthened their security checks and documentation to mitigate the increased security risks at borders and ports.

In 2005, the World Customs Organization (WCO) adopted the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (WCO SAFE). They set up the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme to help countries to develop, manage, and maintain secure international supply chains.

We are working hard to ensure NZ exporters are not disadvantaged

Customs supports trade negotiations, implementing and maintaining trade agreements, and the development of Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) that formally recognise NZ exports delivered via a secure supply chain.

We currently have MRAs with nine international export destinations. We are working with other export destinations to expand our list of MRAs.

In 2019 the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) prepared two reports for Customs exploring the potential economic benefits customs agreements can bring. View the summary of reports (PDF 565 KB).

Visit the MRA webpage for more information and a copy of the NZIER reports in full.

Customs and exporters now work together to make export supply chains secure

In 2004, Customs’ Secure Exports Scheme (SES) was set up as an approved AEO programme to help NZ export products through secure supply chains.

As approved SES partners, NZ businesses export through approved and audited secure supply chains. NZ businesses join the scheme on a voluntary basis.

Find out more

We will get in contact with you to explain how the scheme could support your current and planned export activity, and what is required to become an approved SES partner. This will help you to decide if you want to make a formal application to start the joining process.