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Quality Assurance

Quality assurance information and expectations for Secure Exports Scheme partners.

You are expected to undertake Quality Assurance (QA) checks of your processes, systems and documentation at least once a year. This will look slightly different for every business but below are some general guidelines for what to check and why. We recommend these checks be done not just for Secure Exports Scheme (SES) purposes but to act as a general quality assurance review of your site and how it is operating.


If your business is an exporter, you should check the details outlined on the table below on a selection of export entries.

Note that there are consequences for incorrectly recorded export entry data that you provide to Customs, including monetary penalties and potential prosecution. This is not specific to SES exports—all imports and exports from New Zealand are subject to penalties for incorrect declarations.

If you check your documentation and export entries and identify an error, there is no penalty for correcting this. Penalties are not applied for voluntary disclosures.

Detail What to check Why
Tariff code used

Your broker can check this for you.

If you use an in-house declarant, they can check this for you.

Tariff codes are used to classify your goods and determine what rules apply to them.
Price listed The price on the entry matches the price paid for the goods If your values are wrong, the duties and taxes due to the country of import may be wrong. This means you may face a bill later.
Valuation The value of the goods and the currency of that value
General goods information Goods description is accurate and reflects your understanding as the exporter The lodged entry must match the details that you hold in the bill of lading or air waybill. If any of this information is wrong, there is potential for penalties and prosecution.
Shipping details and dates The Ports, Voyage Number, date of export, Craft name, and gross weight recorded are all correct
Correct SES number used and MRA instructions letter followed That your broker has been correctly following the instructions provided by Customs If the instructions provided in the MRA letter have not been followed you may not be receiving trade facilitation benefits in overseas countries.
Bill Number The correct bill number if recorded  
Packaging The correct packaging is recorded  

Security Plan

At least once a year you must review your security plan to make sure that you are still meeting your obligations as a partner.

This table outlines a standard series of checks. It is not an exhaustive list and should be used alongside your security plan, which details what you are expected to check.

Area What to check Why
Site is well maintained
  • Fences are in good shape
  • Lighting is all functioning
  • Gates and entranceways functioning properly
  • Buildings are secure (windows etc.)
Having well maintained physical security features is the first step in a secure site.
Site access
  • Staff don't have access to areas they do not need access to
  • No unusual access
  • Swipe cards/codes, keys are all accounted for
Identifying patterns of unusual behaviour or inappropriate access.
Site security
  • Review security incidents
  • Check incident reporting poster is displayed as per security plan
To make sure the reporting process is working, and security incidents are handled appropriately.
Digital security

Review of digital security:

  • Is security plan still accurate
  • Review any breaches or incidents
  • Any unusual or suspicious access or requests
Digital security is as important as physical site security. Criminal organisations can target companies through cyber attacks.
Seal register

The seal register is:

  • Up to date
  • Correctly filled out
  • Not freely accessible
Seals are portable and can be a target for criminal organisations.
Container checks
  • 7 or 8 point container checks are being done and documented
  • Relevant staff have received training on this process
Containers are usually the primary target for criminal organisations.
Seal application

Seals are being applied:

  • correctly
  • as soon as the container is loaded
  • by the correct person
Seal application is critical and if the correct processes are not followed this presents risks throughout the supply chain.
Key personnel changes Key personnel details identified in the security plan are up to date and correct, and the people are aware of the critical nature of their roles. These positions are critical in ensuring a secure supply chain.
Transport partners and secure load sites List of your transport partners and sites is current and contact details are up to date Transport partners and secure load sites need to be approved by Customs to ensure the supply chain meets security standards.