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Security standards

The standards that the Secure Exports Scheme is built on.

Customs has a set of security standards that form the foundation of the Secure Exports Scheme (SES). Customs understands there are many ways for a business to approach security and these standards can be met by a variety of different methods.

The general expectations laid out in the security standards are summarised below. For the full minimum standards for exporters and secure load sites refer to the secure site minimum standards (PDF 289 KB). If your business does not pack and load any goods but contracts that out to secure load sites you can refer to the exporter minimum standards (PDF 250 KB).

Site security

Your site needs to be physically secure; this means that you have control of who has access to the site. This generally includes having well maintained fences and security lighting as well as having procedures for visitors and contractors.


People are an integral part of any business. Having people who are trustworthy and can be relied upon to do the right thing helps your business to operate effectively.

There are a few positions within a supply chain that are critical for security; those who oversee packing and loading goods, site access, and export documents. You will need to make sure that the people in these positions are suitable and do background checks when you hire for these positions.

People in your organisation should also be easily identifiable and trained to challenge unauthorised people on site.

Packing and loading

There are several checks you will need to add to your packing and loading process (if you don’t already do them). These are checking shipping containers before packing them and ensuring that only the goods which should be packed have been packed.

It is important to pack containers or packages in one go and not leave partially loaded containers unattended or unlocked.

SES seals

SES partners must attach seals to each secure package. For [air freight] this is a tamper proof sticker and for [sea freight] these are cables that wind around the container doors.

Seals need to be stored securely, properly attached, and checked routinely. A [seal register] will also need to be completed as you receive and use the seals.

Contingency planning

Your business already has contingency plans for emergency situations. For SES approval you will need to agree to re-pack any containers or packages that were left unattended during an evacuation unless you can review security camera footage.

Quality assurance

At a minimum of once a year, your business will need to review the SES security plan that you agree to and make sure it is still accurate and being followed. You will also need to review a selection of export entries to make sure your export documentation is also accurate.

Digital security

Your business is expected to have a range of standard digital security measures to protect your trade data. This includes things such as using passwords, using firewalls and/or antivirus software, using genuine or licensed software products and having checks to detect suspicious access or changes to systems.


You will be expected to notify Customs of anything that may compromise the security of an export good, package or container. For example, Customs would need to be notified of a container which has been tampered with, unauthorised entry to your sites, unauthorised goods found within a container, seal tampering or cyber security breaches.