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What is the Secure Exports Scheme?

Why the scheme exists and some background information.

The Secure Exports Scheme (SES) is designed to make business easier by helping New Zealand’s exporters clear customs both here and overseas. Exporters joining the scheme need to ensure their goods are packed, stored, and transported in a way that meets global customs standards.

Supply chain security and the facilitation of low-risk goods across international borders is a key part of international trade. For Customs, the SES means we have confidence in the security of the supply chain. For exporters and their customers, it means less chance of border delays and greater certainty at international borders.

New Zealand’s SES is aligned with the World Customs Organization (WCO) Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme.

Different versions of this AEO programme exist around the world, managed by the customs agencies of those countries.

Customs launched our programme in 2004. The SES is focused on exports, while some of our partner countries have both import and export schemes.

Examples of overseas AEO schemes include:

The SES provides assurance to the customs agencies of overseas countries that our partners have a secure supply chain, which means they can trust the shipments of SES goods coming into their countries.

More information and details on the WCO framework and what an AEO programme can be found on the AEO | Home ( website.

Types of businesses that can join the SES

Exporters: It does not matter if you physically pack the goods yourself or organise someone to pack goods on your behalf.

Loading sites: If your business packs and loads goods on behalf of another business who wants to be in the SES scheme, you will need to become a Secure Load Site (SLS).

Transport operator: If your business transports shipping containers of export goods, you are eligible to become an accredited transport partner. As with secure load sites, for an export business to become a partner they need transport providers to also be approved, as they are a critical part of the supply chain.