Register as a commercial exporter

Information about cargo and craft departing NZ must be reported to Customs.


Information about cargo and craft departing New Zealand must be reported to Customs, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Maritime NZ and port health officers.

Exporters and their agents; freight forwarders; airlines and shipping lines; ship agents and port companies generally submit this information as electronic messages, collectively called ‘lodgements’. 

These lodgements include:

  • import and export entries or declarations
  • Biosecurity Authority Clearance Certificate (BACC) applications
  • inward and outward cargo reports
  • cargo movement requests and arriving and departing craft notices.

Connection options

Trade Single Window (TSW) provides options for submiting lodgements, including direct connection via electronic data interchange (EDI, also known as system-to-system or B2B messaging).  There are three options:

Direct connect to TSW

You can connect and send lodgements to TSW directly without having to use a messaging service provider, and receive responses the same way. This requires a level of information technology expertise to establish and maintain the connection, and meet communications security requirements. There may be cost savings in direct connect, depending on your lodgement volumes and set up costs.

Both the current Customs lodgements and MPI eBACC applications (called ‘legacy’ messages), and the new WCO3 messages, can be sent via direct connect. Note that some commercial customs and freight software providers do not allow for direct connect, as their service includes messaging management.

Using a messaging service provider

A messaging service provider connects to TSW on behalf of its clients, and carries lodgements and responses between clients and government agencies. In some cases it transforms client data into the required format. 

Using TSW Online

TSW Online enables registered users to submit lodgements and check for responses. The screens use WCO3 lodgements, so for imported consignments, separate submissions to Customs and MPI are no longer required. Online submission is suitable for clients with lower lodgement volumes. As there are no submission charges for using TSW Online, there is an immediate cost saving (note Customs and MPI transaction fees on lodgements still apply).