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Secure Exports Scheme

The Secure Exports Scheme is designed to make exporting easier by helping you clear Customs here and overseas. You will need to ensure your goods are packed, stored and transported in a way that meets global customs standards. For us the Secure Exports Scheme means we have confidence in the security of your supply chain. For you, this means less chance of border delays and greater certainty at international borders.


Secure Exports Scheme is New Zealand’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme.

AEO programmes are recognised by overseas Customs administrations through Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA). 

NZ has MRAs with:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • United States of America

Additional MRAs are currently being negotiated.

Benefits of being a Secure Exports Scheme partner

  • 50% reduction on all export entry transaction fees;
  • Dedicated SES team to assist you with border compliance;
  • Lower intervention rates at time of export and when entering the overseas border – this reduces the cost of goods if subject to inspection, delays to market and potential for product deterioration;
  • Priority at international borders during times of trade disruptions;
  • Strengthen your brand value by advertising to international traders that you are an AEO SES partner;
  • Focused support from the SES team in NZ and our Customs International Liaison Officers deployed across the world.

What level of security is required?

Every business is unique and needs different measures to achieve the outcome of securing cargo. Customs’ approach is to have the exporter demonstrate what they are doing to secure their export goods and assess these practices against the minimum standards.

Minimum standards cover the following processes: procedural, documentation and physical security, access controls, personnel security, education and training and other government agency requirements. 

Are there any legal obligations?

Legislation in the form of section 281 and Schedule 6 of the Customs and Excise Act 2018 underwrite the Secure Exports Scheme.

As soon as the export package is sealed or marked with an approved seal, marking, substance or device, it is deemed under the control of Customs and it is an offence for the seal or package to be tampered with, unless authorised by Customs or other lawful access is required. 

What you need to do

To be approved as an Secure Exports Scheme partner you need to:

  • be exporting seafreight (full container loads) or airfreight;
  • submit a registration of interest form – at this stage a member of the Secure Exports Scheme team will contact you to complete the application process;
  • meet the World Customs Organization Safe framework minimum standards for security of your premises / personnel / processes.

Approved SES partners

Visit our SES partners webpage to see who's on the approved list.

Wanting more information?

The Secure Exports Scheme team will contact you to explain how the scheme could support your current and planned export activity.