Using the Customs Service’s “green lane” for exports can help streamline cargo, reduce missed shipments and ensure timely deliver of goods to overseas customers.
Five years ago the New Zealand Customs Service introduced the Secure Exports Scheme (SES) to Kiwi businesses. The scheme allows exporters to partner with Customs for “green lane” exports.
There are more than 100 New Zealand exporting businesses in the SES partnership, all benefiting from reduced compliance costs and higher levels of assurance and predictability across their export supply chains.
SES exporters include Fonterra, Sealord and PGG Wrightson Seeds, through to smaller agricultural product and food exporters. At least half of the annual container traffic from New Zealand to the United States is SES-approved.
The SES requires exporters to voluntarily implement or enhance security measures that ensure what they pack and seal for export overseas is exactly what’s stated on their export documentation.
The major benefit for exporters in the partnership is their packages are sealed using a New Zealand Customs Service approved seal, and treated as “green lane” exports – thus significantly reducing the likelihood of container inspection at the border.
In addition, those SES partners shipping to the United States or Japan will experience minimal delays and costs associated with security interventions by customs authorities in those countries.
New Zealand meat export company Wallace Corporation is enjoying the benefits of being an SES partner. CEO Graham Shortland says the partnership with Customs has had considerable benefits for the business.
“Prior to being in the SES partnership, we would have approximately 50% of our containers destined for the United States and Japanese markets held back for further checks. These checks were at a cost to us and the delay could have resulted in our orders not meeting the required shipment.”
Shortland says in the initial set-up of the partnership there was a considerable amount of work, but the “day-to-day running cost is negligible”.
“SES requirements are an integral part of our routine operations. Our process is more streamlined with containers being able to move directly on board a ship without having to be checked, thus reducing the risk of missed shipment. It’s also less work for the documentation department staff.”
Wallace has had a positive experience from the SES, whose staff Shortland says are helpful and forthcoming with information and practical advice.
“Being recognised as having an SES partnership has allowed us to do business in a timely manner with business colleagues who specifically require that we have an SES partnership with New Zealand Customs.”
If you’re an exporter and want to know more about how you can get your exports in the “green lane”, contact the New Zealand Customs Service on 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428786) or visit www.customs.govt.nz.