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Government busts Customs congestion

Hon Jenny Salesa

Minister of Customs

25 October 2019



Government busts Customs congestion as Kiwi exporters go air freight express

Exporters will benefit from Custom’s Secure Exports Scheme (SES) being expanded to Kiwi businesses who use air freight to get their products to overseas markets, Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa announced today.

Under the SES scheme, New Zealand businesses can see their customs check times fall from around an hour to just 17 seconds on average. Before today, the express scheme was only available for sea cargo exports.

“Our Government is delivering for Kiwi exporters. Expanding the Secure Exports Scheme to include air freight means more exporters will be able to enjoy this important express service,” Jenny Salesa said.

“Making it easier and quicker for exporters to get their goods to overseas markets is part of our plan to grow the economy, revitalise our regions, and create the jobs that come with a thriving export sector. Our Government is on the side of Kiwi exporters.

“Exporters who package and transport their goods securely will see quicker cargo clearance, fewer document checks, and fewer inspections from Customs officers in New Zealand and partner agencies in key markets.

“This continues the work of the Coalition Government delivering for a growing export sector,” Jenny Salesa said.

Air freight exports grew from $6 billion in 2015 to $9.5 billion in 2018. For the year to September already $10.4 billion worth of exports have left via air freight.

Today Minister Salesa visited Auckland-based automotive supplier HELLA New Zealand to announce the expanded scheme as they sign their new partnership agreement with Customs. HELLA is the first company to take advantage of the Government’s air freight expansion.

“Air freight is vital to the success of many New Zealand businesses, including HELLA New Zealand, a significant exporter with a global presence.”

HELLA New Zealand Deputy Managing Director Tony Horton said “We are delighted to be part of SES and thrilled to be working alongside Customs and the other great New Zealand companies which are also part of it. Joining the partnership will bring great efficiencies and allow us to continue streamlining our supply to our customers globally.”

Note to editor:

· New Zealand currently has SES agreements with Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore.

· Air freight currently makes up 16 per cent of New Zealand exports by value, and the expanded SES scheme could see this figure rise.

· The scheme is voluntary and businesses are welcome to apply. For more information visit


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