New Zealand Customs, exporters increase cargo security
New Zealand Customs has started a program with the country’s exporters to increase container security.
The Secure Exports Partnership program will be aimed at New Zealand’s top 200 exporters. Companies volunteer to participate. An exporter that participates will make a legal commitment to protect its containers against tampering, sabotage and smuggling, and will use customs-approved container seals.
The legal basis for the export program is contained in the Border Security bill, which is currently before New Zealand parliament. The bill will amend the country’s 1996 Customs and Excise Act.
The agency expects to enroll its first exporters in the program by June. “Our long-term goal is to have 80 percent of New Zealand’s containerized export trade covered by the Secure Exports Partnership,” said Theresa Morrissey, New Zealand Customs’ export audit and client services manager, in a statement.
New Zealand exporters in the produce sector already meet most of the program’s standards. Customs is developing a formal agreement with other government agencies, such as the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, to acknowledge these measures where possible.
New Zealand is also a participant in the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection’s Container Security Initiative (CSI), which allows the agency to better target high-risk containers before they’re loaded on U.S. bound ships. CSI was launched by U.S. Customs shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.