A former Fonterra executive is leading Zespri's efforts to strengthen regulatory compliance, as the kiwifruit marketer works to avoid any repeat of past mistakes.
In recent years Zespri has had problems in China, Korea and Taiwan, including importers creating fraudulent invoices, and issues over duty pay on imports.
Jonathan Mason, an independent director of Zespri and a former chief financial officer for Fonterra, chairs Zespri's Audit and Risk Committee.
He said the model the company uses - selling to a local distributor which then onsells within each country - can pose problems if the distributor doesn't know Zespri's expectations.
Mr Mason said Zespri wants to make its expectation to its distributors absolutely clear.
This season Zespri started doing audits of what duties its distributors pay.
Mr Mason said importers who want to sell Zespri kiwifruit have to make their customs documents available to Zespri on an audit basis and any distributor not complying will be dropped.