© Crown copyright 2018
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-275-customs-export-procedures/notice-275-customs-export-procedures
This notice cancels and replaces Notice 275 (May 2016). Details of any changes to the previous version can be found in paragraph 1.2 of this notice.
1.1 What is this notice about?
This notice provides general information on Customs requirements for UK Export procedures and processes. This notice does not replace the law. It is meant to be a helpful guide to the UK National Export System (NES).
You may need to refer to other notices issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Customs, VAT, Excise and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) processes depending on the type of goods and Customs Procedure Code (CPC) being used for your export.
In particular, you may find the following useful:
- Excise Notice 197: receipt into and removal from an excise warehouse of excise goods
- Notice 3001: customs special procedures for the Union Customs Code (ie Temporary Admission, Inward Processing Relief, Outward Processing relief)
- VAT Notice 703: export of goods from the UK - this VAT notice explains the special VAT arrangements under which you can zero-rate the supply by way of sale, lease or hire of freight containers for export to a place outside the European Union (EU) or for removal to another European Community (EC) member state.
If you or your designated agent are submitting Export Declarations to the UK Export system Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) you should also refer to the UK Tariff for detailed instruction, see paragraph 1.7 below for details.
Further information on specific aspects of export requirements can be found in the Customs Information Papers and the new ‘Best Practice Guide’ which is designed to assist you to address specific compliance issues.
Section 1 of this notice gives basic overview information about subjects that are explained more fully in later sections of the document.
1.2 What’s changed
This notice has been updated at section 1.6 with new information on how to disagree with a Customs decision.
1.3 Who should read this notice?
This is a general guide to HMRC requirements for anyone involved in exporting goods or submitting Export Declarations to CHIEF. This includes exporters, agents, freight forwarders, shipping companies, airlines, wharfingers, hauliers and loaders.
1.4 What law regulates exports?
The main legislation is set out below:
- European Union (EU) legislation on export requirements is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Regulation 952/2013. The UCC takes effect from 1 May 2016.
- Delegated Regulation 2446/2016
- Implementing Regulation 2447/2016
- Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 - sections 52 to 68 (Exports)
- Commissioners Directions 2002
- Statutory Instrument 2003 No 467 (Presentation of Goods for Export)
- Value Added Tax Act 1994 - section 16.1
- Customs Civil Penalty provisions - Finance Act 2003
This notice is not the law - it is our view of what the law says and nothing in it takes the place of law.
1.5 Receiving an adverse Customs decision from HMRC - Right to be Heard
When you receive an adverse Customs decision from HMRC you will be issued with a pre-notification explaining the reasons why the decision has been made. The pre-notification is called your “Right to be Heard”. Once issued you have a 30 calendar day period to make further representation or provide further information to HMRC concerning the decision.
1.6 Procedure for appealing against a Customs decision
If you do not agree with the decision issued to you, there are 2 options available:
- if you want a review you should write back to the decision maker within 30 days of the date of their letter, giving your reasons why you do not agree with their decision
- appeal direct to the Tribunal who are independent of HMRC
If you choose to have your case reviewed you will still be able to the Tribunal if you disagree with the outcome.
Find out more information relating to reviews and appeals in leaflet HMRC1 - HM Revenue and Customs decisions - ‘what to do if you disagree’.
You can also phone the Imports and Exports Helpline.
1.7 Where can I obtain further information?
Further information on specific aspects of export requirements can be found on the HMRC website in the ‘Import and Export Section which includes links to:
The HMRC Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom. The Tariff is in 3 volumes:
- Volume 1 contains essential background information for importers and exporters
- Volume 2 contains the Commodity Codes set out on a chapter by chapter basis - it lists duty rates and other criteria such as Import Licensing and Preferential duty rates (this volume has been made available free of charge at UK Tariff Volume 2.
- Volume 3 contains a field by field completion guide (in section 1.9.16) for Export Declarations and complete lists of codes to be used, including CPCs, Country Codes and other relevant to Import and Export Declarations.
The Tariff is available in printed and CD-Rom formats or you can subscribe to an online service from:
TSO (The Stationery Office) Limited
PO Box 29
Telephone: 0870 6005522
Fax: 0870 6005533
TSO website: www.tso.co.uk
All variations can be found by visiting HMRC Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom.
If you need further information you can:
- call the Excise and Customs Helpline on Telephone: 0300 200 3700
- email you enquiry using our online enquiry form
- Write to:
HM Revenue and Customs
Customs, International Trade and Excise (CITEX)
Written Enquiries Team
- contact the NES Helpdesk Telephone: 03000 582418
- contact the CHIEF Operations and NES Web form Helpdesk
- go to the official website of the European Union
2. The NES
2.1 What is the NES?
It is the UK’s system for the electronic processing of exports. Data is entered into the CHIEF computer system where it validates and processes the 4 stages of an export:
- electronic submission of Export Declarations prior to the shipment of the goods
- electronic ‘Presentation’ of the goods to Customs (in the UK this is the ‘Arrival’ message into CHIEF)
- electronic ‘Customs Clearance’ granting Permission to Progress (P2P)
- electronic ‘Departure’ message which puts the export into a final state on CHIEF
2.2 When must I make an Export Declaration?
You must make an Export Declaration when:
goods are being exported, either directly or indirectly, to a third country (including European Free Trade Association countries) for example, any non-EU country
goods are sent to one of the ‘ special territories’ of the Community (see section 15)
CAP goods are exported to those entitled destinations listed in Regulation (EEC No 612/09)
Article 33, states “For the purposes of this Regulation, the following shall be treated as exports from the Customs Territory of the Community:
(a) supplies within the Community for victualling to:
- seagoing vessels (able to stay as sea when wind is in excess of 8 (gale force) on the Beaufort scale)
- aircraft serving on international routes, including intra-Community
(b) supplies to international organisations established in the Community
(c) supplies to armed forces stationed in the territory of a member state but not serving under its command
UK goods that have a final destination in another EU member state are not considered to be exports for Customs purposes. You do not have to submit an export declaration.”
2.3 What is an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number?
Traders involved in international trade in the EU (for example, the export or import process) are required to apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. This includes traders importing and exporting goods and submitting Export Declarations to CHIEF.
To find out more about how to apply for an EORI number in the UK, please see Economic Operator Registration and Identification scheme
The EORI team will answer any queries by email on: email@example.com
2.4 Export types - Direct and Indirect
Exports from the UK can either be ‘Direct’ meaning, going straight to the third country by air or sea or ‘Indirect’ meaning, moving from the UK to exit via another member state. Indirect exports are controlled using the EU wide Export Control System (ECS). For further information on the differences in the processes relating to Direct and Indirect exports please see sections 4.11 and 6.
2.5 Why do Customs require Export Declarations?
Customs require Export Declarations to:
- meet legal obligations on the movement of goods from the EU
- meet EU safety and security requirements for risk assessment purposes
- ensure that export licensing requirements are met
- provide accurate details for the Overseas Trade Statistics
- prevent the unauthorised return of duty free or VAT zero-rated goods into the home market
- provide Customs information and confirm export for VAT and Excise purposes
- enable checks to be carried out on goods subject to specific Customs or CAP controls
2.6 What is the importance of Overseas Trade Statistics?
Overseas Trade Statistics provide important information about the UK’s export trade with third countries. They are regarded as economic indicators by the government and widely used by industry and commerce.
The economic importance of trade statistics means that our export processes incorporate validation of export information provided to CHIEF.
We may need to contact exporters or agents to resolve queries which arise. You should ensure that all the information shown on your Export Declaration is complete and accurate.
Section 14 contains the list of free circulation goods for which export statistical Data is not collected.
2.7 How do I submit a NES Export Declaration in the UK?
Export Declarations must be submitted electronically to the Customs computer system know as CHIEF. Declarations may be submitted by the exporter or their representative. For an overview of the data required for Full and Simplified Export Declarations please see section 19 of this notice. Those submitting Export Declarations will also need to refer to the detailed, CHIEF field ‘Box by Box’ instructions set out in Volume 3 Part 1 of the UK Tariff.
2.8 Who can submit an Export Declaration to CHIEF?
An Export Declaration may be submitted by:
(a) the exporter (self representation)
(b) a third party representative acting in a direct capacity (which means that they are acting in the name of and on behalf of another person)
(c) a third party representative acting in an indirect capacity (which means they act in their own name on behalf of another person and are responsible for the accuracy of the data submitted)
For further details on the legal responsibilities attached to the level of representation see section 3 below.
2.9 What routes are there into CHIEF?
There are a number of routes into CHIEF for the submission of Export Declarations. These are:
|Indirect link to CHIEF through a Community Systems Provider (CSP) using your own software or that provided by an independent software company||
CSPs are commercial operators of air and seaport inventory system in the UK. They supply electronic inventories which record and control the movement of cargo and stores within the port/airport. The CSP systems interface directly with submitting Export Declaration to Customs, notifying the ‘Arrival’ of goods at the port/airport (‘Presentation’ to Customs) and notify the ‘Departure’ of exports.
To access CHIEF via a CSP, traders should apply to the CSP for a badge of authorisation. This badge has 2 parts, one to access the CSP communications system which gives access to the port inventory system and the second part to access CHIEF.
When a trader buys access to a CSP system it may be associated with software provided by a software company that allows the trader to send/receive messages directly to and from CHIEF. Additional commercial software may be purchased that will link to the export companies own systems to allow the trader to pre-populate fields on the declaration to be submitted via the software.
|Direct communication links to CHIEF through the Government Gateway||There are 3 direct links into CHIEF - Web, email and XML (known as W.E.X. channels). The HMRC W.E.X. application form, the PA7 (see Appendix B) should be used to apply for a CHIEF badge for all 3 direct routes into CHIEF. The PA7 should be emailed to CHIEF Operations.
Traders must have a Government Gateway user ID and password for any of the 3 direct routes to the NES. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you use the service.
Direct routes into CHIEF:
(a) the internet, using the NESWEB facility
An Export Declaration WEB form has been set up by HMRC which can be used to submit information to CHIEF direct
For further information on using the NESWEB facility please see the NESWEB Guidance.
(b) Email (EDIFACT)
Traders may choose to send their declarations to CHIEF over the internet in the form of a normal email attachment. You will need to purchase commercial messaging software which translates the declarations sent to and the messages received from CHIEF
(c) Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) messaging
XML integrates traders’ systems with CHIEF, messages are received by CHIEF and replies sent via email to the declarant. Traders will need to purchase commercial messaging software to translate the messages sent to and from CHIEF.
In addition to the CHIEF badge and Government Gateway ID access a Government Gateway Digital Certificate is required for the CHIEF XML route.
For further information on requesting for direct routes into CHIEF please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: for Export Declarations involving CAP refund claims the only acceptable routes into CHIEF are NESWEB and NES XML. NES email may not be used.
2.10 What types of Export Declarations are there?
There are 4 types of Export Declarations:
|Type||Where explained in notice|
|Full Export Declaration||See paragraph 2.11 and section 4|
|Simplified Export Procedure||2-part Export Declaration is used, see paragraph 2.12 and section 5|
|Exit Summary Declaration (EXS)||paragraphs 2.14 and 2.17|
|C21 - Customs Clearance Request||paragraph 2.16|
2.11 What is a Full Export Declaration?
All relevant data fields on the electronic Export Declaration submitted to CHIEF are completed and all required documentation is provided to Customs before shipment of the goods.
The Full Export Declaration should include information on the following:
- the goods
- the people consignor/consignee/declarant, including EORI numbers (see paragraph 2.3)
- safety and security data
- means of transport
- any documentation requirements
Key data elements on an Export Declaration include the CPC and the Declaration (and/or Master) Unique Consignment Reference number (DUCR or MUCR). These are mandatory fields for exports (there are others) but please refer to the exports section of the Tariff (Volume 3 Part 1 Section 1.9. For further information on the importance and format of the DUCR and MUCR please see section 18.
Section 19 includes an overview of the specific data requirements for a Full Export Declaration.
2.12 Overview of simplified export procedures?
Under NES there are simplified procedures that can be used. These are:
- Simplified declaration procedure (SDP)
- Entry in declarants records (EIDR)
- Customs supervised exports (CSE)
Under the UCC Local Clearance Procedure (LCP) is being removed and replaced with EIDR. CSE is a national scheme being introduced by HMRC to provide customs supervision for traders previously authorised for LCP that cannot use EIDR.
EIDR is a new simplification under the UCC that will require a supplementary declaration to be made to CHIEF. EIDR is limited for export traders.
SDP remains under the UCC.
SDP is a simplified export procedure which requires the exporter to obtain prior authorisation to use this scheme.
It involves a 2 part declaration that can only be used at Frontier locations. The first part of the procedure, the Pre Shipment Advice (PSA) requires the exporter to submit to Customs basic details of the export consignment. Once the goods have been legally presented and Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) has accepted the declaration, permission to progress (P2P) is granted the goods may then be loaded for export shipment. The Supplementary declaration must be submitted within 14 days of the departure of the goods from the UK. The exporter must submit both parts of the declaration to Customs electronically using one of the available transmission routes. The same Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR) must be used on the PSA and the Supplementary Declaration.
SDP may be used to declare exports to Customs at UK ports and airports, and can also be used at DEP facilities as Customs consider these to be frontier locations. Exporters who want to operate SDP in their own name must obtain prior authorisation, should they not wish to be authorised themselves they will need to use an operator who is authorised.
EIDR is a simplified export procedure that requires prior authorisation. An applicant has to fulfil AEO criteria specified in Articles 39(a), (b) and (d) of the UCC.
Customs and other tax compliance (related to the economic activities of the applicant), Record-keeping standards and Practical standards of competence or professional qualifications.
An EIDR authorisation can only be granted where a pre departure declarations is not required and the goods being exported are a direct export. (Goods leaving the Union direct from the UK).
Examples of goods eligible for EIDR are:
- electrical energy
- goods leaving by pipeline
- spare parts for aircraft and vessels
- provisions for aircraft and vessels
A supplementary declaration is still required for EIDR and must be submitted within 14 days of the goods departing the UK.
The full list of goods that do not require a pre-departure declaration are detailed in Article 245 of the Delegated Regulation 2446/2015.
EIDR cannot be used exporting excise goods, unless Article 30 of Directive 2008/118/EC is applicable.
EIDR cannot be used where a standardised exchange for information (INF) is required between customs authorities, for example inward processing and outward processing.
CSE is a new national export scheme being introduced by HMRC.
The UCC and current Community Customs Code (Reg. No. 2913/92), require that goods must be under customs supervision at the time they are placed in the export customs procedure.
Current LCP procedures enable HMRC to select goods for physical examination in the same way that such checks are made at a customs frontier location. We will therefore continue to allow appropriately authorised traders to declare goods to the export procedure at their premises under a new scheme called CSE.
Initially, existing LCP traders will be deemed to meet criteria for CSE and can continue to declare goods for export at their premises, providing they continue to fulfil the terms of their current LCP authorisations.
The current arrangements for these businesses will continue without change on 1 May 2016.
Economic operators seeking to gain CSE that are not currently authorised will have to meet AEO C criteria to be aligned with Code compliance standards.
2.13 Exit Summary Declarations
This safety and security declaration was introduced with the implementation of the ECS. An Exit Summary Declarations (EXS) is necessary for consignments which are not covered by an Export Declaration which includes safety and security data or not covered by an inbound Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) under the Import Control System (ICS).
In the UK the CHIEF Export Declaration includes all of the safety and security fields of an EXS. This is referred to as the ‘Combined’ fiscal and safety and security declaration. In most cases, outgoing UK Exports will have already met ECS safety and security requirements there will be no need to submit an EXS at the Office of Exit in another member state.
An EXS is required in the following circumstances:
- where an empty container is being returned under a transport contract to the shipper.
- where goods have remained in temporary storage for more than 14 days.
- where goods have remained in temporary storage less than 14 days but the import safety and security ICS declaration details are unknown or where the destination and/or consignee change.
- intra EU Export⁄ where goods going to another EU Member State are routed via a 3rd country.
As there may either be no UK exporter or the exporter will not be aware that there is an EXS requirement, responsibility for lodging the EXS declaration will usually be with the carrier.
In the UK the EXS needs to be ‘Arrived’ and ‘Departed’ in the same way as any other Export Declaration using a DUCR.
EXS Declarations are submitted to CHIEF in the usual way but a specific CHIEF transaction code, EXS together with CPC 10 00 046 must be used in the relevant CHIEF fields.
2.14 Re-export notification
Where goods in temporary storage are being re-exported, and neither a customs declaration, re-export declaration or EXS declaration is required, a re-export notification must be made to the customs office of exit prior to the exit of the goods.
The re-export notification is normally lodged by the carrier, but can be lodged by the temporary storage holder where an agreement has been made between the temporary storage holder and the carrier. During the UCC transition period it remains the responsibility of the carrier to lodge a re-export notification. Where the carrier has agreed for another party to lodge the re-export notification, the carrier will need to ensure that the re-export notification is lodged correctly.
2.15 What is a form C21?
Form C21 is a ‘Customs Clearance Request’ (see section 21). It is used to secure electronic release (from CHIEF or air(port) inventory systems) The CPC and related notes will indicate which fields require completion. For exports, a C21 may be used at both inventory and non-inventory linked locations.
A C21 may be required to release goods from an air(port) inventory system when no Export Declaration on CHIEF is required, for example:
- goods with an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) where the goods were declared for export in another member state but will exit the EU from the UK (see section 6 - Indirect Export processes)
- goods under cover of an Admission Temporaire (ATA) carnet, where the goods are travelling as freight rather than in passengers’ ‘baggage’ and the freight needs to be cleared on CHIEF (the carnet still needs to be presented to Customs and stamped, but the C21 using CPC 10 00 041 releases the goods on CHIEF (see Notice 104: ATA and CPD Carnets)
- if you are authorised to use SASP and are advised to use a C21 with a specific CPC
Where the C21 cross references to another document the reference should be identified on the C21 in boxes 40 and 44.
2.16 What is Merchandise in Baggage (MiB)
This is when commercial or business goods are taken to a country outside the EU in their hand luggage. See paragraph 16.1 Notice 6.
2.17 Can I amend an Export Declaration?
Amendments may be made to Export Declarations up to the point of Customs clearance (P2P). Amendments should not normally be made to your Export Declaration after P2P has been granted.
You should email Export Enquiries at email@example.com if you think you need to make an amendment after P2P has been granted.
To amend details of a departed Export Declaration you should complete the form C81 and submit it to the Statistical Office:
HM Revenue and Customs
ECSM Trade Statistics
21 Victoria Avenue
Please note that this form is required for purely statistical purposes and will not amend the details you have submitted electronically to CHIEF.
2.18 What are the penalties for failing to comply with export rules and regulations?
The following are examples of non-compliance that may lead to the imposition of Customs Civil Penalty. These penalties range from £250 to £1,000 or £2,500 depending on the type and severity of the contravention:
- failing to place goods under the export procedure
- failing to lodge an Export Declaration
- failing to comply with the terms and conditions laid down in a simplified or local clearance procedure
- failing to keep or produce the relevant documents relating to a traders business
The Export Penalty Regulation schedule can be viewed at:
2.19 Where can I find detailed information to complete an Export Declaration?
Further information on how to complete an Export declaration can be obtained from the links set out in paragraph 1.7.
3. Legal roles and responsibilities
3.1 Who may act as a third party representative?
Export Declarations may be submitted on behalf of the exporter by a nominated third party for example a freight forwarder or agent with access to CHIEF. Details of the declarations made by a third party must be recorded and made available for audit purposes in the exporters’ records.
An exporter should give written permission for a third party to submit an Export Declaration on their behalf.
If the third party does not state the level of representation on the Customs Declaration the third party will be deemed to be acting as an indirect representative, that is, acting in their own name, but on behalf of another person, and would then be jointly liable with the exporter/principal for any Customs debt. They may also be liable to a Civil Penalty.
If the third party is not empowered to be a direct representative of another person the third party will be deemed to be acting in their own name and on their own behalf and would be solely liable for any Customs debt. They may also be liable to a Civil Penalty.
If the task is delegated to a sub-agent, then the sub-agent is bound by the type of representation the third party agreed with the exporter/principal.
3.2 Authorisation of a direct or indirect representation - responsibility for irregularities,
A formal written authorisation, which is agreed between the third party and the principal, stating whether the third party is empowered to act as a ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’ representative will avoid any doubt regarding who is liable for any irregularities.
3.3 Direct representation
When a Customs Declaration is made by a direct representative on behalf of a principal, the principal will be liable for any Customs debt. Failure to produce written authority may result in the third party not being regarded as a direct representative, but instead deemed to be acting in their own name and on their own behalf. They would be solely liable for any Customs debt. They may also be liable to a Civil Penalty.
Where an agent delegates the making of a declaration to a sub-agent and the sub-agent makes the declarations in a ‘direct’ capacity, in the name of and on behalf of the first agent, the sub-agent must hold (and be able to produce on request to Customs) written authority of his/her power to act. Failure to produce written authority will result in the third party not being regarded as acting as a sub-agent making declarations in a direct capacity, but instead deemed to be acting in their own name and on their own behalf. They would then be solely liable for any Customs debt. They may also be liable to a Civil Penalty.
3.4 Indirect representation
When you make a Customs Declaration acting as an ‘indirect’ representative in your own name, but on behalf of the principal person, both you and the principal will be liable for the Customs debt and HMRC will be entitled to seek payment from either party on a legal ‘jointly or severally’ basis. Where there has been a contravention, HMRC will separately consider whether the principal person or indirect representative is liable to a Civil Penalty.
If an indirect agent delegates the submission of a Customs Declaration to a sub-agent, the sub-agent will become liable for the Customs debt along with the principal not the original indirect agent.
Further information on the CHIEF data element ‘Type of representation’ can be found in Volume 3 Part 1 Section 1.9.16 (box 14) of the Tariff.
3.5 Empowerment/authorisation of a direct or indirect representative, agent and third parties
A formal written authorisation, which is agreed between the third party and the principal, stating whether the third party is empowered to act as a ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’ representative (whichever is agreed between you and the principal) will avoid any doubt regarding who is liable for any irregularities and therefore the Customs debt and may be liable to a Civil Penalty.
If you do not hold written authorisation you risk being regarded as acting solely on your own behalf. If the authorisation does not confirm the type of representation, you could be regarded as an indirect representative. In both cases, you would be liable for the Customs debt and any Civil Penalty.
You should therefore consider obtaining confirmation of your empowerment to act for a principal as a direct or indirect representative in writing. The statement on a Customs Declaration indicating that you are acting in direct representation or indirect representation will normally be accepted unless we need to check the accuracy of the statement.
4. Export processes
4.1 The export process
There are 4 stages to the NES export process as follows:
pre-lodgement of the Export Declaration
presentation to Customs and legal acceptance of the Export Declaration (the ‘Arrival’ message into CHIEF)
processing and Customs clearance (Customs electronic notification of P2P)
departure message which finalises the Export Declaration on CHIEF
4.2 How do I pre-lodge my Export Declaration?
All declarations must be submitted into the CHIEF System as ‘not Arrived’ where format and technical validations will take place.
Your Export Declaration must be electronically submitted using one of the NES routes described in section 2.9
In exceptional circumstances a paper Export Declaration (C88/ESS) may be submitted to NES for input by HMRC staff (Customs Input Entry (CIE)). CIE declarations must be submitted to the National Clearance Hub (NCH) at Salford.
HM Revenue and Customs
National Clearance Hub
3 Stanley St
Telephone: 03000 588453
Fax: 03000 588461
If copies are emailed or faxed, originals should not be sent unless specifically requested by NCH. NCH will process CIE requests Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).
4.3 How do I ‘present’ my goods to Customs for clearance?
Notification of the arrival of the goods at the required location for Customs control is referred to as ‘presentation of the goods to Customs’. An electronic ‘Arrival’ message is sent to CHIEF by a person authorised to hold a CHIEF ‘Loader’ role (see paragraph 4.5 on how to apply to HMRC for a CHIEF Loader role). Following submission of the ‘Arrival’ message, the Export Declaration will be validated, legally accepted and risk assessed.
In exceptional circumstances, where there is no electronic link to CHIEF, HMRC will perform the role of Loader and input the ‘Arrival’ message to CHIEF on behalf of the exporter or representative. Requests for a manual submission of the ‘Arrival’ message to be input by Customs should be made on a form C1601 to the NCH at Salford.
The form C1601 is available at the following link:
4.4 When should my presentation to Customs take place?
UCC legislation requires pre-departure information which will be risk assessed in advance of the export movement. Pre-departure declarations can take the form of a customs declaration, a re-export declaration or an exit summary declaration.
Export declaration or an exit summary declaration.
The Delegated Regulation 2446/2015 Article 244 sets minimum time limits for the presentation of goods to Customs to allow risk assessment to take place:
- for ‘deep sea’ containerised cargo, at the latest 24 hours before the goods are loaded
- for ‘short sea’ containerised cargo, at the latest 2 hours before leaving the port
- for air traffic, at the latest 30 minutes before departure from an airport
- for rail traffic, at the latest 2 hours before the goods leave Union territory
- for road and inland waters traffic, at the latest 1 hour before departure
Commercial practicalities may necessitate the presentation to take place earlier than these minimum EU time limits
4.5 The responsibility of the CHIEF Loader role in submitting Arrival messages to CHIEF
The Arrival message should be sent by a commercial entity known as the ‘Loader’ who is in a position to know that goods intended for export are now at the Customs controlled location (for example, a port or airport) and are available for physical inspection if required.
The Arrival message may be sent to CHIEF by one of the following means:
- automatic CSP processing at inventory linked locations where real-time information is provided by other integrated supply chain system - this will be the situation at almost all major UK airports and container ports
- an approved operator, that is, someone who is authorised for a CHIEF ‘Loader’ role at a non-inventory linked location - this is likely to be a Port Operator or person who is responsible for loading the goods on to the export means of transport and who has been granted the status ‘Loader’ by HMRC, this will often be the situation at smaller, non-inventory linked, frontier locations, particularly those handling bulk goods or at some roll on/roll off (ferry port) locations
- HMRC, where no commercial electronic links are available, by submitting form C1601 to the NCH - in this case, HMRC performs the role of the ‘Loader’ and inputs the ‘Arrival’ message into CHIEF on behalf of the exporter or the representative
Application for authorisation of a CHIEF ‘Loader’ role at a non-inventory linked location should be made in writing to the NCH, providing the following information:
- company name and address
- contact name and phone number
- EORI details
- an email address for service broadcast messages
- an email address for CHIEF report messages
- the CHIEF Freight Location code to associate with the badge, (for example, CDF for Cardiff port)
- a brief explanation of the applicant’s status at the non-inventory linked location for which the ‘Loader’ role is requested
Note: the email address for the broadcast messages and the report messages does not have to be the same.
4.6 What key data should be included in an Arrival message?
The Arrival message must contain the following to identify the goods being presented to Customs:
- Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) - in the UK both the Arrival and Departure are often done on a UCR basis, see section 18 on the importance of a UCR for matching the CHIEF Export Declaration with the inventory system on arrival to obtain Customs clearance and also for further information on the structure and use of Declaration, Master and Bulk UCRs
Please note: the Movement Reference Number (MRN) generated by CHIEF or CHIEF Entry Number, date and time may also be used to ‘Arrive’ and ‘Depart’ goods as an alternative to the UCR.
- date and time of arrival at the port/airport.
- location of goods - the location information is in the form of a CHIEF Freight Location code (listed in Volume 3 of the Tariff)
- movement reference - this is only used by CSP inventory linked systems, it is an inventory linked reference number and should not to be confused with the CHIEF generated MRN mentioned above.
4.7 CHIEF processing of an Arrival message and the granting of Customs clearance
When the goods are ‘Arrived’ on CHIEF and on acceptance of the arrival message, CHIEF re-examines, re-validates and risk assesses the data in the declaration. CHIEF will then allocate one of the following routes for the goods to take:
- route 1 - supporting documentation to be examined
- route 2 - documents and goods to be examined
- route 3 - P2P granted - subject to post clearance checks
- route 6 - P2P granted - no post clearance checks required
- route 0 - awaiting update from a system external to CHIEF (for example, clearance for CAP goods)
alternatively - route 0 may mean a reprocessing error
If the consignment is given route 3 or 6 Customs clearance, P2P is granted and electronically notified to the submitting trader.
If the consignment is given routes 1 or 2, P2P will only be granted by Customs after satisfactory examination of the documents and/or goods.
P2P means that the CHIEF Export entry has been cleared and the goods may now be loaded onto the means of transport for export. This message is sent to the person submitting the export declaration. This is also referred to as Positive Clearance.
4.8 What happens if Customs advise me of an error?
Errors may be identified by Customs following documentary checks or a physical examination of the consignment. Depending on the nature of the error Customs will give direction as to whether:
- (a) an amendment may be made to the original entry
- (b) the original entry should be cancelled and a replacement submitted
- (c) the goods will be detained - pending further investigation
- (d) the goods will be seized
Customs may allow amendment(s) to be made without prejudice to any further actions they may take, for example, advising of Customs Civil Penalties (CCPs) and/or revocation of authorisation of CHIEF badges or authorisation facilitations such as SDP or LCP.
4.9 Finalisation of Export Entry on CHIEF - the ‘Departure’ Message
Once the means of transport upon which the goods were loaded has left the UK a Departure message must be submitted by authorised traders to CHIEF for Direct exports. Departure messages can only be submitted by authorised traders using a CHIEF Loader role. This message updates the Export status on CHIEF to ‘ICS60’ meaning ‘Departed’. For information on the finalisation process for ECS indirect exports, please see section 6.1.
4.10 What must I do if goods that have been presented to Customs (Arrived) are not exported?
If goods are not shipped after P2P is given, it is the responsibility of the declarant, usually via the Loader, to advise Customs of the change in the circumstances, Examples of these ‘frustrated’ exports include:
- goods that are to be exported from a different location from where they were presented to Customs (‘Arrived’)
- goods that are not now to be exported at all - for example, because the consignee no longer needs them
In both cases listed above the export Departure transaction must be used to ‘frustrate’ the export (that is to ‘Depart’ the goods inland). Additionally, in the second case above the Export Declaration must also be cancelled.
If the export is cancelled it is the declarant’s responsibility under the Customs Code to request cancellation of the Export Declaration concerned. Where the goods are not going to be exported the submitting agent should make a request for cancellation of the original data (that is under P9 query) using CHIEF format XTCE. Details on how to cancel an Export Declaration can be found below in Section 4.12.
4.11 Direct and indirect exports - closure process
The process for finalising exports on CHIEF differs depending on whether it is a direct or indirect export.
For a direct export, where goods are leaving the UK to travel directly to a third country (a country that does not form part of the EU) the submission of a Departure message to CHIEF is required. This signifies the goods have left not only the UK but also the EU so are actually ‘exported’.
Indirect exports, see paragraph 6.1 for information on indirect export finalisation processes.
4.12 Cancellation of an Export Declaration
Following acceptance of an Export Declaration it may be cancelled at the request of the exporter provided that:
- the goods are in the UK and you have proof that cancellation arrangements for exporting them has been made
- any payment to which there is an entitlement from the Commission or under a community instrument by virtue of exporting the goods has been repaid or will not be paid.
An Export Declaration may not be cancelled under the following circumstances:
- the exporter has been informed that the goods are to be examined, until that examination has taken place
- until the exporter has complied with any requirements imposed by Customs
5. Simplified Procedures
5.1 What Simplified Procedures are available?
Under the UCC there are two Simplified Procedures available for exports that require prior authorisation from HMRC.
There will also be a new national facilitation known as CSE. For an explanation of these simplifications refer to section 2.12.
5.2 Goods for which SDP and EIDR/CSE cannot be used.
The majority of goods are eligible for Export Simplified Procedures. Exceptions are prohibited goods and goods covered by customs procedures listed in the table below.
See section 9 for prohibited goods.
|Goods controlled by Customs under specific simplified procedures.||Goods which are exported or (removed from Customs Warehousing) under IP
Outward Processing Relief (OPR) simplified authorisation procedures.
|ATA carnet goods||These are excluded because the ATA carnet is the export document and no CHIEF Export Declaration is required. Where a Customs clearance request is required to clear an inventory system a C21 will be used - see paragraph 2.16 and 16.7.|
|Goods moving via the UK under the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS)||Goods moving from port of export in the UK and goods moving under NCTS documents raised in other member states (OMS)|
5.3 What is SDP?
SDP is a 2-part declaration process which can only be used to declare exports at frontier locations, for example, UK ports and airports. This procedure requires prior Customs authorisation. You must submit both parts of the declaration electronically to CHIEF using one of the transmission routes (see paragraph 2.9).
The first part of the SDP process is to submit a PSA to CHIEF which must contain basic consignment details (see section 19 for data elements required for a PSA). The consignment details must include the DUCR see paragraph 18.1 for detailed information on the structure and the purpose of a DUCR.
Once the goods have been presented to Customs (that is, ‘Arrived’ at the frontier) and CHIEF has accepted the declaration and granted P2P the goods may be loaded for export shipment.
The second part of the SDP process is to submit a supplementary declaration (SD) which includes the data elements of a Full Export Declaration. This must be submitted within 14 days of the departure of the goods from the UK.
It is essential that the DUCR on the SD matches the DUCR on the original PSA as this provides the audit trail into the authorised traders’ records. It is also the way HMRC accounts for the Balance of Trade figures so the information must be accurate and timely. Failure to submit required SDs may result in a CCP being raised and/or the revocation of any authorisation to use the Simplified Procedure.
5.4 What is EIDR?
EIDR allows a trader to lodge their customs declaration in their own records. The declaration details must be lodged electronically in a traders records. A supplementary declaration is required and must be submitted within 14 days of departure of the goods from the UK. The supplementary declaration must contain the UCR used for the EIDR entry so that there is a clear audit trail for the export consignment.
An EIDR authorisation can only be granted where a pre departure declarations is not required and the goods being exported are a direct export. (Goods leaving the Union direct from the UK). The full list of goods that do not require a pre-departure declaration are detailed in Article 245 of the Delegated Regulation 2446/2015.
Traders authorised to operate EIDR must have an agreed control plan in place with their supervising office or CRM.
Obligations for the holder of an EIDR authorisation are set out in Article 234 Implementing regulation 2447/2015.
5.5 What is CSE?
CSE is a national scheme that allows goods to be entered to the export procedure at a traders premises..This scheme requires prior Customs authorisation which will include premises authorisation Where a trader wishes to make a two part declaration instead of a full export declaration, they will also need to be authorised for the simplified declaration procedure.(see paragraph 5.3).
Please note: you must always submit a Full Export Declaration from your inland premises when you export CAP refund goods and licensable goods.
CSE Export Declarations submitted to CHIEF must indicate when the goods will be at the approved LCP premises and available for Customs checks (‘goods available from’ time) and the time at which they wish to release the goods for onward movement to the port (‘goods available to’ time). At the ‘goods available from’ time CHIEF will automatically ‘Arrive’ the declaration. At the ‘goods available to’ time the goods will either, be positively cleared and given P2P or be selected for further checks. Customs controls (including examinations) will be carried out at your approved CSE inland premises. However, when the goods arrive at the UK [air]port for export/loading, anti-smuggling checks may also be carried out at the frontier.
For Direct Exports, that is, goods that are to be shipped direct to a third country, LCP goods must be re-Arrived and Departed at the frontier [air] port.
For most Indirect Exports (see exceptions in paragraph 5.6), where goods that will exit the EU via another member state and are covered by an EAD, the goods do not need to be re-Arrived at the frontier.
5.6 CSE process for excise goods
Excise goods under CSE must be re ‘Arrived’ at the frontier.
Excise goods that have not been released for consumption in the EU may only be moved from an excise warehouse to a port or airport where they will leave the territory of the EU under the provisions of the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) or, for direct exports only, under one of the simplifications allowed under Part 9 of the Excise Goods (Holding, Movement and Duty Point) Regulation 2010.
Alcoholic liquors and tobacco products may be moved, subject to the conditions below, in Excise Duty Suspension without being placed under an EAD from an excise warehouse in the UK to a place in the UK where they will leave the territory of the EU.
This means that for directly exported excise goods in duty suspension there is no need the place the movement on EMCS and where the excise warehousekeeper of dispatch is able to comply with the conditions detailed below, the CSE procedure will take the place of the EAD.
The conditions are:
- the occupier of the warehouse from which the goods are being removed must be authorised to use CSE
- that authorisation requires a Full Export Declaration to be submitted to CHIEF
- the excise movement guarantee must be shown on that declaration under AI statement GRNTR
Excise goods under CSE must be re-‘Arrived’ at the frontier (that is the [air]port of departure from the UK). Failure to fully comply with the Export Declaration requirements for excise goods will prevent HMRC from issuing a report of export to the dispatching warehouse keeper to discharge the movement and therefore the financial security requirements,
Further information on Export Declaration data requirements for Excise goods can be found in section 12 of this notice and Notice 197.
5.7 CSE goods moved under Transit - NCTS
Where the NCTS is required to cover the movement of the goods travelling through Europe from an CSE premises, they must not be removed until the NCTS documents have been authenticated. CSE operators who need to use a Community Transit (CT) guarantee are strongly recommended to become an Authorised Consignor (see paragraph 13.5).
Indirect Export goods covered by an EAD or NCTS do not need to be re-arrived at the UK frontier if they are exiting via another member states (with the exception of Excise goods).
5.8 What do I need to consider before applying to use SDP or CSE or EIDR?
To use the Simplified Procedures certain criteria must be met.
- have an EORI number
- be a legal entity in the UK, for example, sole proprietor; partnership, public limited company, private limited company
- have a good record of compliance with HMRC, for example Intrastat submissions, VAT returns
- regularly declare goods for export
- be able to provide export declarations electronically to CHIEF
You must also meet the relevant criteria for each simplification as set out in the Union legislation.
Please note: you may submit declarations electronically yourself or arrange for a third party to act on your behalf. If you use a third party to maintain your records and submit declarations you must give them written permission.
5.9 How do I become authorised for SDP or LCP or EIDR?
If you wish to become authorised contact the VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline on Telephone: 0300 200 3700 for a C and E 48 form or download it:
Please send your completed form to the NES Simplified Procedure Authorisation Team at the following address:
HM Revenue and Customs
Authorisations and Returns Team
Peter Bennett House
West Park Ring Road
A pre-authorisation visit will be made to your premises to carry out assurance checks on your records and computer systems.
Once authorised, your systems and records will be subject to periodic audits by Customs staff. The purpose of these audits will be to check that you are complying with the terms and conditions of your authorisation and confirm general NES compliance.
5.10 Conditions for SDP/EIDR/CSE used in conjunction with other regimes
The authorisation for a NES Simplified Procedure will contain generic conditions to operate the procedure. Each authorisation is based on the needs of the applicant and the nature of the business.
If you use other regimes such as Transit (NCTS), IP or OPR in conjunction with a NES Simplified Procedures, you will also be required to comply with the conditions of those authorisations.
5.11 What happens if I fail to comply with the conditions of my authorisations?
Before deciding what (if any) action will be taken, the impact of any failure to comply with authorisation criteria will be assessed and your compliance record will be considered.
Where it is decided that action will be taken, the 2 options available to HMRC are:
- implementation of Customs Civil Penalties (CCPs)
- for persistent irregularities or major non-compliance, we may consider revoking any NES Simplified Procedure authorisations held
6. Indirect Export processes
Indirect exports are now controlled under the EU wide electronic ECS.
For all Indirect Exports box 29 (Office of Exit) field on the CHIEF Export Declaration must be completed with the intended Office of Exit. As soon as P2P is granted an electronic ECS message (IE501) is sent to the member state at the Office of Exit and an EAD must be printed from CHIEF to accompany the goods to the EU exit point.
The EAD includes an electronically generated MRN and barcode. At the Office of Exit the EAD barcode will be scanned, thus electronically closing the ECS movement. The ECS closure/departure message (IE518) is then sent back to CHIEF (via ECS) to update the CHIEF status to ‘finalised’ (ICS62).
The EAD should not normally be printed before Customs clearance, P2P, is granted as it must have the final information that the Office of Exit will need to match the goods when they arrive at exit with the ECS message which is sent from CHIEF after P2P if granted.
However, it is recognised by the UK Customs that there may be circumstances where the printing of an EAD is necessary a little earlier than when Customs clearance is granted. Traders should note that the printing of an EAD does not constitute Customs clearance in the UK. Only the receipt of the P2P message confirms Customs clearance for the goods to be loaded and exported.
Traders are advised that if the information on the EAD does not match the information sent in the ECS message following the granting of P2P, your goods are likely to be refused exit from the EU member state at exit or at the very least delayed.
Under the UCC the only requirement is for the MRN number to be provided at the Office of Exit.
During the transition period from the current legislation to the Union Customs Code and the Delegated and Implementing Regulations Traders may wish to take an EAD with the consignment to the Office of Exit. (The EAD should not be printed from CHIEF until clearance has been granted. (Permission to progress))
6.2 UK Office of Exit processes
Goods coming from OMS for exit from the UK must be processed under ECS to close the movement. The Office of Exit process explained below is for the UK only.
In the UK this processing and closure of ECS movements is undertaken by the ECS Helpdesk at Harwich.
6.3 Completion of the ECS Indirect Export movement in the UK
On arrival at the Office of Exit in the UK, for example at Felixstowe, Heathrow or Liverpool, there are 2 steps to exiting from the UK:
|Customs Clearance at exit must be obtained through the input of a Customs clearance request (C21) to CHIEF (see paragraph 6.4 for exceptional Cargo Community System (CCSUK) processing of Through Air Waybills (TAWBs)||Customs Clearance - submitting a C21 to CHIEF - for indirect exports that are accompanied by an EAD a C21 should always be submitted to CHIEF using CPC 10 00 043.
Details of the data elements to be included in a C21 depend on the CPC used, those required for 10 00 043 can be found in Appendix C, but please also refer to the Tariff CPC notes. When this CPC is used CHIEF will usually allocate route 3 which gives immediate P2P followed by post shipment processing of the EAD.
Exceptionally, there will be some safety and security risk based checks indicated by the allocation of routes 1 or 2. There usually involve comparing the declared export consignment with the UK’s ECS database. To avoid unnecessary delays it is therefore very important that MRNs relating to the goods exiting the UK are accurately shown in box 40 (Previous Document field) of the C21 and that the data submitted to the inventory system will adequately identify the goods.
|EAD raised in another member state must be processed to finalise the Indirect export on the electronic ECS system.||
EAD processing in the UK - once Customs clearance is obtained the EAD and supporting documentation proving exit from the UK should be submitted to HMRC who will, if satisfied, arrange for the completion of the ECS movement on the EU wide system. This is done by scanning the MRN barcode, which is printed on the EAD into the UK ECS system, which in turn will update the ECS of the Office of Export (for example, Dublin, Ireland) effectively closing the ECS movement on all EU systems.
EADs for processing (along with their supporting documentation) should be sent to the ECS Helpdesk in Harwich using the freepost service available. Envelopes should be addressed as follows:
FREEPOST RSGB SXRC-TBTR
HM Revenue and Customs
Central Community Transit Office
To facilitate handling. EADs should be sent (batched on separate envelopes on a daily basis by the carrier or appropriate agent) by the actual UK Office of Exit. Note: this may not be the intended Office of Exit referred to in box 29. For example, if an export was due to exit Heathrow and actually exited Stansted it should be batched with Stansted exit documents. After satisfactory scrutiny of the supporting documentation, the EAD will be scanned and the ECS movement closed.
The ECS Helpdesk will only process EADs in the correct format laid down by the Commission (including a barcode) and the appropriate supporting documents attached.
No documentation will be returned by the ECS Helpdesk and failure to follow the prescribed procedures may result in delays and potential problems for the overseas exporter if ECS movements are not closed properly
6.4 ECS Indirect Export processing at CCSUK airports for TAWBs accompanied by an EAD
Where an EAD has been raised in another member state the CHIEF clearance request must usually be made on an electronic C21, under CPC 10 00 043 as detailed above. However, for a TAWB processed at a CCSUK airport there is no need to submit a C21 to CHIEF. This is because a TAWB (for example a TAWB cut from Ireland (or other EU member state to Shanghai via the UK) is fully processed under Local Customs Processing controls within the CCSUK Inventory system on the inward (import) leg and so does not need to undergo CHIEF processing using a C21 on the outward (re-export leg). This local processing will continue for the foreseeable future.
The majority of shipments carried under a TAWB are expected to be exempted from ECS (and EAD closure process) because they are carried under a Single Transport Contract (STC). See section 6 for details of STC movements.
However, where an EAD accompanies TAWB shipments (including any for a Through House in a Through Master AWB the EAD should be sent to the ECS Helpdesk by the inward Transit Shed Operator. The EADs should only be sent off once the consignments are released for re-export and transferred to the export shed or onward carrier.
Such EADs should be sent separately from those under the standard process and batched by the intended UK airport from which the shipment is leaving the EU. The airline TAWB number is required to be advised to Customs and this can be done by endorsing it on the EAD, or attaching a copy TAWB (behind the EAD), or by attaching a simple local schedule which includes the TAWB numbers.
Please note that a Through House Air Waybill (THAWB) always requires a C21 release from CHIEF whether it is accompanied by an EAD or not.
7. Exports carried under a STC
EU law currently allows indirect export movements to be processed outside of the ECS messaging system under a STC. This section outlines the process of release for export movements controlled under STC coming from another member state but exiting the EU from the UK.
7.1 Definition of STC
A STC is a contract of carriage of goods cut from where the export starts to where the export ends (for example from Dublin to Shanghai). The fact that it may move through OMS on a number of different transport modes to make this journey and exit in, for example, the UK does not matter. The only condition attached to a STC is that it cannot exit the EU by road.
The exporter will have been informed by his agent or carrier whether the ‘conditions of carriage’ were a STC. Whilst it is the carrier or logistics company that makes the contract a ‘STC’ it is the exporter (or declarant on the Export Declaration) who must notify Customs that his goods are moving under that process and not as a ‘normal’ indirect export under ECS.
7.2 Claiming STC in the UK
Exporters are required to specify that their goods are travelling under STC. The Export Declaration must include the Additional Information (AI) code STC99. CHIEF field box 29 (Office of Exit) should not be completed. If the Customs authority at the point of exit in another Member State requests information on the STC consignment, the carrier must provide one of the following:
- the MRN of the export declaration
- a copy of the single transport contract for the goods concerned
- the unique consignment reference number or the transport document reference number. (Where goods are presented in packages the number of packages must be provided. Where goods are presented in containers the container identification number must be provided.)
7.3 Exit processes in UK for STC movements coming from OMS
Where goods have moved to the UK under STC the processes at exit are as follows:
For maritime - where a port/inventory system (which is linked to the UK Customs) exists there is often automatic local clearance for Through Bills of Lading (TBOL). There is no need for the submission of a C21 to CHIEF in these cases and no documents need to be sent to Harwich. The prints from the export system should be attached to the TBOL and kept by the trader for his records. A C21 is required at all non inventory linked ports or berths,
For air - where CCSUK inventory processing is available, for a TAWB and not accompanied by an EAD (see process in paragraph 6.4 for TAWB accompanied by an EAD) no C21 is necessary and no documents need to be submitted to Harwich. It should be noted however that a C21 is always required for a THAWB, but documents only need to be submitted to Harwich if the THAWB is accompanied by an EAD.
7.4 STC Exit process where a C21 is required
Where a C21 is required to be submitted to CHIEF to release STC movements from another member state exiting the UK, use CPC 10 00 048. This CPC should be used for both air and maritime movements.
8. Evidence to satisfy the VAT zero-rating rules through NES
Fulfilling all Export processes on CHIEF correctly will help when claims are being made to zero-rate the VAT on your exported goods. There is more detailed information about Evidence of Export in paragraph 43 in the Best Practice Guide.
8.1 Direct exports
For direct exports, where the Office of Exit field on the Export Declaration (box 29) has not been completed, reports printed from CHIEF archive system (MSS) will show a final CHIEF status of ICS60. This indicates that the goods left the UK and the EU and will help support claims for VAT zero-rating by providing official evidence of export.
8.2 Indirect Exports
For Indirect exports where the Office of Exit field (box 29) has been completed, the evidence that the goods have exited the EU comes from the closure of the ECS message (referred to in paragraph 6.1) which is passed to CHIEF. The confirmed closure of an ECS closure message for an Indirect export is forwarded to CHIEF and changes the status on CHIEF to ICS62. This status can be viewed on CHIEF and can help the VAT team establish that Indirect exports have properly exited the EU and are entitled to VAT zero-rating.
The VAT team may on occasion ask you to provide further information about the exit of the goods from the EU.
9. What are prohibited and restricted goods?
9.1 Export of prohibited and restricted goods.
Prohibited goods cannot be exported. Details of prohibited goods can be found at:
Restricted goods that fulfil the specified criteria, such as an export licence, may be exported, but will always require a Full Export Declaration and any specified additional documentation. Simplified Procedures cannot be used for prohibited or restricted goods.
Information on restricted goods and their licensing requirements is available in Volume 1 of the Tariff. There is also a comprehensive list at Licensing requirements
(a) Export Licences for goods to non-EU destinations
NES/CHIEF has electronic links to licence systems of both the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
(b) CAP Licences
All CAP licences are checked and written off electronically when input into CHIEF. The licence number has to be entered into box 44 of the Export Declaration. Most licences issued by the RPA (an agency used by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)) are matched in this way.
(c) BIS Licences for goods to OMS
Some goods requiring a Standard Individual Export Licence and being shipped to OMS need to be declared to HMRC to obtain prior shipping approval.
- those businesses supervised by HMRC Large Business Services should contact their Customs International Trade Tax specialist
- all other businesses should contact HMRC’s centralised processing team whose email contact is firstname.lastname@example.org shipment notifications must be presented 3 days prior to the intended date of shipment to allow sufficient time for agreement and possible examination of the goods.
Further information can be found in BIS Notice to Exporters 2011/19 and in Customs Information Paper (11) 65.
9.2 Other government departments websites
For further information on goods licensed by other government departments please consult their websites as below.
The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) are responsible for issuing licences for cultural goods on behalf of the DCMS.
Health and Safety Executive
(Export of chemicals subject to prior informed consent)
10.1 What is a DEP?
A DEP allows operators authorised by HMRC to consolidate and clear goods inland at an approved premises (considered to be a frontier location) prior to the removal of goods to the air/sea port. A DEP may be used for goods which are to be exported from the EU by a consolidator, exporter, forwarder or airline. As a DEP operator, you may submit Export Declarations to CHIEF (on behalf of the exporter/freight forwarder), or accept consignments already covered by an Export Declaration (which has already been declared by the exporter of their representative). The DEP allows you to present goods for Customs clearance (through the submission of an Arrival message to CHIEF) at your premises, prior to the goods being delivered to the frontier. This will give positive clearance before the goods leave your premises.
10.2 What goods are excluded from the DEP procedure?
- all Excise goods
- all goods being exported from a Customs warehouse
- any goods that have already been declared under the EIDR
10.3 What type of declarations can be made at a DEP?
- full pre-shipment Export Declaration
- Export Declarations for low value goods (see paragraph 11.4)
- Export Declarations for Non-statistical goods (see paragraph 11.5)
- the 2-part SDP - prior authorisation is required to operate this procedure - see section 5 for further details
10.4 What are my obligations as a DEP operator?
As a DEP operator you must:
- maintain an electronic inventory system, which meets Customs requirements (this can either be a system supplied by a CSP, or an equivalent in house inventory system (see paragraph 10.5) - the system should be capable of supplying management information on, for example, records of all goods for export entering and leaving the facility
- submit all declarations made in your own name or on behalf of another to CHIEF electronically
- ensure that Customs clearance is obtained prior to the removal of the goods from the DEP
10.5 What is an equivalent ‘in house inventory’ system?
It is an electronic inventory system which is approved by HMRC. It must be secure, allowing full control and audit of export consignments and include provision of agreed listings and appropriate release documentation and information.
10.6 Which Customs controls will be carried out at a DEP?
Our controls will cover both the fiscal (dutiable and restricted goods) and anti smuggling checks, where a DEP inventory system is linked to the inventory system at the port/airport. The advantage of this arrangement is that we are unlikely to intervene again after the goods have been Customs cleared at the DEP. However, we reserve the right to carry out further anti smuggling checks at the UK frontier. A DEP that is not inventory linked to the port/airport will have anti smuggling checks carried out at the frontier.
10.7 How can I become authorised to operate a DEP?
If you wish to be authorised to operate a DEP you should complete application form CandE42 DEP application form. On completion of the form you will need to send it to the address shown on the application where it will be processed.
10.8 UCC and DEPS
DEPS are a national facilitation and will not be affected by UCC changes. HMRC intend to review the operation of DEPS to ensure that they along with CSE replicate certain UCC legislation, such as complying with AEO C criteria.
11. Other export facilitations
11.1 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - fast parcel operators
The NES Express Industry (fast parcel operator) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) offers a bulk export process to facilitate the express movement of goods. The MOU arrangements require the express/fast parcel operator to fulfil specific roles and conditions set out by HMRC. The MOU covers the following goods:
- low value - up to £800
- goods valued between £800 and £2,000
No controlled or restricted goods can use this arrangement. Nor goods held under a Customs procedure with economic impact (CPEI).
11.2 How can I apply for the MOU?
If you are an approved CSE or SDP Operator and can fulfil the requirements set out in the MOU, you can apply by contacting the Express Industry Team for further information.
Telephone: 03000 532318
11.3 What will I need to do when I have postal exports?
When you are sending packages to any country outside the EU, including the Special Territories (listed in section 13) you must complete and affix a Customs declaration, a (CN22, CN23 or a Parcelforce Worldwide despatch pack incorporating a CN23) (CN22/CN23 are not used for Temporary Admission goods (Notice 200 Regulation 2453/93 excludes goods referred to Article 235)), which are available from any Post Office. Preference certificates or similar documentation must also be attached to the outside of the package and clearly identified before posting. For commercial items a commercial invoice must accompany the package. No declaration is required for packages sent to countries with the EU.
You will need a Certificate of Posting on a C and E132. To evidence the discharge of special procedures.
If you are a VAT registered business you will need to obtain and keep a Certificate of Posting to support the zero-rating of your supply and to discharge your liability to Customs charges on goods temporarily imported into the UK.
For further information see notice 143 a guide for international post users and notice 144 trade imports by post-how to complete customs documents.
11.4 Low value goods
Low value goods are defined as a single consignment of goods which:
- have a total value of less than £800, and weigh less than 1,000 kilograms
- are not dutiable or restricted
For low value goods you can use CPC (10 00 097) to identify the goods to CHIEF (for further details please see Volume 3 of the Tariff, Appendix E1. Section 19 lists the information which must be entered when a low value declaration is submitted. This CPC cannot be used for goods under a Customs Duty relief (Customs Warehousing (CW), IP, Temporay Admission (TA) or OPR).
11.5 Non-statistical goods
Certain goods are not needed for Overseas Trade Statistics but a Customs declaration is still required.
For free circulation goods listed in Section 14, you must use CPC 10 00 098 (for details see Volume 3 of the Tariff Appendix E1.
Section 19 lists the information which must be entered when submitting a non-statistical declaration to CHIEF.
This CPC must not be used for goods that:
- under a Customs Duty relief (CW, IP, TA or OPR)
- require an export licence, permit or certificate
- are under CT or ATA (Turkey preference) documents
- goods purchased under the VAT Retail Export Scheme (RES) - VAT RES goods must be declared using form VAT 407, the goods and the forms must be produced to the export officer for certification, where in the UK is the last point of exit from the Community see Notice 703: Export and removal of goods from the UK and Notice 704: VAT retail exports
11.6 What if I want to export a complete industrial plant?
There is now a Commodity code which can be used to simplify the export of a complete industrial plant component parts. ‘industrial plant’ is defined as ‘a delivery for an industrial plant which is made up of goods which all belong to the same chapter of the combined nomenclature (CN) where the overall statistical total value is in excess of €3 million approximately £2.5 million or more’. Export of component parts may be classified as follows:
- the first 4 digits shall be 9880
- the fifth and sixth digits shall correspond to the CN chapter to which the goods of the component parts belong
- the seventh and eighth digits shall be 0
The plant may be exported in several consignments over a period of time.
12. CAP and Excise goods
12.1 How do I export CAP goods?
There are special rules for the export of CAP goods. The processes are set out in Notice 800: CAP Exports, further information on the export of CAP goods is available from the links below:
A Full Export Declaration must be made to CHIEF pre-shipment for all exports of CAP goods that are subject to:
- a claim for an export refund
- an export charge
- a mandatory CAP export licence
In some circumstances a control copy T5 may be required when travelling across another member state to confirm that the goods have actually exited the EU.
12.2 How do I export Excise goods?
There are special rules for the export of Excise goods, you must follow the rules set out in Notices 196 and 197.
Since January 2011, when the EMCS was implemented, it became compulsory to input the Administrative Reference Code (ARC) number, issued by EMCS into box 40 of the NES Export Declaration.
The ARC number is 21 digits long. It includes the year and the format of the ARC reference is illustrated below:
|2||Identifier of the member state where the e-AD was initially submitted||Alphabetic 2||GB|
|3||Nationally assigned, unique code||Alphanumeric 16||7R19YTE17UIC8J45|
|4||Check digit||Numeric 1||9|
Field 1 is the last 2 digits of the year of the formal acceptance of the movement.
Field 2 is taken from the list of EU member states
Field 3 must be filled with a unique identifier per EMCS movement. The way this field is used is under member state Administrations responsibility, but each EMCS movement must have a unique number.
Field 4 gives the check digit for the whole ARC that will help detect an error when keying the ARC.
An example of ARC reference currently allocated by the EMCS system is: Country Code (GB) and then 17 characters (alpha numeric).
If the EMCS is unavailable at the time when an excise declaration is to be made and no system recovery is imminent, there will be no ARC number available for the type ‘AAD’ field of box 40 of the export declaration. In these cases excise fallback procedures are implemented.
This means including any leading zeros. Please see example below.
An example of how the ARC should be input follows:
12GB00000000123456789 should be input as GB00000000123456789 not GB123456789
12.3 How do I export Excise goods when EMCS system is in fall-back?
When the electronic EMCS is in fall-back and cannot issue ARC numbers the CHIEF Export Declaration should be completed as follows.
The Fall-back Accompanying Document (FAD) (not Accompanying Administrative Document (AAD) should be input to box 40, and
The Local Reference Number (LRN) should be input instead of the ARC number.
When excise goods are being moved under fallback procedures. Box 40 (of the export declaration) previous document reference type ‘Fallback Accompanying Document’ (FAD) field must be used to record a LRN which is allocated by the warehouse keeper of dispatch. This LRN has no prescribed structure other than a limit of 20 characters. There will be no validation of this LRN. This reference number will be reflected only in the excise FAD.
If EMCS comes back on line before the export process is completed on CHIEF and the goods have been moved, then an amendment should be made to the Export Declaration to include the AAD code and the ARC number.
Note: if the Export Declaration has been released (P2P) by the time of the recovery of the EMCS system, please do not attempt to amend the export declaration. When the system recovery occurs, a submission to EMCS is still required. The LRN on the Export Declaration and EMCS will be used by HMRC to identify and complete the excise movement formalities in co-operation with the trader.
For further information regarding EMCS and the export of Excise goods please see Notice 197: Excise goods - receipt into and removal from an excise warehouse of excise goods.
12.4 The movement of CAP and Excise goods from the UK to Russia via Latvia/Finland or Estonia on a non-regular (unauthorised) shipping service
When goods are loaded onto a non-regular (unauthorised shipping service the EU Commission has ruled that this type of export must be treated a follows:
When goods are loaded onto a non-regular (unauthorised shipping service at, for example Hull, the export process finishes (meaning it is considered to be a direct export from the UK/EU and the goods lose their EU status. When the goods arrive at Riga/Helsinki or Tallin they are therefore treated as non-Community goods and need to move under external transit to get to the Russian border without paying duty and tax. The trader should follow one of the options described below:
(a) on arrival at Riga/Helsinki or Tallin the goods move by T1, the CT procedure
(b) Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), which would enable the goods to move across the EU/Russian border to the destination in Russia
There will be no EAD travelling with the goods and no electronic ECS message sent as the export is considered a ‘Direct Export’ not an ‘Indirect Export’. Therefore the CHIEF Export Declaration box 29 (Office of Exit) should not be completed.
13. Common/Union Transit and the NCTS
13.1 What is Union Transit?
This is a procedure that facilitates goods that are not in free circulation in the EU (non-EU goods) and in certain cases, Community goods, to move between 2 points within the Community, whilst the import duties and other charges are suspended. The Community Transit procedure begins at an Office of Departure and ends when the goods and documents are presented at the Office of Destination.
13.2 What is NCTS
The NCTS is an electronic application used in all the EU and Common Transit Countries, using a message flow system between Customs offices to process transit movements. The NCTS provides management and control of Union/common transit movements in the Union and common transit countries and for TIR movements within the Union.
Although the design and delivery may differ, each EU/EFTA country has an NCTS application for submitting transit declarations which are all interconnected through a central domain in Brussels. The NCTS is not connected to the CHIEF system in the UK, so separate declarations for transit and export movements are required.
13.3 What is Common Transit?
The ‘common’ transit procedure is used for the movement of goods between the EU and the other contracting parties to the Common Transit Convention (‘common transit countries’) or between the common transit countries. The common transit countries are the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein). The following countries’ are also, contracting parties to the Common Transit Convention. Turkey which became a contracting party on 1 December 2012, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which became a contracting party 1 July 2015 and Serbia which became a contracting party 1 February 2016.
The Europeans Commission’s Transit Manual and the UK Transit Manual Supplement are available below:
13.4 Process where Transit procedure follows Export procedure.
All goods for export must obtain Customs clearance or “Permission to Progress” (P2P) from CHIEF. Where it is required that the goods must remain under Customs control on one of the transit procedures they must subsequently be declared to the Transit (NCTS) system. CIP 18 (2015) explains the full procedures.
Free circulation goods that are not in Excise Duty suspension.
Export (CHIEF) system: When entering goods for export onto the CHIEF system the exporter/declarant should input the AI code (TRANS) into Box 44 of the export declaration. Box 29 (Office of Exit) should not be completed for these movements.
Transit (NCTS) System: Once P2P has been received from CHIEF a Union Transit declaration (T2) should be input onto NCTS. (Safety and Security data should be provided on the export declaration).
The Movement Reference Number (MRN) from the export declaration should be input into Box 40/44 (Produced certificates/previous references) of the NCTS declaration. This is achieved by selecting the ‘zzz other’ entry option from the ‘type’ field. The export MRN can then be entered in the “Document reference” box.
Free circulation goods in Excise Duty suspension
The Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) is an EU-wide computer system that’s used to record duty suspended movements of excise goods taking place within the EU. Where goods are exiting the Union the Excise movement is entered into the export declaration.
Excise (EMCS) system: An Electronic Administrative Document (EAD) is completed on the EMCS. EMCS generates the Excise Administrative Reference Code (ARC) number.
Export (CHIEF) system: An export declaration is completed on the CHIEF system. Box 29 must be completed to identify the appropriate office of exit. The ARC number generated by the EMCS system must be placed in Box 40, using Administrative Accompanying Document (AAD) in the previous document field. The Additional Information (AI) code TRANS must be shown in Box 44. (Where fall- back procedures have been agreed, the Fall-back Accompanying Document (FAD) number must be shown instead in the previous document field.)
Transit (NCTS) System: A T2 Union Transit declaration is completed on the NCTS. The Movement Reference Number (MRN) of the export declaration is to be included in Box 40.
The goods are presented to both the office of export and the transit office of departure in the UK.
A release to both the export and the Transit procedures must be obtained before moving the goods.
The goods and Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) must be presented at each office of transit.
The goods are presented together with the EAD at the office of exit and with the TAD being presented at the transit office of destination.
Duty suspended goods (including goods in Excise suspension) being re-exported
Where goods are released for export and are placed under the external transit procedure, the customs office of exit becomes the customs office of departure for the transit operation. The T1 Transit Procedure provides security for the goods and should not be used in conjunction with the EMCS system.
Export (CHIEF) system: An export declaration is completed on CHIEF. Box 29 should be left blank. The AI code TRANS must be shown in Box 44.
Transit (NCTS) System: A T1 Union Transit declaration is completed on the NCTS. The MRN of the export declaration is to be included in Box 40.
The goods are presented to both the office of export and the transit office of departure in the UK.
A release to both the export and the Transit procedures must be obtained before moving the goods.
The goods and TAD must be presented at each office of transit.
The goods and TAD must be presented at the office of destination.
13.5 What is an Authorised Consignor?
An Authorised Consignor is a person authorised by the competent authorities to carry out Transit operations without presenting the goods and the corresponding Transit declarations at the Office of Departure. The Authorised Consignor shall be the principal to the transit operation.
14. Non-statistical goods that can be declared for export using CPC 10 00 098
Certain goods are not needed for Overseas Trade Statistics but a Customs declaration is still required. The full list of goods and movements excluded from external trade statistics is laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) No 113/2010 Annex 1. The table below is only an extract from the Regulation Annex of goods which if they are in free circulation can be declared for export using CPC 10 00 098.
CPC 10 00 098 should not be used for goods that are dutiable or restricted or under any Customs reliefs even if they are identified in the Regulation Annex (in such cases the relevant export CPC for those types of goods should be used with an AI code ‘GEN45’ with statement ‘NON-STAT’ entered in box 44 of the declaration.
1.Means of payment which are legal tender and securities, including means which are payments for services, such as postage, taxes and user fees.
2.Goods moving between:
- the member state and its territorial enclaves of non-member countries
- the host member state and its territorial enclaves of non-member countries or international organisations (territorial enclaves include embassies and national Armed Forces stationed outside the territory of the mother country
Examples of such goods include:
-stores and equipment exported by British, Commonwealth and foreign government forces in the UK solely for their own use (including US Army or Air Force Exchange Service or US Navy Exchange) and such stores and equipment re-exported (sales of Military and Naval goods (including ships) by the British government to Customs abroad are commercial transactions which require full declarations)
-diplomatic mail and goods benefiting and consular immunity
3.Goods used as carriers of customised information, including software.
4.Supplied free of charge which are themselves not the subject of a commercial transaction, provided that their movement is with the sole intention of preparing or supporting and intended subsequence trade transaction by demonstrating the characteristics of goods or services such as:
(a) advertising materials
(b) commercial samples.
5.Goods for repair and replacement parts that are incorporated in the framework of the repair and the replaced defective parts. Note: if the goods are under IP or OPR the appropriate IP/OPR CPC must be used.
6.Means of transport, travelling in the course of their work, including spacecraft launchers at the time of launching.
15. Special territories of the Community
15.1 The special territories are:
- Aland Islands
- The Canary Islands
- The Channel Islands
- French overseas departments of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Reunion
- Mount Athos - also known as Agion Poros (Greece)
There is further information, including information on associated and independent territories in Volume 3 part 2 of the Tariff.
15.2 Do I need an Export Declaration if I export to the Channel Islands?
Although the Channel Islands are part of the Customs territory of the EU they do not form part of the fiscal territory. This means that under the Value Added Tax Regulations 1995 (Statutory Instrument 1995/2518) exports to the Channel Island have to comply with the Customs Code and its Implementing Provisions.
Exports to the Channel Islands is a domestic movement within the UK on which statistical data is not compiled, so for goods in free circulation exported to the Channel Islands a non-statistical declaration using CPC 10 00 098 can be made, see paragraph 11.5.
For maritime exports from Poole, Weymouth and Portsmouth simplified arrangements may be used, a combined Consignment Note and a Customs Declaration may be used.
For exports by air at inventory linked locations a form C21 procedure may be used. At non-inventory linked sites an airway bill and manifest may be used.
16. Other export processes and regimes
16.1 Do I need to declare commercial or business goods if I take them out of the UK in my baggage (referred to as MiB)?
MiB is a term referring to commercial goods you take with you in your accompanied baggage or in your private vehicle.
As with any commercial or business goods that are leaving the EU (including to ‘special territories’ see section 15) you or your agent must make a Customs Export Declaration. This Customs declaration should be submitted electronically via the CHIEF system before arriving at the port/airport Exceptionally you may complete a paper C88. If submitting a paper export declaration at an [air] port, it may take longer to process the declaration than if the export declaration was submitted electronically to CHIEF.
If you are using the low-value goods or non-statistical procedures, you will only have to complete a minimum number of boxes.
Arriving at the airport
- arrive well before your scheduled departure time (we suggest a minimum of 2 hours)
- present the goods to the export officer at the (air)port, of departure together with a copy of the completed Customs Export Declaration which should include the MRN allocated by CHIEF
- if an officer is not in attendance you must use the red phone at the export point to speak to an officer and follow the instructions given
The declaration and related documents (including export licences)
The Export Declaration must be accompanied by any other documentation which may be required, for example, an export licence and the export licence details must be declared in box 44 of the Customs declaration.
If your goods are held under a Customs relief procedure you must ensure that the correct CPC is used to re-export those goods otherwise you may be liable to full payment of the duty and tax due.
To support your claim for the VAT zero-rating of your goods, you need official evidence that the goods have left the EU. If you are going to a non-EU country direct, this will take place in the UK. However, if you are travelling via another member state of the EU, you will need to ensure that you have your EAD to travel with your goods. This will be scanned and finalised when you leave the EU.
16.2 What is OPR?
OPR provides duty relief on imports from third countries of goods which have been produced from previously exported Community goods. It enables businesses to take advantage of cheaper man power cost outside the EU, but encourages the use of EU produced raw materials to manufacture the finished products. Goods may also be temporarily exported to undergo processing that is not available within the Community. This regime also enables faulty goods to be returned to a third country for repair or replacement for equivalent goods under the Standard Exchange System.
16.3 What is IP?
IP is a procedure which allows you to suspend duties and taxes on goods imported from outside the EU for processing. You need a prior authorisation to use the procedure. Further information on IP is available in Notice 3001: customs special procedures for the Union Customs Code.
16.4 Exporting goods for return under Returned Goods Relief
Under this relief goods must be in an unaltered condition on re-import to the EU, just as they were exported, therefore no processing can have taken place unless it was to maintain the goods in working condition and this work was not planned at export. The goods must have been in free circulation at export and not received any export refunds. They must also be returned within a 3 year time frame. When these eligibility requirements are met Customs Duty will not be due on the re-import.
In addition to complying with the conditions listed above, to be eligible for VAT relief, the person that exported the goods must be the person claiming Returned Goods Relief (RGR) on re-import, otherwise VAT will be due.
You do not need prior authorisation for this procedure you can export your goods by submitting an Export Declaration to CHIEF using the relevant CPC.
By following the normal NES procedure you will have the export evidence needed to support your claim for relief when the goods are re-imported.
However, you might want to use one or more of the following alternatives, particularly if your business regularly involves the temporary export of free circulation goods for subsequent return unaltered:
- RGR CPC 23 00 000 for goods exported as freight - although not mandatory, the advantage of using this CPC is that you can then make a simplified RGR declaration when importing your goods under CPC 61 23 F01 (you must retain the export declaration, without your export evidence you cannot apply for RGR relief and will have to pay the full import duty and VAT due at re-import) - (see Notice 236)
- the ATA carnet
- the duplicate list (this is only available at Heathrow Airport)
16.5 What is meant by EU Export preference?
A number of countries, such as Chile, Israel, Mexico, South Africa and those in EFTA give preferential treatment to certain goods originating in the EU. This means that your customers in these countries will pay reduced or nil rate of Customs Duty on your goods when they import them.
Please note: the rules for determining EU preferential ‘origin’ are often very specific. For example, goods manufactured in the UK/EU do not necessarily ‘originate’ for the purpose of EU Preference. Goods do not automatically acquire EU origin simply because EU duty has been paid on them, or because they were purchased from a UK or other EU source. Free circulation does not equate to EU origin for preference purposes.
Full details about exporting under preference, is contained in Notice 827: European Community preferences - export procedure and Notice 828: Export preferences - Rules of Origin for export. These give information about the origin rules that must be met for goods to qualify for preferential Tariff treatment. If you need to know the actual duty rates that will apply in the country of import you will need to contact BIS (country helpdesk), the website link is available in 8.2 - Other government departments contact list
16.6 Trade with Turkey
The EU has a Customs Union with Turkey. A.TR certificates are used to indicate that goods are in free circulation and are therefore entitled (under the terms of the Customs Union) to duty free entry into Turkey. The use of an A.TR certificate is further explained in Notice 812: European Community preferences - trade with Turkey. This notice will also explain the different procedures that apply to most agricultural products that are not covered by the Union.
16.7 What is an ATA - Temporary Admission, Carnet?
An ATA Carnet may be used to simplify Customs clearance of goods being temporarily exported. They replace the normal Export Declaration both at export and re-import.
Note: a C21 may be required to be entered to CHIEF at inventory linked locations to clear the inventory system.
The ATA Carnet is accepted in many countries worldwide into which the goods are being temporarily imported. ATA Carnets are subject to the normal export prohibitions and restrictions and licensing rules.
The Carnet cannot be used for goods that are:
- exported for processing or repair
- exported by post
- not in free circulation before export from the UK
Chambers of Commerce issue ATA Carnets in the UK subject to receiving guarantees or deposits. Their website is linked at paragraph 9.2 - Contact list
16.8 What is the TIR procedure?
The TIR procedure allows goods in road vehicles or containers sealed by Customs to cross one or more countries en route to their non-EU destination with the minimum of Customs interference. TIR Carnets are used for this purpose. The arrangements for obtaining them and the conditions are explained in Transit Manual TIR procedures.
16.9 Humanitarian aid/disaster relief
The UK puts into place the recommendation of the World Customs Organisation aimed at speeding up the forwarding of relief consignments in the event of disasters. In the case of exports the recommendation provides for:
- official certification of list of the contents of relief consignments
- the securing of goods under Customs seals, to aid the passage of the goods through the territories of other signatory countries and admission of the goods into the countries of destination
The term ‘disaster’ is to be taken to include natural disasters, eg, floods, earthquakes and similar catastrophes.
Action is to be taken under these arrangements only at the request of exporters or their agents. The arrangements apply to goods of all kinds, except tobacco products and alcoholic liquor but they are normally expected to cover:
- prefabricated buildings
- other emergency items
The arrangements do not affect normal Customs export documentation. Pre-entry, export licensing or other export restrictions requirements continue to apply. On each occasion the exporter or agent must make a formal application to Customs at the port for the certification and sealing of the goods to be exported. The exporter is to supply a list of the goods to be exported, clearly indicating the place and organisation to which the consignment is being sent. It is the exporter’s responsibility to ensure that a sufficient number of copies of the list are provided for delivery to Customs authorities in the countries of transit and destination.
Consignments of goods (for example, second hand clothing and bedding) to countries which although they have not suffered a recent disaster are undergoing a period of hardship or economic difficulty should be expedited, but not circumvent normal freight controls. The procedures covering Disaster Relief Arrangements should be followed where requested by the exporter or their representative.
17. Other miscellaneous requirements
17.1 Sealing requirements for containers and vehicles.
Notice 205: official Customs seals and trader sealing, gives details advice and information on sealing.
It is a legal requirement for information to be provided to Customs about exports loaded on the export means of transport.
When the export goods have been loaded, the port operators of the ship or aircraft (or their agents) as part of the outward clearance arrangements must, on request, provide Customs with a list of goods on board the export means of transport.
The document listing the loaded goods is termed as the manifest. The information that must be shown on the manifest is set out below.
Safety and security regulations state that the carrier will notify third countries of security data in advance of sailing.
Non container traffic - goods exported by ship
The manifest must contain the following information for each consignment:
- the name of the consignor, or forwarding agent or shipper
- the marks and numbers of the packages
- the number and type of packages, or quantity for bulked goods
- a description of the goods
- safety and security data
A ships manifest must be presented to Customs within 14 days of the date of departure of the vessel, except where local arrangements apply.
Goods exported by aircraft
With the exception of airlines using computerised inventory systems approved by Customs, aircraft manifests must show, for each consignment, the required particulars on a form C257. The manifest must be presented to Customs when applying for outward clearance for the aircraft.
For goods exported in containers, the ship or aircraft manifest must show the:
- identifying number of the container
- name(s) of the operator(s) of the container
For each consignment in the container the vehicle manifest must give the information called for under non-container traffic - goods exported by ship.
18. Unique Consignment Reference numbers
The principal NES referencing system is the Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) of which there are 2 main types - DUCR and MUCR. Every CHIEF declaration will have a DUCR whilst MUCRs are used either to identify a consignment to a means of transport (air) or to group together co-loaded consignments (maritime).
A DUCR is a mandatory requirement for export as it identifies an individual electronic CHIEF declaration and is to enable declarants to identify exported goods to a specific meaningful reference within their own commercial records.
A MUCR is used to track individual consignments within a consolidation declaration. A consolidation declaration is where goods from different exporters are grouped together. Each group of goods has a separate Export Declaration with its own DUCR. All goods exported by air must have a MUCR.
A DUCR is a reference of up to 35 characters (plus an optional numeric ‘Part’ identity) allocated by a trader to a consignment of goods and recorded on the relevant Customs declaration(s). CHIEF will initially ensure that a DUCR is unique and once it is recorded on CHIEF a DUCR cannot be amended.
DUCRs must be included on all Full Export Declarations, C21s, Exit Summary Declarations and on both PSA and SD submitted by traders authorised for Simplified Procedures. For Simplified Procedures, the DUCR links the PSA to the SD and provides an audit trail in the authorised traders’ records. Linking PSA to SD is the only instance where a DUCR can exist more than once. If there is more than one SD per PSA, the DUCR Part field is used to make the DUCR unique for each shipment under the PSA.
The standard format of DUCR used in the NES is based on the recommended World Customs Organization (WCO) draft, that is, up to 35 characters in length in 4 parts as follows:
- first part = the year the UCR was allocated, for example ‘2’ if allocated in 2012
- second part = the country where the UCR was allocated - typically ‘GB’ for UK export declarations
- third part = the identity of the (authorised) trader as known to Customs - in the UK this will be the EORI, followed by a hyphen
- fourth part = a unique (within a trader’s system) series of characters which a trader devises which provides an audit trail within their commercial accounting systems - this part is restricted to numbers between 0 to 9, upper case letters A to Z or a hyphen’-‘
An example of a DUCR based on the above is ‘2GB123456789012ABC1234’. Any unused spaces should be left blank, unlike the ARC number, that is, you do not need to include zeros to make the length the full 35 characters.
There is an additional field of 4 characters that may be used in conjunction with the DUCR.
This field contains the Check Letter calculation automatically generated by CHIEF and which may be used to guard against mis-keying. CHIEF does not insist that a Check Letter is input, when a DUCR is used against a movement, but when one is input, it is checked and the DUCR rejected if found not to match that generated at the time of declaration input.
The remaining 3 characters in this field are for the optional input of a Part identity and which allows several Export Declarations to have the same core DUCR. It is this, in combination with the (up to) 35 character UCR which must be unique. An example of Part identity use would be a large consignment covered by a single DUCR but being exported on say 3 vessels over a period of weeks or months. Ideally, the DUCR would use a common identifier in the trader’s records, but each movement of the goods would have a separate CHIEF declaration, using the same DUCR but designated as Part 001, 002 and 003.
Note: DUCRs have been implemented on CHIEF so that WCO UCR standards are compatible with NES, allowing non-UK UCR to be quoted on NES declarations.
18.2 MUCR consolidation and groupage
Whilst a DUCR directly relates to an individual CHIEF declaration, MUCR are used to associate/link several DUCR or as a key to a known frontier movement reference such as an Airway Bill.
MUCR can make the ‘Arrival’ process (and Customs clearance) simpler.
Where a container holds a number of consignments from different exporters, each of which has a DUCR, a MUCR may be assigned once the load has been consolidated. Only this single MUCR then need be subject to an arrival message rather than every DUCR when referring to consignments within the container/consolidation.
The ‘Association’ of DUCR to MUCR can be done at various stages:
at the time of the declaration - by including the MUCR on the declaration alongside the DUCR
by use of the designated CHIEF Association transaction into which MUCR and the DUCR to be consolidated can be keyed
at the time of Arrival Message submitted to CHIEF (anticipated or actual) at a Customs controlled location by providing both the DUCR and MUCR in the Arrival Message
It should be noted that a MUCR will not process properly if has not been ‘closed’ - once all DUCR have been Associated the MUCR is closed either using the CHIEF transaction AEAC (during the association process) or at the end of the Association process by transaction ACST.
Transaction AEAC can also be used to :-
- dis-associate a DUCR from a MUCR when for example, a consignment presented as part of a consolidation is not now to be exported
- associate a MUCR or DUCR with a higher level MUCR
MUCR formats can be found in Volume 3 of the UK Tariff.
18.3 Bulk UCR
There is one other type of UCR. Normally an Export Declaration covers a single consignment from one exporter, but, NES has a facility where an approved agent/representative can submit one declaration for consignments from up to 99 exporters, this facility is called ‘bulk entry’.
Other than fast parcel operators who are authorised to use the MOU by fulfilling exacting requirements, ‘bulking’ covers goods to only one consignee.
Depending on the circumstances and the terms of individual approvals, a list of the EORI numbers of all of the exporters must also be supplied, including a reference number or Bulk UCR (BUCR) for each EORI. This BUCR is not supported as a reference by CHIEF so does not need to be unique but the declarant must be able to use this BUCR to trace consignments back through their records.
19. Mandatory data requirements for Export Declarations
This is meant to be a guide only to the data elements required for different types of Export Declaration. The Customs Code Implementing Regulation (Reg 2454/93) Annex 37 sets out the mandatory data elements for an Export Declaration. Additionally, the ECS, safety and security data elements set out in Annex 30A should also be included where necessary (for example, if they are ‘dangerous goods’ the UN Dangerous Goods code should be included).
Data requirements differ depending on the CPC used or other circumstances.
|ATA Carnet||ATA stands for ‘Admission Temporaire - Temporary admission’. The carnets are multi-sheet documents issued by Chambers of Commerce, with the backing of an international guarantee chain, to facilitate the temporary export and re-import of all kinds of goods|
|A.TR documents||Certificates are used to show that goods are entitled to preferential rates of duty in Turkey.|
|BIS||Department for Business, Innovation and Skills formerly BERR Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform|
|CAP||Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union|
|CCP||Customs Civil Penalty|
|CIE||Customs Input Entry|
|CHIEF||Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight - the UK Exports Computer System|
|CPC||Customs Procedure Code|
|CSP||Community Systems Provider|
|CSE||Customs Supervised Exports|
|DEP||Designated Export Place|
|Defra||Department of Environment, Food and Regional Affairs|
|DUCR||Declaration Unique Consignment Reference|
|EAD||Export Accompanying Document|
|ECS||Export Control System|
|EDCS||Electronic Data Capture System|
|EIDR||Entry in Declarants Records|
|EDIFACT||Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport|
|EFTA||European Free Trade Association.|
|MUCR||Master Unique Consignment Reference|
|NCH||National Clearance Hub|
|NCTS||New Computerised Transit System|
|NES||National Export System|
|NILE||Non-Inventory Linked Environment|
|OGD||Other government department|
|OMS||Other member states|
|P2P||Permission to Progress|
|RPA||Rural Payments Agency|
|SDP||Simplified Declaration Procedure|
|UCR||Unique Consignment Reference|
|VAT||Value Added Tax|
21. Glossary of terms
|Acceptance||Legal acceptance of a declaration occurs when the ‘Arrival message’ is submitted to CHIEF and the goods are available for inspection. For consignments exported under LCP the Arrival message is automatically generated by CHIEF at the ‘from time’ when goods will be available for inspection at the LCP location.|
|Agent||A person appointed to represent another in their dealings with Customs. Legally representation may be either direct or indirect.|
|Arrival message||When declarations have been pre-lodged and the goods subsequently arrive at the frontier, a message must be sent to CHIEF to update the entry. This ‘Arrival message’ tells CHIEF that the goods are now at the port/airport and are available for inspection. The ‘Arrival message’ formally places the pre-lodged declaration under Customs control and the legal acceptance date and time of the entry is established and validation performed on the declaration details.|
|Appeals||A system for dealing with disputes between HMRC and traders as well as members of the public.|
|Authorised operator||A trader, authorised by Customs to operate one or all of the Export Simplified Procedures (SDP and LCP) and/or a DEP. It also includes an exporter or third party allowed to make full export declarations to CHIEF or who is authorised for a CHIEF ‘Loader’ role.|
|Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)||One of the licensing authorities, they are also a centralised contact point for business advice.|
|Common Transit||Used to describe Community Transit movements to, from or via EFTA countries.|
|Union Transit||A system of controlling the movement of certain goods across the territory of the Community and that of other signatories to the Transit Convention.|
|Community Systems Provider (CSP)||An arrangement under which traders can input data from their own computer terminals to CHIEF via a Trade System Operator.|
|Computerised Inventory System||A computerised system that provides a range of functions, including the arrival and departure of consignments within premises or a designated area. See also CSP above.|
|CPC||Customs Procedure Code. A code entered in box 37 of the Export Declaration which identifies the regime to which goods are being entered and from which they have been removed (if applicable).|
|Customs||Either HMRC or for the purpose of this notice ‘Customs’ may mean UK Border Agency (UKBA) who carry out Customs Control.|
|Customs clearance||The clearance of a declaration occurs when Customs have accepted and formally released the goods for export by using a P2P message.|
|Customs Supervised Export||National authorisation scheme being introduced 1 May 2016 that allows goods to be declared at the traders premises. This requires prior authorisation. Where a two part declaration is also required, trader has to also apply for SDP.|
|Declarant||The person legally responsible for the accuracy of the information given in the declaration the authenticity of the documents which relate to it and, compliance with all the obligations relating to the entry of the goods under the procedure concerned.|
|Declaration||A declaration made in the appropriate form to Customs indicating the intention to declare goods to the export procedure.|
|Departure message||Where the vessel/aircraft/vehicle directly leaves the UK (and the EU) a ‘Goods Departed’ message must be sent to CHIEF to confirm that the goods actually departed. The departure message should advise the date/time, freight location and transport details. UCR, mode of transport and flag code.|
|Designated Export Place (DEP)||A national UK customs approved trader premises inland, where goods may be declared to CHIEF using any export procedure, except LCP.|
|Direct Export||Refers to goods exported directly from the UK to a non-EU country.|
|Direct representation||A third party makes a Customs Declaration in a trader’s name, on the trader’s behalf. See also ‘Indirect representation’.|
|Dutiable or restricted||For export purposes, dutiable or restricted goods include:
- goods subject to CAP licensing
- transit and transhipment goods
-goods subject to export licensing
-any other goods for which Customs specifically require a pre-shipment declaration (for example, OPR goods, OPT goods)
-goods from Customs and/or Excise warehouses
-goods chargeable with any duty not paid
-goods subject to IP
|Export Accompanying Document (EAD)||Paper document accompanying indirect exports under the Export Control System.|
|Export Control System (ECS)||electronic intra EU messaging system for the control of indirect exports.|
|Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)||The method of exchanging messages between computer systems over an electronic communications network nationally and internationally.|
|Email (electronic mail) is the electronic transmission of mail between users. For NES it can be used for submitting declarations to CHIEF (via EDCS) and returning responses.|
|EDIFACT||An EDIFACT message is the basic unit for communicating information electronically. For example, an Export Declaration is submitted as a CUSDEC (Customs Declaration) EDIFACT message.|
|EORI||Economic Operator Registration and Identification number.|
|Export||The movement of goods to a destination outside the European Community|
|Exporter||Customs definition of exporter:
(a) the person established in the customs territory of the Union who, at the time when the declaration is accepted, holds the contract with the consignee in the third country and has the power for determining that the goods are to be brought to a destination outside the customs territory of the Union.
(b) the private individual carrying the goods to be exported where these goods are contained in the private individual’s personal baggage.
(c) in other cases, the person established in the customs territory of the Union who has the power for determining that the goods are to be brought to a destination outside the customs territory of the Union.
|Ex-works||Means the price that goods are at the factory gates, they have no shipping or insurance cost added.|
|Free circulation||Goods imported into the Community are in free circulation in the Community if all import formalities have been completed and all duties, levies or equivalent charges have been paid and not refunded. Goods originating in the Community are also in free circulation.|
|Indirect export||Refers to goods declared in the UK leaving the European Union via another member state or vice versa.|
|Indirect Representation||A third party makes a Customs Declaration in their own name, but on behalf of a trader. See also ‘Direct’ representation.|
|LCP||LCP is an inland clearing process as opposed to SDP which is at the frontier. A simplified procedure which may include submitting a PSA to CHIEF, entry in commercial record and subsequent submission of a SD to CHIEF within a specified period.|
|Loader||A person who is authorised for a Loader role on CHIEF.|
|MIB||Merchandise in Baggage.|
|NCH||National Clearance Hub, Central EPU, located in Salford, that processes freight declarations for imports and exports.|
|NES||UK CHIEF based export system providing the means to make electronic declarations for all the Customs export procedures.|
|OPR||Outward Processing Relief|
|Penalties||Financial penalties applied for breaches of Customs rules (See CCP).|
|Presentation of goods||The notification to Customs with the ‘Arrival’ message.|
|Pre-Shipment Advice (PSA)||A simplified export declaration, submitted to Customs prior to the time of shipment. The advice must be made electronically. The PSA is usually followed by a SD.|
|Representative||A person appointed on behalf of another to carry out the acts and formalities required by Customs rules. Representatives may be either Direct or Indirect. A representative must state who they are acting on behalf of, specify the type of representation, and be empowered to act in that capacity.|
|RGR||Returned Goods Relief|
|SDP||The Simplified Procedure requires a 2-stage declaration to CHIEF, the PSA followed by SD. The first stage is the provision of brief details of the consignment against which Customs clearance is given. The second stage requires the submission of a full SD within a specific period.|
|SSN||Standard shipping note.|
|Special territory||A territory that is part of the Community for Customs purposes, but outside the fiscal territory.|
|Submitting trader||The person who generates the data to CHIEF (that is, pushes the send button to submit the data to CHIEF). This is usually the declarant, though maybe a third party.|
|Supplementary Declaration||Another name used to describe a post-shipment declaration. Under NES it is an electronic message sent to CHIEF to declare statistical and control information for all consignments exported under either an LCP or SDP PSA|
|TIR||Transports Internationaux Routiers, a system involving the issue to road haulier’s of carnets which allow loaded vehicles to cross national frontiers with minimum Customs formalities.|
|Tariff||HM Revenue and Customs Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom.
It is in 3 volumes:
- Volume 1 - General information
-Volume 2 - Schedule of duty and trade statistical description, codes and rates
-Volume 3 - Customs freight procedures.
|Third countries||Countries that are outside the Customs territory of the Community. Third countries are also known as non-Community countries.|
|Transit||See ‘Community Transit’.|
|Unique Consignment Reference||A reference allocated by the authorised trader to each exporter consignment which can be use by HMRC during an audit to trace that consignment in the traders records.|
|VAT||Value Added Tax.|
|Warehouse types||A Customs warehouses can either be a defined location, such as premises or place, or an inventory system authorised by Customs for storing non-Union goods that are:
chargeable with import VAT and/or VAT, or
otherwise not in free circulation.
A customs warehouse is a defined location authorised by customs for storing non Community goods that are:
- Chargeable with import duty and/or import VAT
- Or otherwise not in free circulation
Union legislation allows two different types of Customs warehouse which are:
- Type R - Public Warehouse
- Type U - Private Warehouse.
Appendix A - useful contact details
General Customs (including NES enquiries)
VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline - Telephone: 0300 200 3700
Detailed NES Information
NES Helpdesk - Telephone: 03000 582 418
CHIEF Operations and NES WEB form helpdesk
13th Floor South
Appendix B - trade request for CHIEF access via W.E.X. channels PA7
Appendix C - C21- Customs Clearance Request
Your rights and obligations
Your Charter explains what you can expect from us and what we expect from you. For more information go to Your Charter.
Do you have any comments or suggestions?
If you have any comments or suggestions to make about this notice, please write to:
Export and Transit Policy
10th Floor South East
21, Victoria Avenue
Please note this address is not for general enquiries.
For your general enquiries please call our Helpline on Telephone: 0300 200 3700.
Putting things right
If you are unhappy with our service, please contact the person or office you have been dealing with. They will try to put things right. If you are still unhappy, they will tell you how to complain.
If you want to know more about making a complaint go to hmrc.gov.uk and under quick links, select Complaints and appeals.
How we use your information
HMRC is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. We hold information for the purposes specified in our notification to the Information Commissioner, including the assessment and collection of tax and duties, the payment of benefits and the prevention and detection of crime, and may use this information for any of them.
We may get information about you from others, or we may give information to them. If we do, it will only be as the law permits to:
- check the accuracy of information
- prevent or detect crime
- protect public funds
We may check information we receive about you with what is already in our records. This can include information provided by you, as well as by others, such as other government departments or agencies and overseas tax and Customs authorities. We will not give information to anyone outside HMRC unless the law permits us to do so. For more information go to hmrc.gov.uk and look for Data Protection Act within the Search facility.