Guidance

Request Management Support System data on imports and exports

Find out how to request and buy Management Support System (MSS) data from HMRC if you're a company that imports or exports goods.

When a customs audit takes place, HMRC holds records of actual data entered and raises assessments on duties for imports not recorded in the trader’s records but actually declared to customs. This can happen when an agent fails to make a correct declaration.

It’s your responsibility to correctly declare goods and only negligible liability is placed on your agent. Larger traders with multi-site operations can find it difficult to keep records of imports due to the number of different locations and agents.

The MSS data HMRC provides helps simplify and improve the accuracy of your records for example, by giving accurate figures for the total amount of duty paid against value of goods entered.

What information is in a report

There are 4 standard reports available covering:

  • import item
  • import entry
  • import tax lines
  • export item

The import and export item reports should meet the needs of most HMRC customers.

The reports are sent to a named responsible person in your business and include:

  • entry date
  • commodity code
  • Customs Procedure Code
  • value of goods and tax paid
  • others items of data

Not all data items on the MSS can be purchased in the reports. There is information on the system which cannot be released because it could compromise HMRC control activities.

Request a sample of the data

You can request a single sample of 1 month’s recent import and export data in the standard entry item format to help you decide if subscription to the scheme will be of benefit.

To request the sample data the responsible person in your business, for example, sole proprietor, partner or director should email: uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and include:

  • the name and address of the business
  • the email address where HMRC can send the MSS reports
  • whether import data, export data or both is required
  • VAT or Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) of the business

Minimum sign up for monthly and one-off reports

You can request both ongoing and one-off reports.

If you request ongoing reports, you must sign up to receive them for a minimum of 12 months. For example, if you sign up in January 2018, you will receive ongoing reports from January 2018 to December 2018. Backdated requests cannot be accepted.

After 12 months, you will be sent a renewal email notification and invoice for you to sign up for another 12 months. If you do not wish to renew email: uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

You can also request one-off retrospective reports, as long as the report period requested is within the last 4 years.

How to request a report

If you’re a trader

Send the completed MSS Agreement (PDF, 334KB, 12 pages) and a covering letter to the MSS Team at email: uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

If you’re a third party

Complete the MSS Agreement for third parties (PDF, 330KB, 11 pages) and send it to the MSS Team at email: uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk with a:

  • covering letter
  • signed letter from the company who owns the VAT number(s) and/or EORI

Checklist

Use this checklist to make sure your application is correct and includes all the information needed.

Covering letter

You must include a covering letter which:

  • is on company headed paper
  • is signed by the authorised person
  • has the dates or month the applicant requires historic/ongoing data to cover or begin
  • uses the standard wording in Schedule D, page 10, of the agreement including the information in the square brackets and relevant wording in the curly brackets

Agreement

You must complete each page of the agreement.

Page 1 should include the:

  • same dates as the covering letter
  • applicant or 3rd party company name
  • dates for the data required if you want to receive historic data
  • wish to receive ongoing data is specified and start month matches cover letter and above (if relevant)
  • type of Standard Report options completed

Page 2 should include:

  • the address of the applicant company
  • up to 3 email addresses and the address holders names, which can be:
    • the applicant or 3rd party applicant (if relevant)
    • data recipient (if different to either of above)
    • invoice recipient
  • the VAT/EORI numbers
  • whether you want all VAT/EORI number reports on one spreadsheet (write ‘Single’) or a separate one for each number (write ‘Separate’)
  • the format you require the report(s)
  • the authorised person (not 3rd party) including their signature, forename and surname and position in the company

Page 3 should include any additional requested information or show ‘n/a’ if not requested.

How the data is sent to you

Reports are sent by email to the nominated representative, normally as an Excel spreadsheet.

If you agree to receive the reports by email, HMRC will not be responsible for the security of the information once it has been sent to you.

Charges

  1. A single Standard Report will be provided by the client for the agreed duration of the agreement, at a cost of £240 plus VAT per VAT registration per year.

  2. Any additional Standard Reports will be provided at an additional cost of £240 plus VAT per VAT registration per year for each report.

  3. A purchaser who requires 4 separate Standard Reports for a single VAT registration number would have to pay £960 plus VAT per year.

  4. For each different VAT registration held, where the purchaser requires a separate monthly Standard Report, a separate charge will be levied. Therefore if the purchaser requests single monthly reports on 4 different VAT registrations the cost of that data for a year would be £960 plus VAT per year. However, the purchaser can elect to receive a single Standard Report containing details of all the separate VAT registrations, the cost of that data for a year would then be £240 plus VAT.

  5. Data will be provided each month from the point of acceptance to the scheme.

  6. Should the purchaser require a separate report that deviates from the Standard Report then this will represent a non-standard enquiry, which will be chargeable at a rate of £423.75 plus VAT per year for each VAT registration monthly report.

  7. Additionally, should the purchaser require a Standard Report for historical data before the date of sign up, then this report will be charged at a rate of £240 plus VAT per year. The maximum amount of historical data available is 4 years and the maximum charge is therefore £960 plus VAT per year.

  8. Non-standard reports of historical data are also available at a rate of £423.75 plus VAT per year.

  9. Where reports are requested for a period covering less than 12 months charges will be applied at a pro-rata monthly rate of £20 plus VAT for Standard Reports and £35.31 plus VAT for Non-Standard Reports.

Customs warehouse reports

This report is designed to help managers or owners of customs warehouses to assess against their own records and help view certain items of information for their warehouse operations.

Complete the Customs Warehouse Agreement (PDF, 478KB, 10 pages) to request a Customs Warehouse Data report and send it to the MSS Team at email: uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

The data report details:

  • premises (warehouse) number
  • entry processing unit (EPU) number
  • entry number
  • entry date customs procedure code
  • number of items
  • commodity code

Reports to warehouse operators are only available in the format listed above.

Charge

Each warehouse premises number is for a separate warehouse data report and is charged at £20 per report (plus VAT).

Partial entry request

If you’ve a query about an individual entry, the MSS team can supply a partial entry print.

Data is held in the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) MSS database for 4 years, entries older than 4 years are not available.

Complete a partial entry request form to ask for a copy of an entry. You also need an original signed letter on business headed paper from the company owning the EORI number.

The form and letter must be signed by the responsible person of the business, for example sole proprietor, CFO, CEO, partner, company secretary or director and sent it to the MSS Team at email: uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

This service is only available for importers and exporters.

Charges

There is no charge for this service but customers are limited to 20 requests.

EORI number reports

EORI reports help traders that, before EORI, were issued Traders Unique Reference Numbers (TURN) with separate suffixes, to identify branches that are not themselves legal entities.

The reports list entries made by the trader where a header additional information statement starting with ‘BR’ (or ‘AG’ if the trader is acting as a declarant/representative) is entered in Box 44. If no such code is entered the entry will not appear on the reports.

The reports are to help reconciliation, in particular against:

  • C79s
  • duty deferment statements

Complete the EORI report form to request a report.

How to identify branches or divisions

Some Economic Operators use TURN to help identify imports or exports and revenue due against individual branches or divisions.

As branches or divisions do not qualify for an EORI number, this may cause problems for Economic Operators set up in this way.

HMRC has 2 processes in place which may help associate declarations to individual branches or divisions.

Option 1

HMRC has set up 2 Additional Information (AI) statement codes at header level in box 44 of the C88 declaration to identify the branch importing, exporting or acting as declarant when a customs declaration is made. These codes are:

  • BR followed by a 3 digit numeric code for importers or exporters
  • AG followed by a 3 digit numeric code for agents or declarants

It’s likely the 3 digit numeric code used will be the same as the current TURN suffix but you’re free to choose any number you wish. Both codes can appear on the same declaration if necessary.

You do not need to tell customs the numbers you’ve chosen to identify your branches. However, you’ll need to keep records and provide this information to HMRC, if requested.

Four new EORI reports are available to importers, exporters, agents or declarants on a monthly basis:

  • BR imports
  • BR exports
  • AG imports
  • AG exports

They list all entries made where the BR or AG code has been entered in box 44, in particular against C79s. If no code is entered in box 44, the entry will not appear on the report.

The report includes:

  • the entry number
  • date
  • EPU
  • declaration unique consignment reference (UCR)
  • master UCR
  • agent’s reference
  • BR or AG code in box 44

Reports will normally be sent within 15 working days of month end (for imports) and between the 15th working day and the end of the month following submission of the entry (for exports).

Option 2

This solution is for importers only.

Add your 3 digit branch identifier number as part of the agent’s reference in box 7 of the C88 customs declaration, for example TGR12867498/002 or 001 - FWAYU561829.

As box 7 of the declaration also appears on the C79 (a form detailing each month all your imports where VAT has been charged) this may help reconciliation of your imports against branches and may be used with or instead of the MSS report detailed above.

Contact the MSS team to sign up for EORI reports.

This team is not responsible for issuing EORI numbers.

Charges

There is no charge for the EORI report.

Further information

Email: uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk for more information on the MSS Data to the Trade Scheme.

Published 6 December 2014
Last updated 7 September 2018 + show all updates
  1. A checklist has been added to help when completing an agreement and the Management Support System agreements have been updated.
  2. Email address and postal address for sending your agreements has been updated.
  3. A new section for requesting customs warehouse data reports has been added to the guide.
  4. The minimum sign up paragraph has been updated to provide further clarification about the reports that can be provided.
  5. The MSS agreement document has been updated.
  6. First published.