Management Support System: supporting guidance

The Management Support System (MSS) explains how importers can keep more accurate administrative records and pay the correct amount of duty.

Trade benefits

When a customs audit takes place, the local officer holds records of actual data entered and will raise assessments against traders on duties for imports not recognised by the trader’s records but actually declared to customs. This mainly arises where an appointed agent has inadvertently failed to make a correct declaration.

It is the importer who is responsible for correctly declaring goods and only negligible liability is placed upon the agent. Larger traders with multi-site operations have particular difficulty in keeping administrative records of their imports due to the number of different locations employing different agents.

Providing records to traders means their work would be simplified and they would have a better chance of getting it right. Customs would need to spend less time chasing cases of inadvertent non-compliance.

Traders own management information and administration systems would also benefit, for example, by giving accurate figures for total amount of duty paid against value of goods entered.

Information available in a report

4 standard reports are available covering:

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

It’s intended that the import and export item reports should be able to meet the requirements of the majority of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) customers.

HMRC will supply information such as entry date, commodity code, Customs Procedure Code, value of goods and tax paid as well as many others items of data, to a named responsible person of the business.

The request should clearly indicate whether import data, export data or both is required, and provide an email address for receipt of the data.

Not all data items available on MSS are available for purchase in reports, since there’s information on the system which can’t be released to traders because it could compromise HMRC control activities.

How data is dispatched

Data is dispatched by email to the nominated representative. The normal format for electronic delivery is a downloaded Excel spreadsheet. In agreeing this method of communication, HMRC aren’t liable for the security of the information once it has been transmitted by email on the internet.


Please see the schedule of Charges (PDF, 50.4KB, 1 page) .

Sample data

A single sample of 1 months’ recent import and export data in the standard entry item format is made available to prospective customers to enable them to assess whether or not subscription to the scheme will be of benefit to them.

You can make a written request to MSS on business headed paper from a responsible person of the business, for example, sole proprietor, partner or director and include:

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

Customs warehouse data reports

Warehouse data reports are delivered to the nominated person by email to the email address provided.

Warehouse data report

The report will show the:

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

You should note that reports to warehouse operators are only available in the format listed above.


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

You can download a Customs Warehouse Agreement Document (PDF, 307KB, 11 pages) .

Minimum sign up

Monthly and one-off reports

A purchaser may request both ongoing and one-off reports.

If a customer requests ongoing reports, they must sign up to receive them for a minimum of 12 calendar months. For example, if they sign up in January 2017, they will receive ongoing reports from January 2017 to December 2017. Backdated requests can’t be accepted. Customers may also request one-off retrospective reports, as long as the report periods requested are within the previous 4 years.

Customers who haven’t signed up for monthly ongoing reports can still request one-off retrospective reports provided the report period requested is within the previous 4 years.

Getting copies

For queries regarding individual entries the MSS team are able to supply a company with 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 won’t be available. To request a copy of an entry please complete a partial entry registration form Partial entry request (PDF, 38.9KB, 1 page) accompanied with an original signed letter on business headed paper from the company owning the EORI number.

The registration form and letter must be signed by a responsible person of the business, for example sole proprietor, CFO, CEO, partner, company secretary or director. This service is only available for importers and exporters.

How to identify branches or divisions

Currently some Economic Operators (EO) use Traders Unique Reference Number (TURN) to enable them to identify imports or exports and revenue due against individual branches or divisions.

As branches or divisions won’t qualify for an EORI number, this may cause inconvenience to economic operators set up in this way.

As a result we’ve devised some solutions to assist EOs to associate declarations to individual branches or divisions. The solutions are optional and you may choose instead to adapt your systems to meet your own needs.

Option 1

To identify the branch importing, exporting or acting as declarant as appropriate when a customs declaration is made, HMRC set up 2 Additional Information (AI) statement codes at header level in box 44 of the C88 declaration. 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 is likely the 3 digit numeric code you use will be the same as the current TURN suffix but you’re free to choose any number you wish. It will be acceptable for both codes to appear on the same declaration if necessary.

You don’t need to notify customs in advance of the numbers you’ve chosen to identify your branches. However, you’ll need to maintain an adequate audit trail in your records and provide the information if requested by HMRC.

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

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

These reports are free of charge. They list all entries made by you where the BR or AG code has been entered in box 44 to assist reconciliation, in particular against C79s. If no code is entered in box 44, the entry won’t appear on the report.

Information on the reports include the entry number, date, EPU, declaration unique consignment reference (UCR), master UCR, agent’s reference and 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 applies to importers only. This involves including your 3 digit number branch identifier 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 in conjunction with or instead of the MSS report detailed above.

Please contact the MSS team to sign up for EORI reports but note the MSS team isn’t responsible for issuing EORI numbers.

Further information

For more information on the Data to the Trade Scheme contact by email: or write to:

Uktradeinfo Customer Support – MSS
Customs and Indirect Tax Directorate
3rd Floor South East
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
SS99 1AA

You can download an MSS Agreement Document Agreement (PDF, 323KB, 12 pages)

Standard Report Description Standard report (PDF, 164KB, 14 pages)

Published 6 December 2014
Last updated 13 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Email address and postal address for sending your agreements has been updated.
  2. A new section for requesting customs warehouse data reports has been added to the guide.
  3. The minimum sign up paragraph has been updated to provide further clarification about the reports that can be provided.
  4. The MSS agreement document has been updated.
  5. First published.