Guidance

Starting and ending transit movements in Northern Ireland using common and Union transit

Find out what you need to do if you start and end transit movements in Northern Ireland using common and Union transit.

Making a transit declaration

A separate version of the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) has been created to enable you to start movements in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

This version will only be used in Northern Ireland and will only accept departure and arrival declarations in respect of Transit offices located in Northern Ireland.

It will not accept departure and arrival declarations for Transit offices located in:

  • Great Britain
  • the Crown Dependencies (Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

From 1 January 2021, the submission channel for Northern Ireland departure and arrival notifications will initially be by software only. You will need to make sure that your software is able to interact with NCTS using either email or XML.

You will still be able to start and end movements in Great Britain using either the free to use web portal or a software package to interact with NCTS. This will include goods that originate in Northern Ireland and are moved to Great Britain under unfettered access.

If your software is unable to interact with NCTS using email or XML from 1 January 2021, you will not be able to use NCTS to start or end transit movements in Northern Ireland.

If you do not want to do this yourself, you can get someone to deal with customs for you.

Starting a common or Union transit movement in Northern Ireland

You can start a transit movement in Northern Ireland from:

  • the premises of an authorised consignor (your or an agent’s premises)
  • an office of departure

If you are starting your transit movement at the premises of an authorised consignor, you can present your goods to your authorised consignor. They can start the movement and issue the Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) and movement reference number (MRN).

How to start your movement

If you are starting your movement from an office of departure in Northern Ireland, you will need to request to start a transit movement by emailing Border Force at: BFPortteam@homeoffice.gov.uk.

You will need to include:

  • your name
  • your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • your local reference number (LRN) and either your:
    • movement reference number (MRN)
    • export reference number (ERN) from your export documentation (if applicable)
  • method of transport
  • the name of the port you will be departing from
  • the location where your goods will be held in Northern Ireland until the transit movement has been started
  • date and time of intended departure from Northern Ireland

If you have any additional documents which you are using to support a simplified declaration procedure, then you should also attach copies of these documents.

You must email Border Force at least 12 hours before your goods are due to depart.

If your goods require physical checks

Most goods will not require a physical check, but if this is needed then Border Force will email you with instructions to take your goods to a specified location for inspection. Find a list of the community and common transit offices in Northern Ireland.

Once your goods have been checked and cleared, Border Force will start the transit movement and issue you with a TAD and MRN.

If your goods do not require physical checks

Border Force will start the transit movement and issue the TAD and MRN. Your TAD will be available for printing from NCTS.

If you are not able to print your TAD from NCTS then you will need to contact Border Force to arrange an alternative method of collection.

Ending a common or Union transit movement in Northern Ireland

You can end a transit movement in Northern Ireland at:

  • the premises of an authorised consignee (your or an agent’s premises)
  • an office of destination

If you are ending your movement at the premises of an authorised consignee, they will check your goods and end the transit movement on NCTS.

How to end your movement

If you end your movement at an office of destination in Northern Ireland, you will need to email Border Force requesting to end a transit movement at BFPortteam@homeoffice.gov.uk.

You will need to include:

  • your name
  • your Movement Reference Number (MRN)
  • the method of transport
  • the name of the port you will be arriving into
  • the location where your goods will be held on arrival in Northern Ireland
  • the estimated arrival date and time of arrival of your goods at your stated location

You will also need to attach:

  • your TAD (or C88 document)
  • a confirmation of entry of the movement into another customs procedure, such as:

If you have any additional documents which you are using to support a simplified declaration procedure, then you should also attach copies of these documents.

You must email Border Force with this information at least 12 hours before your goods arrive at their destination.

If your goods do require physical checks

Most goods will not require a physical check, but if this is needed then Border Force will email you with instructions to take your goods to a specified location for inspection. Find a list of the community and common transit offices in Northern Ireland.

Once your goods have been checked and cleared, Border Force will end the transit movement and release your guarantee.

If your goods do not require physical checks

If Border Force does not contact you with instructions to take your goods for inspection then you must take your goods to the location where your goods will be held on arrival. You may unload your goods.

You must then email Border Force to confirm that your goods have arrived at their destination. Border Force will end the transit movement on NCTS and release your guarantee.

Get more information

Find guidance on planning your route before moving goods using transit.

You can read Community, Common Transit and TIR: newsletters for updates and changes to NCTS.

If you use in-house software you should contact the Software Developer Support Team at SDSTeam@hmrc.gov.uk.

The transit manual and transit manual supplement contain more information on TIR, common and Union transit.

Published 23 December 2020