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HMRC internal manual

Export Procedures

HM Revenue & Customs
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Pre-shipment control: role of Loader

Following the declaration being made, the Freight Agent should inform the Loader of the official Customs reference for shipping goods. References such as the actual Declaration Unique Consignment Number (DUCR) used or official entry reference number would create an auditable record. Customs need to be able to trace shipments through a trader’s and CHIEF records. Accurate CHIEF messaging and the use of official references is the key to achieving this goal.

The Movement Reference Number (MRN) will be automatically generated by CHIEF at the same time as the entry number. The MRN is used to identify the consignment within the EU and, specifically, at the Office of Exit. MRNs are issued for all exports - both direct and indirect this is in case they convert to an indirect export later. It is important to note that any amendment to the export declaration will result in the production of a new MRN. It may cause difficulties if the goods are in transit and have the original MRN when they arrive at the office of exit as they will need to produce the latest MRN.

Most exports are delivered to inventory linked electronic port systems or ports with approved loaders, who in turn have electronic links into the central computer system, CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight).

Where the Loader has the responsibility for inputting the electronic arrival message, this completes the act of legal presentation of the goods for export.

For those ports with no electronic links to CHIEF any goods for export must be presented independently to Customs who will access CHIEF on behalf of the traders, for further guidance on how to make requests for Customs arrivals manually using C1601, click on link below:

Failure to submit an arrival can result in Civil Penalty action.