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HMRC internal manual

Export Procedures

Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) export declarations: communications

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

The Direct Trader Input (DTI) Networks may connect to CHIEF via an EDI link. A Technical Interface Specification (TIS) has been made available to the system operators to enable them to make this link. The form of communication enables data to be transferred in structured EDIFACT messages between the system operator’s network and the CHIEF system.

Direct communication

Direct communication covers the situation where the computers involved in the message exchange are directly linked, normally via a virtual (eg over a packet switching network) telecommunications circuit. Messages are transmitted from one computer system and received by the other.

The applications using direct links usually enable the originating system to know that the message has been successfully received and processed.

The Community Systems Providers (CSPs) operate Inventory systems at the major UK ports and inland clearance depots. The movement goods through such locations in generally directed by the Inventory system and in such circumstances the Customs Entry and inventory consignment are ‘linked’ to enhance control and facilitate movement.

Data transmissions routes that may be used

The routes into CHIEF are:

  • direct communication links or other means supported by the CSP System Provider Operators
  • direct communication links to CHIEF via
  • Email
  • the Internet via the web form
  • Extensible Mark Up Language (XML) messaging
  • Customs Input of Entries (CIE)

Note: CSPs and declarations made via the web and XML (using the Government Gateway) are the only acceptable routes for electronic licensing and CAP refund claims.

In evaluating the relative costs of the CSP Systems and email, a trader will need to consider whether there are any benefits to their commercial systems from interactive processing.

When a trader is authorised to use SDP or LCP they must send a pre-shipment advice declaration, notifications and supplementary declarations to Customs electronically. If they use the DEP facility all declarations, both full pre shipment and supplementary declarations, must be submitted electronically.

Human Computer Interface (HCI)

This is a normal screen interface through which a user interacts with CHIEF. Customs staff will communicate with CHIEF through HCI. Access to certain CHIEF facilities such as HELP, NOTICEBOARD and MESSAGING will only be available to users via the HCI interface.