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HMRC internal manual

Export Procedures

Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) export declarations: National Export System (NES) Digital certificates

A Digital certificate provides the safeguards that are necessary when sensitive or confidential information is transmitted over the Internet. Digital certificates use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology which is a sophisticated, mathematically proven method of encrypting and decrypting information. Information can be decrypted only when both a private key and a public key match each other.

Information sent using a Digital certificate is encrypted.

The private key is stored on the trader’s computer hard disk. The trader retains control of the private key, it can only be used if the password is known.

It should be noted that Customs declarations made via the Government Gateway will require traders to obtain a digital certificate from a third party supplier. This applies to XML and WEB form declarations. A Digital certificate will then be used to authenticate the user’s identity each time they log on.

The Digital certificates then can currently be used to access the Government Gateway are Equifax and Chamber Simply Sign: