This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Export Procedures

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


When Arrival/Departure messages are not required

Goods Arrival Messages

For goods entered to Customs inland at LCP premises and then exported via an EU Member State (Indirect Exports) there is no requirement for a UK frontier ‘Goods Arrival’ Message.

Goods Departure Messages

For goods exported via an EU Member State (Indirect Export) there is normally no requirement for Goods Departure Message. The goods have not been ‘exported’ until they leave the EU. Instead the use of an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) provides evidence of exit from the EU.

Failure to submit an Arrival Message

When data is entered to CHIEF for export yet the DUCR is not arrived, Customs will alert the Paying Agent ie the person placing the data into CHIEF, using an automated print (P9) that outlines the fact that data needs to be actioned.

The generation of this print takes place 22 days after data is first entered to CHIEF. The print can be recognised by Paying Agents under reference, P9. This print confirms the export reference number and reminds the Paying Agent that the data still sits on CHIEF.

The P9 print also gives the legislation governing Arrivals within National Export System (NES) (Statutory Instrument 2003 No 467) and the possible imposition of CCPs (should action not be taken).

It is important that data queried under the P9 procedure is correctly processed as routine cancellation/deletion may prevent traders/exporters being able to zero rate their goods for VAT, receive CAP refunds or gain export Reliefs.

Paying Agents that fail to take any action will, as a consequence, see their Entry Data automatically deleted from CHIEF after a further 8 days. Taking no action is not an option.

Customs expect the paying agent to fully investigate whether:

  • The export is still to take place, or
  • The goods have physically been exported and
  • Ensure that these details are then confirmed through to CHIEF.

Where the export has still to take place

Consideration should be given to extending the life of the Data to avoid systems deletion. This may be performed via CHIEF format AEXD. The Paying Agent/Exporter should insert the EPU (this was the local office identification code prior to centralisation), Entry number and Date, or DUCR in the relevant fields and the reason for amendment in the plain text Box (‘Receipt of P9’). PARA must be in the box in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, pressing the return key should call up the entry data as input. If there is an expected date of export entered, which is earlier than the amendment, then this date should be amended or removed. To achieve an extension time this data should then be committed.

Where export has actually taken place

The Paying Agent should confirm that no duplicate set of data has been transmitted. Where data has been duplicated then a Request for Cancellation of the original data (that is under P9 query) should be made using CHIEF format XTE.

Presentation to Customs

In the event of goods being shipped without permission to progress, an application should be made to Customs at the National Clearance Hub (NCH). Customs will need to consider the control aspect and the means by which the arrival message should have been generated ie inventory, web loader or CIE by Customs.

Applications to process data that has generated a P9 for goods that have been shipped without Permission to Progress must include the following:

  • details of the Export DUCR
  • Export Entry reference number ie EPU, Number, date
  • Letter of Explanation (Reason for non arrival to be established by Paying Agent not Customs)
  • C1601 detailing the export goods in question and references
  • certified copy of Bill of Lading or Airway Bill.

Additional papers may be called for at the discretion of the officer and, where doubts exist over the actual export, arrival will not be performed until the officer is fully satisfied as to how the actual export took place.

If satisfied that the goods have been shipped, the NCH will submit an arrival message for the DUCR to CHIEF using format AEAL and location code RET.

Consideration should be given to repeat applications received from non compliant loaders with a possibility of Customs Civil Penalty (CCP) action being taken.

Under no circumstances must the NCH input a Departure message. All P9 arrivals will receive an Assumed Departure Message instead.

No Arrival Message sent but subsequent Departure sent

Details of Entries where departure messages are sent to CHIEF before permission to progress is granted (including No Arrival Message being sent) will be included in a report sent to Customs.

A P9 Pre lodgement Deletion Warning Advice will be generated and sent to the submitting trader/Paying Agent who should contact the NCH to resolve issues.

No Departure Message submitted for Direct Exports

It is a legal requirement to Depart goods for export direct from the UK.

A Departure message must be sent within 15 days of actual departure or CHIEF will assume that the goods have departed and will generate a system assigned departure code ICS 61.

Failure to submit a Departure Message may lead to Exporters being unable to zero rate their goods for VAT, receive CAP refunds or gain export Reliefs.

Inaccurate Departure Message

A Departure Message must include the UCR, Date of Export, Location of Goods, Mode of Transport, Flag Code of vessel and Name of active means of transport.

Failure to submit an accurate Departure Message will result in a Status of Entry (SOE) D for the goods.

If a genuine export, and the goods have been physically departed, the UCR will need to be re-arrived and the following data items inserted into a new departure message:

  • UCR
  • Date of Export
  • Location of Goods
  • Mode of Transport
  • Flag Code of vessel, and
  • Name of active means of transport (as mentioned above).

If the correct departure information is not entered it may lead to Exporters being unable to zero rate their goods for VAT, receive CAP refunds or gain export Reliefs.