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HMRC internal manual

Export Procedures

Non statistical exports: exports exiting the Community via another Member State

Where goods are declared for export in the UK but leave the Community via another Member State a Customs endorsed Export Accompanying Document (EAD) must normally accompany the goods to the office of exit. This is evidence that the consignment has been subject to export control in the UK.

EC Law requires that the export declaration is lodged in the exporter’s Member state. Goods arriving at offices of exit in other Member States without evidence that the export declaration has been made in the UK are likely to be either delayed while export formalities in the UK are completed or, in some circumstance, the goods may be returned to the UK.

Note: In exceptional circumstances the declaration may be lodged in other Member States. Examples of ‘exceptional circumstances’ are changes in contract and diversion of goods. The closure of a customs office at the time of export is NOT an acceptable reason.

Exports by road, via another Member State

Export Accompanying Document (EAD) must travel with the goods to the office of exit at the external frontier to prove the goods have been cleared for export in the UK. In certain circumstances a commercial document may be used in place of an EAD. The Agent/Exporter should check with Customs before using a commercial document.

Please note: Neither Greece nor the Republic of Ireland will accept commercial documents in lieu of official documents for exports leaving the EU via their countries.

Customs at the office of exit will endorse the EAD as evidence that the good have left the EC. This should be returned to the exporter to support their claim to VAT zero-rating and other reliefs. Without this endorsement commercial evidence will be needed to support VAT zero rating and duty reliefs.

Exports by rail, post, air and sea via another Member State

The Customs location where goods are exported by rail, post, air or sea are taken over for export under a single transport contract is the office of exit. In these circumstances Export Accompanying Document (EAD) (or NES equivalent) is not required to travel with the goods. Instead the transport document will be endorsed ‘EXPORT’ in red by customs at the office of export. This is the evidence to the Customs at the place of departure from the EU that the goods have been cleared for export. Endorsement of the transport document may be dispensed with in certain circumstances. A simplified procedure exists for certain regular operators who are able to make an undertaking to HM Revenue and Customs that all exports from the UK via other Member States on through Transport documents will be declared at the office of exit in the UK and that this will be done.

Customs must be able to confirm the regularity of the procedures and applications for exemption from the need for stamping must be made to Customs at the UK port from which the goods are to be exported.