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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements Assurance Guidance

Excise Movement and Control System: overview of EMCS and fallback procedures: EMCS at Functional Stage 1 (FS1)

From FS1 the consignor submits a draft eAD and EMCS validates the data input. The information required on the draft eAD is detailed in EU Regulation 684/2009. The provisions of this Regulation are directly applicable in all MS. The link below (available to internal users only) shows the on screen fields of an eAD which are required to be completed by a consignor. These include mandatory fields, conditional fields and optional fields where completion is dependant on the particular type of movement, the product being dispatched or in some cases at the discretion of the MS administrations.

eAD fields (PDF 91KB)

SEED validates the excise reference numbers for both consignor and consignee and checks if the consignee is authorised to receive the class of goods dispatched. It does not validate the consignee’s name and address. A consignor may prepare an eAD up to 7 days before the intended dispatch date. The draft eAD may be amended up to the time that the ARC is issued.

When successfully validated, EMCS assigns an administrative reference code (ARC) which uniquely identifies the movement. An eAD (IE801) message is sent to the consignor and consignee advising that the status of the movement is ‘accepted’.

The consignor must ensure that a printed copy of the eAD or a commercial document containing the ARC travels with the goods (HMDP regulation 41(8) for intra-EU dispatches and regulation 57(7) for intra-UK movements refers). 


Standard intra-EU EMCS movement

The link below demonstrates a standard intra-EU EMCS movement. It involves an authorised warehousekeeper dispatching duty-suspended excise goods from his tax warehouse to another tax warehouse or to a Registered Consignee in another MS. There are variations to this scenario for intra-UK movements and exports to non-EU countries. It does not include variations such as a change of destination for consignors or refusals to accept goods (consignees) at the destination.

Standard intra-EU EMCS movement (PDF 39KB) (external users see

It is recommended that officers complete the EMCS awareness learning module (Product code 0012697) which can be accessed via the ‘Online Learning’ pages on the intranet. Additionally an eLearning course on EMCS can be downloaded from the Europa website at


The eAD may be cancelled at any time before the goods leave the warehouse premises. When a request to cancel the eAD is submitted by the consignor on EMCS, a ‘Cancellation of an eAD’ message (IE810) is created and sent to the consignor and consignee to confirm that the movement has been cancelled.

Change of Destination (CoD)

At any time after the eAD (IE801) has been issued but before the report of receipt / export (IE818) has been issued the dispatching warehousekeeper may submit a CoD (IE813) request. When such a request is submitted, the exact same validation procedures are carried out via EMCS as for an eAD (IE801). This validation must be passed before the CoD is allowed and the IE813 message issued.


For direct and indirect exports, the movement ends when the consignor receives a report of export (IE818) message from the Commissioners (HMDP regulation 46(6) refers).

Where there is no proof available to the Commissioners that the goods exited the territory of the Community (this includes direct exports from the UK) the National Service Desk in Harwich (NSD) will issue a Customs rejection of an eAD (IE839) message to the dispatching warehousekeeper via EMCS advising him that the export has been rejected. The warehousekeeper will be expected to provide alternative evidence of export for audit at a later date or will be liable for the duty.

Report of Receipt (RoR)

When the goods have been received the consignee is required to account for the goods by submitting a RoR (IE818) message to the consignor without delay and no later than 5 business days after receiving the goods (HMDP regulation 54 for intra-EU receipts and regulation 59 for intra-UK receipts refers). This should include reporting any discrepancies on the quantities received. A business day means any day except Saturday, Sunday or a Public Holiday.

Manual Closure

Where the consignee for an EMCS movement is unable to submit a RoR (IE818), a manual closure may be required to close the movement on EMCS. A manual closure may only be carried out by the dispatching Member State’s authorities, but the request can be made by either the consignor or consignee. The NSD carries out manual closures for movements that started in the UK.

Where a UK consignee notifies the NSD that they are unable to complete the RoR for a particular consignment which was dispatched from another MS they may be required to complete a manual closure request form. This captures all the information that would be required on the RoR. On receipt of a fully completed manual closure request form, the NSD will forward the request to the dispatching Member State’s authorities via the Excise Liaison Office (ELO) network. The dispatching Member State will then close the movement on EMCS following any checks they wish to carry out.