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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements Assurance Guidance

Excise Movement and Control System: EMCS searches: Status Code searches

General information

Status related searches are valuable for anybody dealing with duty-suspended movements. The movement status changes in response to messages received by the system, usually from consignors and consignees. The table below explains the current EMCS statuses, but includes those that will apply following Functional Stage 2 that is scheduled for January 2012.

Searches only look at the most recent movement status. Changes of destination create new movement versions because the ARC stays with the goods even if the consignee changes. Three statuses are ‘final’ whereby nothing more will happen to the movement in the UK. For FS1 these are ‘Delivered’, ‘Cancelled’ and ‘Manually Closed’ as indicated by F in the table below. FS2 introduces an additional, ‘final’ status of ‘Stopped’. The ‘Diverted’ status can be regarded as ‘final’ if the goods are subsequently moved to a non-UK consignee. It is set when a Change of Destination (CoD) is received creating a new ‘accepted’ version of the movement to dispatch the goods to another consignee.

Status Explanation
Accepted The movement is valid. The eAD sent to the consignor and consignee. It does not mean that the goods have been physically accepted by the consignee.
Cancelled (F) The movement has been cancelled by the consignor, prior to the date of dispatch defined on the eAD.
‘Deemed Exported’ This is a UK status. This status does not mean that the goods have been exported.
Delivered (F) A Report of Receipt (RoR) has been successfully submitted by the consignee to accept the consignment. For an export, the MS for the Office of Export has confirmed exit of the goods from the EU.
Diverted A status set when a CoD has been successfully submitted by the consignor, either prior to receipt of the goods by the consignee or in response to a consignee’s complete refusal of the goods.
Exporting Denotes that an IE829 (Notification of an accepted export) message has been created. This should be done following comparison of the export declaration and the EMCS eAD. Within the UK this can be manually invoked through the export worklists or triggered by expiry of the export timer.
Manually Closed (F) The consignor MS has the capacity to ‘manually close’ a movement. This may be used if a consignee goes out of business or a technical problem prevents the consignee from creating a RoR.
Partially Refused The consignee has refused part of the consignment. When the CoD has been processed to move the remaining goods to another consignee, the eAD status for the new version will move to accepted. From FS2, the previous version of the movement will be set to ‘Diverted’.
Refused The consignee has refused the whole consignment. A CoD must be submitted by the consignor. Once the CoD has been processed, a new version of the movement will be created with an accepted status. From FS2, the previous version of the movement will be set to ‘Diverted’.
Rejected (FS2) The consignee has rejected the eAD. This could be before the goods have departed, in which case the consignor may cancel the movement on EMCS. If the consignment has already been dispatched, the consignor must submit a CoD to move the goods to another authorised consignee (this could be back to himself).
Replaced (FS2) The eAD has been split into downstream eADs. Only applies to energy products.
Stopped (FS2, F) Officials from a MS have ‘interrupted’ the movement because of an incident or irregularity. The MS of ‘interruption’ becomes the MS of destination.


This is the initial movement status. An eAD will remain in the accepted state until the consignor makes a change, such as a cancellation or a CoD, or until the consignee submits the RoR. When an eAD is created, both the dispatch date and the journey time must be defined. No movement should remain as accepted much beyond the dispatch date + journey time. It should be noted that a journey exceeding the input journey time does not by itself create an irregularity. There may be an “Explanation for Delay” message in the event log for the eAD (although there is no legal requirement for this message to be submitted). These messages can be sent by either the consignor or the consignee. Delays may occur where:

  • bad weather has extended the journey time
  • an incident occurred during the journey, or
  • the goods were found to be unsafe on arrival and are being restacked.


There is an underlying risk that an eAD is cancelled but the goods still move under cover of the allocated ARC. Traders with a disproportionate number of cancellations are worthwhile investigating. The consignor is in control of the movement and should be able to demonstrate that the goods did not leave the premises, and if the goods are no longer held, prove where they went. Multiple cancellations for a consignee could indicate storage problems, or cancelled orders. The UK system will not permit a consignor to cancel an eAD after the date of dispatch defined on the eAD, but this validation may not exist in other MS systems.

Deemed exported

This is a UK status used because in the absence of any link to the HMRC export systems, there is no automated means of creating EMCS export messages in response to changes to the export status in CHIEF. The EMCS Helpdesk have access to worklists that show all EMCS exports messages and are able to create the Report of Receipt (export) message.

Currently, the system will auto-generate the export Report of Receipt 35 days after the date of submission of the eAD. Prior to this, the Helpdesk may issue an IE839 export refusal message should they be unable to match an eAD with an export declaration. This does not change the status of the movement on EMCS, but will prevent the system from auto-generating the export Report of Receipt. Although there is no means of identifying whether an IE839 (Customs rejection of eAD) has been issued without viewing an individual movement, a search for DTC=6 (export) movements that have the ‘Accepted’ status and a dispatch date more than 35 days in the past will produce a list of ‘rejected’ exports, ie where there appears to be no corresponding export declaration (therefore worth investigating).


This status denotes that the consignee has accepted the goods and the movement has been closed. However, assurance officers may need to consider the following:

  • Have the goods been correctly recorded in the stock accounts?
  • Do the number of eADs in a period reflect the level of trade expected in that period or subsequently declared on a separate return eg HM2 for registered consignees or a W1 for a warehouse?
  • Were the Reports of Receipt submitted timely (also see the separate report available by the search process for ‘late reports of receipt’)
  • Do the consignees, consignors and Excise Product Codes (EPC) reflect the business trading patterns?
  • For exports, is there adequate evidence that the goods have left the territory of the EU?


A diverted status on the most recent version of the movement that can be seen in the UK database denotes that a consignor has created a CoD and the goods are now destined for a different consignee. This can happen if the original consignee has refused the goods and they have been returned to the consignor, or sent to another consignee. When viewing individual movements you may see the diverted status against old versions of the movement, indicating that some or all of the goods were previously diverted to another consignee.


This status is set following issue of the IE829 (Notification of an accepted export) message by the MS of Export entered by the consignor on the eAD. Within the UK there is no automated interface between EMCS and any customs system - the Export Control System and CHIEF. It is unlikely that searches will pick up many movements with this status because it is an interim status. The EMCS Helpdesk has access to worklists that show all EMCS export movements. These can be used to make manual checks between the EMCS eAD and the equivalent export declaration on CHIEF. When conducting risk assessments or preparing for audits, it is recommended that export movements are analysed to establish if they are at the level expected for the business. This is best done by searching using the export DTC.

Manually closed

Manual closures should be rare and may be used if a consignee goes out of business, goods are seized (prior to FS2) or system problems prevent a RoR from being processed.

Only the MS of dispatch can create a manual closure. Within the UK this is done by the EMCS Helpdesk. Should the UK require another MS to manually close a movement, this is normally done outside the system by getting the consignee to confirm what goods were received and passing this information to the MS of dispatch via the EMCS Helpdesk.

Note: due to a number of UK system issues with temporary registered consignee (TRC) movements, a large number of eADs, where the consignee is a UK TRC, cannot be closed by submitting the RoR, therefore they have to be manually closed.

Partially refused

The search results will not provide details of what has been refused. For this, you will need to view the movement details, for a particular eAD, to find out what and how much has been refused and any explanation from the consignee.

Partial refusals require the consignee to provide details of the refused quantity against each relevant eAD line. As with full refusals, the consignor must create a CoD to move the remaining goods to another authorised consignee. This will often be to move the goods back to the consignor.

There is a risk that:

  • Goods could move before a CoD has been input on EMCS
  • a CoD is input before a partial refusal is submitted
  • the ‘accepted although unsatisfactory’ option is chosen rather than ‘partial refusal’ which prevents the CoD being input. (The refused goods may then travel to an alternative address without the cover of an eAD).

Officers should consider whether the level of partial refusals is unusual for the consignor or consignee.


Refusals should be rare. Conceivable causes are:

  • unexpected consignments
  • serious damage in transit, or
  • insufficient storage space

Following a refusal, the onus is on the consignor to create a CoD to authorise the movement of the goods to another consignee, and this should be as soon as possible after the RoR refusing the consignment is received. Movements should not remain in a refused state for long because this implies that the goods are still at the consignee’s premises.

There is a serious risk that consignee excise IDs will be used without the consignee’s consent to authorise movements, and refusals should be identified and investigated, particularly movements whose status remains refused for more than a few days. ‘Refused’ is not a final status. Once a CoD has been processed the refused status on the movement will change to ‘accepted’.

Registered consignees and TRCs are not permitted to submit refusal requests, however, this is a policy decision and we cannot prevent these traders from actually submitting such requests.

Officers should consider whether the level of refusals is unusual for the consignor or consignee.

Replaced (FS2)

This only applies to energy products where the movement has been split into two or more parts (up to a maximum of 9 parts). The system validates that the products and quantities on the original eAD equal those on the ‘downstream’ eADs. If the new eADs pass validation, the status of the original eAD changes to ‘Replaced’. FS2 Screens will enable navigation through the split eADs. Searching for the ‘Replaced’ status is useful to identify when splitting has occurred

Rejected (FS2)

The consignee has rejected the eAD. Perhaps the goods are not expected or an incident prevents the consignee from receiving them. Rejections may indicate an attempt to hijack the consignee’s ID to obtain duty-suspended goods. They are similar to refusals because the consignor will have to submit a CoD to create a new version of the movement. However, rejections can only be sent before the goods arrive at the destination shown on the eAD. Consignees should verify the authenticity of eADs consigned to them and any rejections should be investigated.

Please note: the rule regarding only being able to reject consignments before the goods arrive is a Policy decision and EMCS will not physically prevent a rejection from being submitted after this point. Also, in exceptional circumstances, registered consignees and temporary registered consignees may be allowed to reject a consignment after goods arrive, provided the reason for rejection is discovered immediately upon arrival. This is because they do not have the option to submit a report of receipt refusing goods - see Notice 203A (HMRC website) or Notice 204A (HMRC website) for further information.


The consignment has been seized by officials from a MS, and not necessarily the MS of dispatch or the MS of destination. This status can only be set by a MS official.