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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements Assurance Guidance

Excise Movement and Control System: EMCS searches: other search options

Transport Mode Code

The drop down menu provides a number of options including road, rail and inland waterway. Although a mandatory field on the eAD, there is no control over which code is selected and many movements may use a range of transport modes even though only one can be selected by the consignor. Do not assume that you have identified all movements just because the consignor only uses road transport. The consignor may have selected the wrong code, or used ‘sea’ because a ferry is involved. You may need to repeat the searches using the different transport modes.

Transport Unit Code and Unit ID

The Transport Unit code has the options trailer, vehicle or container. The Unit ID field can be used if specific details are known, and wild cards are available. These searches will be invaluable for the Border Force when identifying current movements. Although a mandatory field on the eAD, it only defines the first means of transport. Groupage loads will mean a change of transport details, but the consignor has no means of changing the transport details unless the consignee changes. It could also contain spurious or deliberately vague information, because the ARC could have been submitted before the vehicle details were known.

eAD Local Reference Number

The LRN is designed to be a link into the consignor’s records, and should be unique for the consignor. It should provide an audit trail into the consignor’s accounting system.

Searching for a known LRN is also useful to confirm that fallback movements have been entered on to EMCS. Wild cards can be used.

Import SAD Number

The source of C88/SAD import entry numbers is likely to be MSS data for a particular warehouse. A registered consignor should have input the corresponding movement on EMCS so that arrival at the excise warehouse can be checked. However, the completion of this field will vary depending on what has been input by the Registered consignor. It may just show the entry number ie 123456X, which is only unique when the corresponding EPU and entry date information is input. For example each port could have entry number 000001A each month. Wild cards may be used.

Excise Product Codes

Specific goods can be identified with Excise Product Code (EPC) searches. Click on the underlined title to get the list of codes and their definitions for selection. As some EPCs cover a wide range of goods, you may want to refine the search by limiting it to look for a specific commodity code which comes up as another option when the EPC field is selected. Similarly, you can click on the underlined heading to display the commodity code and description.

You must also specify the date of dispatch for the search which must be within the date range selected. This may mean that the report has to be run several times to identify all eADs for the required product.


The package type list is extensive, and may not be consistent. Different eADs for the same consignor could define a consignment line using number of cases, boxes or bottles. In practice, this will be more of a problem for consignors that key the details than for those that create the eADs from their dispatch systems, where the use of stock units should be consistent. It could be useful to distinguish between bulk and non bulk movements for a particular business.