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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

General: entry processing functions: how declarations are processed and cleared at National Clearance Hub (NCH)

Direct Trader Input (DTI) import and export (National Export System) declarations

It is the declarants’ responsibility to present documents for clearance and / or examination to HMRC. (All routing codes are listed in INCHP04200)

Presentation of Route 1 and 2 should be emailed or faxed. This applies equally to those declarants operating remotely from and those based in geographic proximity to the NCH.

To facilitate clearance, HMRC recommend the use of the specific fax headers set out in the Appendices to this guidance at INCHP13000. Separate headers should be used for each entry even where a number of declarations are submitted at the same time. Failure to use the appropriate header may result in delays to clearance.

Traders wishing to submit declarations electronically are advised to use e-versions of the same headers. These must show the entry number on the ‘Subject’ line.

To email the NCH see

The NCH should be able to receive any basic Microsoft based file including JPEG, TIFF and Acrobat. Declarants wishing to use Zipped images and non Microsoft systems are advised to send a prearranged test email before transmitting live data to ensure that the scanned documents are compatible with HMRC software.

‘Arriving’ or ‘loading’ entries on CHIEF

The NCH only perform this function for non inventory linked locations.

Face Vet

There is no face vetting procedure at the NCH as CHIEF does not accept incorrect declarations.

Multi-item entries or multi-importer / exporter entries

When the entry is selected Route 1 or 2, the declarant should contact the NCH enquiry point to determine what paperwork needs to be faxed or emailed for clearance.

Determination of dutiable charges

The rate of and value for duty on goods entered for free circulation, are those in force at the time the entry is ‘accepted’. If an entry is sent by post the time of the lodgement is the time at which the entry is received. CAP charges fixed in advance are charged at the rate shown on the licence or advance fixing certificate (AFC).

Evidence of value

HMRC are keen to ensure that the minimum amount of paperwork is submitted to the NCH in order to affect clearance. It is the declarants’ responsibility to email / fax sufficient copies of documentation as well providing representative evidence for the value of the total consignment.

The following provides examples that could be adopted for multi-invoice entries:

  • the declarant may email / fax all the invoices appropriate to the entry, or
  • the declarant may use the schedule set out in Appendix C (INCHP13150) or similar, or
  • for entries covered by more than one single page invoice, declarants could email / fax the highest value invoice to the NCH, or
  • for entries covered by a single multi-paged invoice, declarants could email / fax the final page showing the total invoice amount, or
  • for entries covered by a combination of single and multi-page invoices, declarants could email / fax any page which provides evidence of a representative value for the total consignment.

Declarants will be advised, via CHIEF in the usual way, whether and what further documents will be need to be presented for clearance.

Packing lists

Where an entry is accompanied by a number of packing lists, declarants may schedule these using an amended version of the form at Appendix C (INCHP13150) and email / fax the schedule to the NCH with all the appropriate documentation.


Receipts are not issued automatically for any entries or documents submitted to the NCH. However, receipts can be issued on request provided that the declarant:

  • indicates the email address / fax number for the receipt to be sent to, and
  • provide a proforma for endorsement by NCH and return.

Queried entries

The NCH aims to clear all Route 1 interventions within 2 hours from the time the faxed or scanned copy entries are received or, for pre-lodged entries, within 2 hours of the vessel / aircraft arrival provided all the relevant paperwork is presented complete and correct.

Declarants should respond to all queries raised by the NCH via CHIEF even where additional paperwork subsequently needs to be faxed to the Hub. This will ensure the NCH are aware that the query has been answered. Failure to respond via CHIEF may result in delays to clearance.

Where a query results in an amendment to an entry, declarants must fax a copy of the amended entry to the NCH for clearance.

The NCH aims to clear all queried and / or amended entries as soon as possible and within 2 hours after a reply has been received and / or the problem resolved.


The Query function is concerned with errors on entries discovered after face vet but before clearance. It deals with the notification and amendment of incorrect entries. This is the time to make contact with the trader regarding the error(s).

Customs Input Entries (CIE)

For CIE including re-exports from customs warehouse, IP and Temporary Admission, declarants should email / fax or post copies of the entry and supporting documents to the NCH for customs input, processing and clearance. In order to avoid delays to clearance, it is recommended that an appropriate header, clearly marked ‘CIE’ is used.

The NCH process CIE requests between 0900-1700 Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Queries and entries requiring amendment will be faxed back to the declarant by the NCH.

CIE for removal entries from customs warehouse are processed by the National Clearance Hub CIE Team:

Ralli Quays
3 Stanley Street
M60 9LA

Phone: 03000 588 453
Fax: 03000 588462