Assurance procedures: Official evidence
It is good practice to interrogate the Management Support System (MSS) prior to your assurance intervention to an exporter - see VEXP110020 for information about MSS. You will then be able to compare the information from MSS with the trader’s record of exports. In addition, the exporter can sign a contract with HMRC and pay to receive monthly MSS reports of their exports. These reports are sent out by the MSS Operations Team in Southend. The details shown on the exporter’s MSS report should match the details obtained following your interrogation of MSS. Any discrepancies should be investigated further - you should not however raise an assessment solely on information from MSS. There may be valid reasons why a trader’s export does not appear on MSS and vice versa. However any differences must be looked at, and if necessary you should refer to the Exports and Removals Unit of Expertise for further guidance.
Valid official evidence of export for goods exported directly from the UK would see an Input Customs Status (ICS) Code 60 Goods Departed Message and a Status of Entry (SoE) 8 on MSS. If the SoE is shown as “D” then further investigation is required to establish whether the goods were withdrawn inland or whether the Departure Message was incorrect. If goods are being exported via another Member State, the ICS code would normally be 62 as an exit message would be sent electronically (via the Export Control System - ECS) to the UK from the last Member State of exit from the Community. This confirms that the goods have been presented to the office of exit and have physically left the EU. If MSS has an ICS Code 61 it means that CHIEF has “auto departed” the Customs entry as the export procedure has not been finalised. In such circumstances you may need to investigate why the export formalities were not finalised. If you see any other ICS codes on MSS you should refer to the UoE for advice - see VEXP10600 for contact details.