Customs Clearance using NES and ECS


When you ship goods outside the EU, the documents which travel with your goods will need to show the Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) of your shipment to enable your goods to pass through Customs.

NES – National Export System

NES is the system used in the UK to apply for customs clearance to ship your goods to destinations outside the EU.    Based on the Office of exit from the EU, the system will either process your customs clearance submission through NES, or through the EU’s ECS system.

Direct Exports are goods which exit the EU from the UK and are cleared for customs by NES.

Indirect Exports are good which are shipped from the UK but which leave the EU via another EU country.  These goods are cleared through the EU’s Export Control System (ECS) which manages the  journey of the goods through the EU to the point of exit.

The Office of Export is the point where the goods leave the UK.  The Office of Export will send an IE518 message to the Office of Exit advising them that the goods are on their way.

The Office of Exit is the point from which the goods leave the EU and is responsible for ensuring the goods have left the EU.  An S8 message is issued by the Office of Exit to prove the goods have left the EU and provides evidence that your goods have left the EU, allowing you to claim zero rating for VAT.  Without this you could be liable to VAT at standard UK rates.

Documents required for Direct Exports.    When your goods exit the EU directly from the UK, documents travelling with the goods will simply need to show the UCR (Unique Consignment Reference) for your shipment.   A SAD Copy 3 document can be used for this purpose, or you can simply add the UCR to one of your travelling documents eg.  Export, Invoice or Packing List.

Documents required for Indirect Exports   Although ECS is an electronic system, it will produce an EAD document containing the Movement Reference Number (MRN), which must travel with the goods.  This document contains a bar code which will be scanned at every EU border, until the goods exit the EU.   Your customs clearance submission made through NES, will be routed through ECS and must be approved in the UK before you ship your goods, otherwise they will not be allowed to leave the EU when they reach the point of exit.

The NES and ECS systems, together with the EAD document, have replaced the need to produce the SAD (otherwise known as the C88) for most UK exports.

You can ask you carrier to make your NES submissions and  produce these documents for you, but it is your responsibility to make sure these documents are correct.

Our GTA Online and GTA Net systems both allow you to make your own NES or ECS submissions using the data created for your other export documents, so you can produce your own travelling documents including the EAD.

Another way that GTA can save you time and money.

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About Penny

Passionate about Life!
This entry was posted in EAD Documents, ECS Export Control System, Export Documents, GTA Net, GTA Online, NES Customs Clearance, UK / EU Customs Services and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Customs Clearance using NES and ECS

  1. Pingback: Using GTA to obtain Customs Clearance | 4-EXIM

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  3. Hello,
    Customs brokers must pass an examination and background check to become licensed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They are not government employees and should not be confused with customs officers.

  4. Pingback: What regulations apply to my non-EU shipments? | 4-EXIM

  5. Pingback: Excise Goods movements – not quite joined up! | 4-EXIM

  6. Pingback: Customs Management | 4-EXIM

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