What regulations apply to my non-EU shipments?

When you send goods outside the EU, they must be cleared electronically by UK Customs before they are allowed to leave the UK.  Whether you ship by road, sea or air you will need authorisation to move them.

NES Clearing your Exports through CHIEF

There are a number of customs procedures which may apply dependant on where your goods are going and the nature of your products, but the final approval to ship will come from CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight).

NES (National Export System) is the UK system which communicates with CHIEF electronically, and is used by forwarders and shippers, but as an exporter you can make your own submissions through NES giving you control of the accuracy of the data which is supplied to customs.

NES – National Export System

It is mandatory in the UK that customs clearance is done electronically so NES must  be used for all shipments to non-EU destinations.

  • You must submit details of your shipment to NES and normally a response is received in minutes either accepting or rejecting your request.  If rejected you will receive details of the rejection reason and must re-apply with corrected details.
  • A Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) will be produced for your shipment which will enable your goods to pass through Customs.

ECS – Export Control System

If your goods are travelling through and exiting the EU from another EU country, then details of your shipment will be tracked through the EU system ECS.

  • NES will automatically transfer your movement to the ECS system
  • An EAD document can be printed to travel with your goods until they exit the EU
  • A Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) will be produced for your shipment which will enable your goods to pass through Customs.

EMCS – Duty Suspended shipments to non-EU destinations

If you are shipping goods liable to duty, such as cigarettes, wines & spirits or fuels, their journey to the point of exit from the EU must be tracked in EMCS as an intra-EU movement.

  • An ARC number produced by EMCS will identify your shipment whilst travelling in duty suspension both within the UK and the rest of the EU.
  • eAD Document will be produced to travel with the goods
  • NES customs clearance is also needed to enable your goods to continue their journey outside the EU and the ARC number created in EMCS must be used on your NES submission, to track your shipment to its exit from the EU, and prove that no duty is payable.

If you want to manage you own NES Customs Clearance you can do this using GTA interfaced with your business system, or using e-z Consign.  Both systems allow you to manage all the documents and services you need for your export shipments without needing to re-key the data.  Find out more on our web site.


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