Guidance overview:API’s

This page links to Governments border related Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which allow industry to integrate their technology with Government systems. This page will be continuously updated as APIs change and new APIs are released. The below links will take you to the relevant guidance for each API and where available the developer hub where you can request support and test APIs in a sandbox.




API Catalogue

We are currently working to bring our APIs into one central location and allow users to filter these by the relevance to them. Border related APIs are available here

Individual APIs

Specific APIs are also listed below with links to full information and sandbox facilities where available.

Goods Vehicle Movements API

  • Links declaration references together. This means the person moving goods only needs to present one reference at the frontier to prove that their goods have pre-lodged declarations
  • Links the movement of goods to declarations, meaning they can be automatically arrived and departed in HMRC systems in near-real-time
  • Notifies users via your software whether their inbound goods have been successfully cleared in HMRC systems by the time they arrive in the UK.

Using this API your users can:

  • Create a new Goods Movement Record (GMR)
  • Update a GMR, for example changing crossing details or adding declaration IDs
  • List their active GMRs
  • Get GMR details
  • Delete a GMR
  • Get GVMS reference data

Bulk Data File List


Daily, Monthly and Annual Tariff files. Further information can be found on the documentation page on the Developer Hub

Check an EORI number


This API enables your application to:

  • check if an EORI number beginning with GB (issued by the UK) is valid.
  • view the name and address of the business that the EORI number is registered to (if the business agreed to share this information).

Common Transit Convention Traders


This API will allow you to send departure and arrival movement notifications to the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS). It will also let you retrieve messages sent from the offices of departure and destination. Further information can be found in the Common Transit Convention Traders service guide.

Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is replacing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) with a modern and flexible system that can handle anticipated future import and export growth. Further information can be found in the Customs Declarations end-to-end service guide

Safety and Security (S&S GB) API’s

The Safety and Security (S&S GB) APIs will allow your software to submit an Entry Summary declaration (also known as an ENS) to import goods into Great Britain. Further information can be found in the Safety and security import declarations service guide


Safety and Security Import Declarations API

This API allows you to:

  • create a new ENS submission
  • amend an existing ENS submission

Safety and Security Import Notifications API

This API allows you to:

  • get a list of notifications
  • retrieve a notification
  • acknowledge a notification

Safety and Security Import Outcomes API

This API will allow you to:

  • get a list of outcomes
  • retrieve an outcome
  • acknowledge an outcome

Excise Movement Control System


Technical specifications for the Excise Movement Control System (EMCS).

EMCS is a UK and EU-wide computer system that’s used to record duty suspended movements of excise goods taking place within the UK and the EU.

EMCS supports different types of movements to both Great Britain and Northern Ireland movements based on location, a GB or XI prefix will be allocated to your excise identifiers based on your location or the location of your warehouse.

Exchange rates from HMRC


Check the foreign exchange monthly rates, yearly averages, spot rates and weekly amendments to rates

Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI)


Technical specifications for the Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI). ICS NI is a system providing for the electronic receipt of the Entry Summary Declarations and risk analysis of the data submitted. Carriers, and traders working on behalf of carriers, will submit Entry Summary Declarations (ENS) to ICS NI when importing goods from outside of the EU into Northern Ireland or move goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, to give information to customs before your goods arrive and is part of the EU wide Automated Import System (AIS).

 National Export System


Technical specifications for New Export System (NES). The NES is a computer-based system which allows export declarations to be made electronically, replacing manual processing. Use of NES is mandatory for exporters, who must be authorised to use it.

New Computerised Transit System


Technical specifications for the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS). The NCTS is a system of electronic declaration and processing that traders must use to submit Union Transit (UT) and Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) declarations electronically.

VAT and EC Sales List Online


Technical specifications for software developers working with the VAT and EC Sales List Online service. This API is not part of the Making Tax Digital initiative.

Check barriers to trading and investing abroad


The dataset will give you information about things that could slow down, stop or raise costs for UK companies and citizens doing business in a specific country (a ‘trade barrier’).

UK Global Tariff (measures as defined)


Shows where in the commodity code hierarchy each measure is defined. This includes commodity codes which are not declarable. Codes are organised in a hierarchy with the ‘indent’ column identifying the depth of the code. Measures apply to all of the codes in the hierarchy below where they are defined.

UK Global Tariff (measures on declarable commodities)


This is the expanded table showing the measures that apply to all declarable commodity codes. These are 10-digit codes which are at the lowest level in the commodity code hierarchy (i.e. they do not have any commodity codes below them in the hierarchy) and are therefore at the most granular classification for that product. Any code in this table is usable on declarations at the rates specified.

Document Checking Service pilot


The Document Checking Service (DCS) pilot is for non-public sector organisations that want to find out if British passports are valid. The DCS acts as an interface between a service and HM Passport Office.

Published 31 August 2021
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