3. The National Export System (NES) and the Export Control System (ECS)

3.1 NES

NES is the UK’s national export system. Under NES all export entries are processed electronically through the CHIEF system.

3.2 Master Reference Number

Under the UCC the Movement Reference Number is renamed as the Master Reference Number (MRN).

All export declarations are issued with an MRN. This is a key reference generated by CHIEF. The MRN is generated for both direct and indirect exports.

3.3 Office of export

Where the export goods that have been entered onto CHIEF are to leave the EU via another member state (an indirect export), a message is sent from the Office of Export to the member state of exit, informing them of the details of the goods that are on their way.

On exit from the member state the Office of Exit they will send an exit result response to the UK to say that the goods have left the EU. This response message is passed back to the trader through CHIEF to facilitate zero rating VAT claims. The outgoing message is triggered by the completion of box 29 (Office of Exit).

Transitional arrangements apply – datasets will be revised under the UCC IT implementation and will be implemented when the CHIEF upgrade CDS is completed.

3.4 Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) registration number

All exporters and other parties involved in international trade need to quote their EORI number.

Find out more about the EORI scheme.

3.5 Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR)

It is very important that traders create their own UCR number in box 44 of their export declaration as this is recognised across the EU.

Find more on the structure of a DUCR and on printing the traders DUCR onto the Export Accompanying Document (EAD).

Transitional arrangements apply – datasets will be revised under the UCC IT implementation. Any changes to datasets will be implemented when the CHIEF upgrade CDS is completed. There may be changes to how the DUCR is set up.

3.6 Indirect exports – Export Accompanying Document (EAD)

Currently an EAD printed from CHIEF accompanies the export consignment to the Office of Exit at the EU border. The EAD shows the MRN number and barcode that can be scanned at the Office of Exit. This closes the indirect ECS movement and informs the Office of Export that the goods have left the EU.

Under the UCC the only requirement is for the MRN number to be provided at the Office of Exit.

Transitional arrangements apply – during the transition period traders may wish to take an EAD with the consignment to the Office of Exit. The EAD should not be printed from CHIEF until clearance has been granted (permission to progress).

When printing an EAD the DUCR number in box 44 should be printed into box 7 of the paper EAD.

3.7 Single transport contract (STC)

For goods travelling under a STC the exporter or declarant will need to notify customs and request special treatment by entering an AI (additional information) code (STC99) into box 44. Declarants should check with their carrier as to whether STC should be claimed.

STC can’t be used for excise goods (Article 323 of implementing regulation).

3.8 Office of exit – for indirect export traders

box 29 (office of exit) must be completed with the relevant office of exit code from the EU customs office list (available on the EUROPA website).

More on the completion of box 29.

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