Exports will arise in the Republic of Ireland side respect of direct sales to the United Kingdom.

The basic obligation on the export side is to make an exit summary declaration (a safety and security declaration) and a customs declaration to Revenue in the case of export and the Republic of Ireland and to HMRC in the case of exports from the United Kingdom. They must be large that the customs office of exit. They can be combined as a single declaration.

As with the entry summary declaration, the making of the exit summary declaration rests primarily with the carrier but they may be delegated to the exporter who may make a single customs declaration including it.

In effect, goods will not be allowed onto a means of transport unless the exit summary declaration has been accepted by Revenue and /or HMRC as the case may be. The dataset involved is a subset of the full export declaration set. In effect, a full export customs declaration combines both.

As with the import declaration, it could in principle be the case that the exit summary declaration is given but that the export customs declaration is not given, in which case the goods would remain at the border in customs premises until the export customs declaration is given. In practice, the exits and export declarations are usually combined and done in advance. They can be combined in a single document. May area

Import and Export Declaration

The data required overlap for import and export declarations. The data is reported through the automated entry processing procedure (AEP) via custom software in accordance with the single administrative document procedure on the Irish side.

On the UK side data is transmitted to the equivalent UK system via custom software or port systems for which there is no direct equivalent in Ireland, to the UK system now CHIEF in the course of change to the customs declaration system (CDS)

On every movement from Ireland to the UK, there are each of the above returns to Irish Revenue and HMRC. Conceivably in the future, there may be some UK to Ireland simplification or even a single EU or RoI / UK window for making returns.

If there is to continue to be a door-to-door service traders effectively need to liaise with traders’ UK supplier and logistics provider in relation to the practicalities of making the relevant customs and security declarations on both the Irish and UK side as well as the carrier’s obligations to provide an  emanifest with  much of the same information.

The position may be simpler on North-South trade where there is to be less emphasis on the transport and checks at the border. There may be a wholly new procedure involving controls at the importers’ and exporters’ premises, to some extent like the simplifications available to larger-scale traders approved for entry in the declarant’s records and other customs freight simplified procedures.

UK Import and Waivers

The basic obligation on the import side is to make both a safety and security declaration and a customs declaration to HMRC. HMRC on imports into the United Kingdom have waived the safety and security declaration for a period of six months at least and probably more 18 months and more, as a years’ notice is to be given to end it.

The hard Brexit notes announced a complete waiver of customs formalities and duties on Northern Ireland imports. This is temporary only.

HMRC can give waivers as they would hypothetically be outside the EU. Irish Revenue says they cannot give an equivalent waiver on the export side as they are bound by EU laws.

The UK has offered complete simplifications subject to conditions in relation to import declarations effectively allowing all traders to use the entry in own records procedure which normally requires highly trusted trader status and quite detailed security and organisation requirements. This does not apply to Northern Ireland, which would appear is intended to benefit from much greater simplifications. See other chapters HMRC  13th March 2019 statement. We believe that this option can be usefully taken up by traders’ UK counterparty.

The Republic of Ireland is bound by EU law and cannot give broad waivers in the same way as the UK respect of either exports or imports on the Republic of Ireland side. In particular, on the export side, it is not on a position to give corresponding waivers that have been given under the UK import side.

There is however significant scope within the existing EU laws for Revenue to offer a certain amount of simplifications sometimes on a case-by-case basis and sometimes generally, much more than has been announced to date. However, nothing as dramatic as the UK complete waivers simplifications is possible without a change in EU law.

Export Data Set

An export will arise on the Irish side in relation to movements from RoI to GB/ NI.

We set out a link to Revenues export traders guide for the precise technical requirements simply for traders’ information.


Traders will see it highlights the data required and the relevant codes that apply. Traders will see that the codes are entered in an alphanumeric manner using specified codes.

Broadly the same requirements apply to exports from the UK to the EU including in particular on the export side on traders’ purchases from UK suppliers. The UK link to the precise UK export requirements are here


As indicated otherwise we would expect that traders’ UK suppliers undertake the export declarations on their side simply in terms of duty and VAT management on their own part.

The full information required is as follows; many of the items are contingent on the circumstances.  They correspond directly to the boxes mentioned above and they are completed in the same way.

  • consignor
  • consignee
  • office of dispatch/export -mandatory
  • currency code/conditional
  • total amount invoiced-conditional
  • nature of transaction conditional
  • mode of transport at the border conditional
  • inland mode of transport conditional
  • office of exit mandatory
  • location of goods mandatory
  • container numbers conditional
  • type of package conditional
  • unique of package reference conditional
  • number of packages/pieces conditional
  • marks and numbers of packages conditional
  • description of goods mandatory
  • packages in item conditional
  • item number mandatory
  • customs code mandatory
  • country of origin code conditional
  • region of origin code conditional gross mass mandatory
  • procedure requested conditional
  • procedure category conditional previous procedure conditional
  • net mass conditional
  • previous declaration conditional
  • summary number of units conditional
  • identifier code conditional
  • description additional information optional
  • statistical value conditional
  • deferred payment conditional
  • identification of warehouse conditional

As with import declaration, some items are mandatory, and some are conditional. Some items that appear to be conditional are in fact mandatory in the particular circumstances where they apply. They are conditional in the sense that they are not always applicable.

As on the import side, the declarations are completed through filling in codes. Both the Irish and UK guides set out details of the codes which are now in common EU format. As traders will see, once again, the process is made more intuitive via the relevant customs software or in the communications with the logistics provider.

Many / most of the codes are likely to be repetitive and can be standardised. Several of the codes will be inapplicable to traders and others are got to do with the logistics provider routing and other requirements.

Because of possible special border treatment, some of the transport and control of the border orientated codes may not be necessary for NI trade.

Information Required by Logistics Provider or Customs Agent

If they provide the customs service to traders, traders’ logistics providers (or another third-party provider) should be able to identify what information they will require from traders to complete the Republic of Ireland, GB and NI declarations mentioned above. They should be able to identify and designate the channel through which this information is to be communicated.

Traders should consider how traders’ existing order system can be supplemented on traders’ side to provide the requisite additional details. The majority of entries would apply on a routine basis and will be capable of being established and set up in standard terms. The key variables should be apparent.

It may be that traders’ logistics provider enjoys simplifications which reduce the number of the above items required on the ultimate entry. It may be that traders’ logistics provider can gather the information from basic information supplied by traders plus physical inspection of the goods. Much of the relevant information refers to the way the goods are transported and other matters within the control of the logistics provider.

Other Documents and Requirements

In addition to completing the declaration, traders need to retain certain documentation including the commercial invoice, packing list, identification documents, licensing where applicable et cetera. This is part of the basic paper trail required in the event of an audit. Traders’ existing systems would need this data for sales VAT and other tax purposes.

It may be that the tariff lines for goods involve additional requirements. This would be relatively unusual. Identification of any such requirements should be undertaken by way of a manual review of the tariff categories which can be done in the context of checking the duties. Some categories of products might involve some special handling considerations or be likely of their nature to have the relevant requirements.

Traders’ suppliers should be able to collate the information and inform traders whether there are any special tariff requirements applicable to categories of goods which impact upon the way traders’ system or traders’ personnel communicate with logistics provider’s system for collecting traders’ customs controls data.

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