Overview of main export procedures (until 31 December 2020)

Produced by Tolley
Overview of main export procedures (until 31 December 2020)

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Overview of main export procedures (until 31 December 2020)
  • Customs Declaration Service (CDS)
  • National Export System (NES)
  • Prohibited and restricted goods
  • Economic Operator Registration and Identification number
  • EU export preference
  • Export declarations
  • Why are export declarations required?
  • Completing an export declaration
  • How is an export declaration submitted?
  • More...

This guidance note provides details of the rules in place whilst Great Britain remained a member of the EU and during the transitional period which ended on 31 December 2020. Please see the Northern Ireland subtopic for details of the rules that apply to Northern Ireland. This guidance note provides an overview of the main export procedures that can be used by businesses exporting goods to countries outside of the EU customs territories. This note does not provide specific information on the export controls that are required for particular types of goods. Information can be obtained from the HMRC website on this aspect.

This note has been updated to reflect the changes introduced by the Union Customs Code (UCC) with effect from 1 May 2016. More information on the UCC can be found in HMRC Notice Customs special procedures for the Union Customs Code (Notice 3001).

More information on sending export documentation can be found in the HMRC Export Best Practice Guide. HMRC has also produced a guide to complete, Completing an export declaration, which may also be useful.

Explanations regarding the various abbreviations used below can be found in EXPP1080 and EXPP1090.

Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

HMRC announced that the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will be replaced by the CDS during 2018. It will be a phased launch commencing in August 2018. All declarations are expected to take place on CDS from early 2019. See the Customs Declaration Service for more information.

National Export System (NES)

NES is the electronic system that can be used to declare the export of goods. Data is entered into the CHIEF computer system where it will validate and process the four stages of export:

  1. 1)

    electronic submission of export declarations prior to the shipment of the goods

  2. 2)

    electronic ‘presentation’ of the goods to Customs (in the UK this is the ‘Arrival’ message into CHIEF)

  3. 3)

    electronic ‘customs clearance’ granting Permission to Progress (P2P)

  4. 4)

    electronic ‘departure’ message which puts the export

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