European Union (EU) legislation around the export of goods has resulted in an Export Control System (ECS) that captures all export movements throughout the EU’s 27 member states.

ECS is an approach that is designed to standardize communications between different countries and ensure that all proper processes and validations are performed from the export declaration through to the presentation of goods at exit, leading to the exit confirmation processes.

Despite specific EU-wide legislation, customs authorities in each member states have their own specifications, processes, communication protocols and data formats. What is clear is that achieving seamless communications is integral to the efficient movements of goods across geographic boundaries.

EU legislation requires that all goods brought out of the customs territory, regardless of final destination, will be assessed for risks and subject to customs control prior to departure. Most goods leaving a Member State will be covered by a customs declaration for export, re-export, outward processing or transit. However Exist Summary Declarations (EXS) are required for goods with certain specified exemptions, and for which a customs declaration is not required. As with other customs functions, EXS requirements and timing can differ between member states.

As an integral part of the export process, the successful processing of Export Declarations (ED), the Arrival at Exit Notifications (AEN), the ECS Export Manifest (EEM) and Exit Summary Declarations (EXS) relies on accuracy, efficiency and open communications between partners.