AAD: “Accompanying Administrative Document used in EMCS transit of Excise goods.

AAD Reference Code (ARC) : Ref above AAD: The unique reference code for an electronic Administrative Accompanying Document (AAD), this is assigned by its holder's Member State Administration.

Ad-valorem duty: A duty based on a percentage of the value of the goods.

AEP: Automated entry processing (AEP is the Irish Revenue’s customs declarations system which handles the validation, processing, duty, accounting and clearance of customs declarations in Republic of Ireland).

Agent: A person authorised to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. The types of customs agents include brokers, commission merchants, resident buyers, sales agents, manufacturer's representatives.

Agricultural duties : Import and export duties introduced under the common agricultural policy

Anti-dumping duties: Customs duties imposed on imports from specific countries in addition to the normal or preferential duty; such duties may be introduced by countries or economic zones where the export price is below the normal value of the commodity, and usually on if such imports threaten the local Community producers of similar products.

Approved exporter (export procedure): A person who has been authorised to use the local clearance procedure for exports, i.e. goods are placed under the procedure by entry in their records and the customs authorities are notified of the removal of the goods from their premises.

Approved exporter (origin): Someone who makes frequent shipments of products and thus qualifies for preferential origin status and who has been authorised to complete invoice declarations for proof of origin.

Article 50: The formal mechanism for exiting the EU: A clause in the 2007 Lisbon treaty allowing any member state “to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”. It allows for negotiations to arrange citizens’ rights, the issue of the Irish border and the UK’s final exit bill.

ATR: Anticipated Transit Record.

Authorised consignee: A person that has been authorised to receive at their premises or any other specified place, goods moved under a transit procedure without presenting the goods and the transit declaration at the office of destination.

Authorised consignor: A person that has been authorised to carry out transit operations without presenting the goods and the transit declaration at the office of departure.


B/L: "Bill of Lading; This is a document issued by a carrier, or their agent, to the shipper and is a a contract for the carriage of goods. It can also be a receipt for cargo accepted for transportation, a B/L must be presented in order to take delivery at the destination.

Badge: Goods imported via the major ports and airports in the UK, or cleared into inland UK customs clearance sites, are managed by port community systems, for these, although you can still submit customs declarations using Descartes’ e-Customs software you will also need a port community system identity, otherwise called a “Badge” “Port Badge” or "Chief Badge". Separate port Badges are required for each inventory linked port, or a single badge can be used at multiple non-inventory locations.

Bank Draft: Similar to a personal cheque it is an order issued by a seller against a purchaser; usually it directs payment through an intermediary bank.

Bank Guarantee: Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of a lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.

Bill of exchange: A non-interest-bearing, written order that is used primarily in international trade. It binds one party to pay a fixed sum of money to another party at a predetermined future date. Bills of exchange are similar to cheques and promissory notes. If issued by a bank, they may also be referred to as bank drafts. If issued by individuals, they may be referred to as trade drafts.

Bill of sale: A legal document confirming the transfer of ownership of named goods to another person in return for monies paid.

Binding origin information (BOI): Written information issued by the customs authorities of the Member States on the preferential or non-preferential origin of specific goods to be imported or exported.

Binding tariff information (BTI): Information issued by the customs authorities of the Member States on the classification of goods in the combined nomenclature or a nomenclature derived therefrom.

BIRDS - Bulk Import Reduced Data Set: Comes into effect in Great Britain on 1 January 2021. This will enable traders and intermediaries to declare a number of low value items in one single customs declaration. More info here

Bond: A legal undertaking or contract by which a person binds themself to the Customs to do or not to do some act specified by a law or regulation. (May also be referred to as a Customs Bond).

Bonded Goods: Refers to goods stored in a warehouse (operated or approved by Customs), awaiting the payment of duty or the goods are exported or otherwise legally dealt with.

Brexit: “The British exit from the European Union, a phrase created initially in the press and now used to describe the separation of The UK from the European Union. This process was initated on 1st January 2020, we are now in the transition period where trade negotiations are taking place and this is expected to conclude on 31st December 2020 (EU Exit)

Bulk cargo: Loose, unpackaged, non-containerized cargo (such as cement, grains, coal, ores, etc.) carried in a ship's hold, and loaded and discharged through hatchways.

Bulk Carriers: Vessels designed to carry dry (such as grain, cement, fertilizers, etc.) or liquid (oil, petroleum, methanol, Wine, etc.) bulk cargo.


C&F: Obsolete, but heavily used, term of sale meaning ‘cost and freight’ - A Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. replaced with CFR

C&I/CI: Cost and Insurance - The price will include the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges but not the cost of the ocean freight to the named point of destination.

C88's: Customs entry also know as SAD

CAF: Currency Adjustment Factor - A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, applied to compensate ocean carriers for currency fluctuations.

Cage: A secure holding area for storing high value or high tax goods inside an air, sea cargo or freight forwarder's bonded/facility.

Carrier: The person or company transporting goods, in charge of or responsible for the operation and the means of transport.

CCC aka CCN: Community Customs Code

CCIP: Customs Code Implementing Provisions

CCT / Common Customs Tariff: Applies to the import of goods across external borders of the EU and is common for all EU Members. the rates will however differ depending upon the product and where it comes from.

CDS, Customs Declarations Service: Customs Declaration Service - The UK's HMRC software for the electronic filing of Customs Declarations, The CDS system is planned to replace the older CHIEF system in the near future. The CDS System may be the preferred option for the Northern Ireland Customs Declarations as it can cope with multiple tariffs.

Certificate of origin: A specific document identifying the origin of the goods, on which the authority or body empowered to issue said certificate states that the goods originate in a specific country. This certificate may also include a declaration by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person (WCO)

CFR (named port of destination): Cost and Freight means that the seller must pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel by the seller is then transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment. Where the Customs Value is based on CIF, the cost of overseas insurance must be added to the CFR Value. CFR terms of trade are generally used for sea or inland waterway transportation.

CHIEF: Customs Handling Import and Export Freight

Chief Badge: Goods imported via the major ports and airports in the UK are managed by UK port community systems, for these, although you can still submit customs declarations using Descartes’ e-Customs software you will also need a port community system identity, otherwise called a “Badge” “port Badge” or "Chief Badge". Separate port Badges are required for each inventory linked port, or a single badge can be used at multiple non-inventory locations.

CIF (named port of destination): Cost, Insurance and Freight means that the seller has the same obligations as under CFR, but with the addition that they also have to procure marine insurance against the buyer's risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium.

CIP ( Named place of destination): Carriage and Insurance Paid To (...named place of destination). The seller transports the goods to the port of export, clears Customs, and delivers them to the carrier. The seller pays transportation and insurance costs to the named place of destination. The title & risk pass to the buyer once the seller delivers the goods to the carrier. CIP terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.

CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Clearance into Home use: The Customs procedure which covers imported goods that enter into free circulation within the Customs Territory upon the payment of any import duties and taxes that are chargeable and the finalisation of all necessary Customs formalities are completed.

CN22: Form for goods Mailed abroad to the value of £270

CN23: Form for goods Mailed abroad greater than the value of £270

COD: Cash on Delivery, a transaction whereby goods are paid for in cash or by certified cheque immediately upon receipt by the purchaser; or may refer to Carried On Docket relating to pricing.

Collect freight: Freight charges as shown on a Bill of Lading or an air waybill that are payable to the carrier at the port of discharge or the final destination. The consignee will not have to pay for the freight charges if the cargo does not arrive at the final destination.

Combined nomenclature (CN) : A list of goods descriptions based on the Harmonized System, for the Common Customs Tariff, external trade statistics, and other Community policies

Commodity codes: Dependent upon the customs code (or commodity code) used for your goods will determine which taxes and regulations apply to them, the right code for the goods must be used.

Common Carrier: A for hire transportation company providing a service to the general public at published rates.

Common transit: When you move goods between or through EU and common transit countries you can use the Common Transit Convention (CTC). This will allow you to move your goods quicker because customs declarations are not required at each border crossing only pay customs duties when the goods reach their final destination complete some customs procedures away from the border.

Community Customs Code: This provides for 8 customs procedures: release for free circulation, transit, customs warehousing, inward processing, processing under customs control, temporary importation, outward processing, and exportation.

Community transit: Customs procedure that allows goods to be moved from one point in the EU Community to another.

Compensating products: Relates to Inward/outward processing relief.

Compliance Management: The application of procedures and practices that are designed to manage compliance with Customs laws.

Consignee: a person entitled to receive goods.

consignment note: Drawn up by the shipper this is a document accompanying goods. It acts as proof that a contract for carriage has been concluded as well as describing its content. It also serves as a receipt when goods are collected from the shipper and delivered to the recipient.

Consignor: A person entitled to send goods.

Consolidation: Two or more shippers or suppliers consignments will be Consolidated into one shipment. Container load shipments can also be consolidated for one or more consignees.

Consolidator: A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. The consolidator takes advantage of lower full cargo (FCL) rates, and savings are passed on to shippers.

Container Terminal: Area in port designated for container storage

Control copy T5: A declaration and undertaking that is used to cover goods imported into, exported from or moving within the customs territory of the Community, they are subject to proof of compliance with the conditions provided for or prescribed by a Community rule for their use and/or destination.

CoO: Certificate of Origin

Countervailing duties: These are customs duties imposed on imports from specific countries over and above the normal duty; such duties might be added when there is a subsidy granted by the exporting country on those classification of goods.

CPC - Customs Procedure Code: This is your reason for importing or exporting, expressed as either a seven digit number or a six digit number and one letter. ... At the very least it is a short written statement and must be present on your customs declaration that clearly explains the purpose of your shipment.

CPEI - Customs Procedures with Economic Impact: These procedures; customs warehousing, inward processing, processing under customs control, temporary importation, outward processing, all require an authorisation and in some situations an evaluation of their economic impact.

CPT (...named place of destination): Carriage Paid To... means that the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring once the goods have been delivered to the carrier is then transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the carrier.

CSFP: Customs Simplified Freight Procedure

CSP: Community System Provider - Goods imported via the major ports and airports, or cleared into inland clearance sites in the UK, are managed by UK port community systems. To submit UK customs declarations via these systems you also require a port community system identity, otherwise called a “Badge” “port Badge” or "Chief Badge" and these are provided by a Community System Provider (CSP) such as Descartes’ Pentant.

CSP's (Primary): Community Service Providers. These are Descartes Pentant, CNS, MCP or CCSUK

Cumulation: Rules that allow components and processing in certain partner countries to be considered for the acquisition/maintenance of preferential origin

Customs: The Government Service which is responsible for the administration of Customs law and the collection of duties and taxes and the responsibility for applying other laws and regulations relating to the importation, exportation, movement or storage of goods.

Customs clearing agent/broker: A person/company that arranges the Customs clearance of goods on behalf of others and who deals directly with the Customs for and on behalf of another person/company. (WCO)

Customs controls: Regulations adhered to by the Customs authorities of the Member States with the aim of ensuring that the customs rules and other applicable trade provisions are adhered to observed, e.g. examining goods, documents or accounts, or carrying out investigations into the carriage of goods.

Customs debt: The obligation on a person/company to pay import or export duties under the provisions of the Community Customs Code and the Common Customs Tariff

Customs Declaration: The form completed and submitted to HMRC for both imports & Exports normally electronically, with data e.g. covering goods description, value. See also ICS/EMCS/NCTS-T1,T2 etc/CHIEF/CDS/C88/ETS

Customs Duties: The duties laid down in the Customs tariff to which goods are liable on entering or leaving the Customs territory. (Kyoto Convention)

Customs formalities: All activities which must be completed in order to comply with the Customs law.

Customs seal: A fastening that is affixed to goods, in accordance with certain Customs procedures (Customs transit, in particular) generally to prevent or to draw attention to any unauthorized interference with the sealed items.

Customs Territory: A geographic area, covering two or more countries, which share the same custom regulations. Under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, Northern Ireland and Great Britain will remain part of the same customs territory - although Northern Ireland will need to continue to follow EU custom rules.

Customs union: The merger of two or more customs territories in a way that customs duties and non-tariff barriers are eliminated between the members of the union for all trade, and a common customs tariff along with common rules for non-tariff barriers are introduced for all trade with countries outside of this union.

Customs value: The value of goods according to the customs rules for the purpose of applying ad valorem duties

Customs warehouse: A designated place where imported goods are stored under Customs control without payment of import duties and taxes. Might also be called a bonded warehouse or Excise warehouse.


DAF: Delivered at Frontier means that the seller fulfils their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available, cleared for export, at the named point and place at the frontier, but before the customs border of the adjoining country. The seller is responsible for all costs involved in delivering the goods to the named border point. The term "frontier" may be used for any frontier including that of the country of export. Therefore, it is of vital importance that the frontier in question be defined precisely by always naming the point and place in the term. The buyer is responsible for paying the costs and bearing the risk of unloading the goods, clearing Customs and transporting the goods to the final destination. DAF terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.

DDC: Destination Delivery Charge - A charge that is based on the size of a container. This charge is considered accessorial and is added to the base ocean freight. This charge often covers lifting the container off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and any gate fees applied by the terminal operator.

DDP (...named port of destination): Delivered Duty Duty Paid (...named port of destination). This form of trade refers to a door-to-door service. The seller is responsible for all costs involved in delivering the goods to a named destination and for clearing Customs in the country of import. The title & risk passes to the buyer when the seller delivers the goods to the destination, the seller bears the entire risk of loss until the goods are delivered to the final destination.

DDU (...named port of destination): Delivered Duty Unpaid - means that the seller fulfils their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto (excluding duties, taxes and other official charges payable upon importation) as well as the costs and risks of carrying out customs formalities. The buyer has to pay any additional costs and also bear any risks caused by their failure to clear the goods for import in time. The seller is responsible for all costs involved in delivering the goods to a named place of destination. The seller pays for inland transportation and insurance to the point of final destination. DDU terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.

Debtor: Any person liable for payment of a customs debt

Declarant: Any natural or legal person who makes a Customs Declaration or in whose name such a declaration is made. (WCO)

Declaration of value (D.V.1): A form that accompanies the customs declaration when it is necessary to establish the customs value

Declaration on arrival/departure: Any declaration that is required to be made or produced to the Customs authorities upon the arrival or departure of a means of transport by the person responsible for the means of transport or his agent and containing the necessary particulars relating to the means of transport and to the journey, cargo, stores, crew or passengers. (WCO)

Deconsolidation point : Place or location where loose or other non-containerised cargo is ungrouped for delivery. (ETSF/ITSF Customs Warehouse ICD)

Demurrage: A charge made by a shipping company or a port authority for failure to load or remove goods within the time allowed

DEP: Designated Export Place.

DEQ (...named port of destination): Delivered Ex Quay (duty paid) means that the seller fulfils their obligation to deliver when they have made the goods available to the buyer on the quay(wharf) at the named port of destination, cleared for importation and the seller is responsible for all costs involved in transporting the goods tot he quay at the port of destination including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto. The buyer is responsible for paying duties, clearing Customs and arranging for inland freight and insurance.

DES (...named port of destination): Delivered Ex Ship means that the seller fulfils their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available to the buyer on board the ship uncleared for import at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear all costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the named port and is responsible for all costs/risk of loss prior to unloading at the port of destination. The buyer is responsible for unloading the goods, paying duties, clearing Customs and arranging for inland transportation and insurance to the final destination. DES terms of trade are generally used for sea or inland waterway transportation.

Destruction: Customs treatment of Community goods subject to end-use controls and non-Community goods in order to avoid payment of import duties.

Drawback: The amount of import duties and taxes repaid under the drawback procedure. (Annex F, Kyoto Convention) it is one of the two variants of the inward processing procedure under which the import duties are paid at release for free circulation and refunded when the processed products or the goods in the unaltered state are re-exported. Many free-trade agreements don't allow drawback if a preferential proof of origin is issued.

Drawback procedure: When goods are exported this is the Customs procedure that provides for a repayment (total or partial) to be made in respect of the import duties and taxes charged on the goods, or on the materials contained in them or consumed in their production.

Dual-use Export Controls: The ‘dual-use’ label in international trade covers sensitive goods, services, software and technology that have both civilian and military applications. Pre-Brexit, most exports between EU member countries did not require licenses, with the exception being for military items or dual-use goods listed in Annex IV of the EU Dual-Use Regulation 428/2009.

From December 31, 2020, the date that the UK officially ceased to be part of the European trading bloc, shipments of dual-use items to EU countries will require export authorization in line with the British Export Control Order 2008. To help businesses comply this, the Export Control Joint Unit, which administers and enforces the UK’s system of export controls and licensing, has published the Open General Export License (OGEL) for dual-use exports.

Going the other way for exports from EU nations to the UK, businesses are advised to seek guidance from the relevant EU licensing authority at the individual state level. This is the same treatment with regards to sensitive exports to non-EU countries.

Link to The blog on VisualCompliance.com

DUCR: Declared Unique Consignment Reference

Duty relief: Duty relief is provided for outward processing of goods


e-AAD: Electronic Administrative Accompanying Document

EBTI: European Binding Tariff Information

ECICS : European Customs Inventory of Chemical Substances

EDI: Electronic Data Interchange. The electronic transmission of data.

EDIFACT: International data interchange standards sponsored by the United Nations. See UN/EDIFACT. Cusdec.

EIDR - Entry in Declarant’s Records: (EIDR) previously known as the Local Clearance Procedure (LCP), allows economic operators to release goods to a customs procedure without the need to provide a full customs declaration at the point of release using a simplified data set via an entry in their electronic commercial records. A supplementary declaration may be required at a later date providing the full fiscal and statistical information. When you declare your goods to a customs procedure by EIDR, you may need to notify HMRC that this has taken place.

EEA: European Economic Area- The European Economic Area consists of the EU’s single market plus three European Free Trade Association members - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. These countries trade freely with the single market in exchange for accepting its rules. Switzerland is in EFTA, but not the EEA.

EFTA : European Free Trade Association - Switzerland is in EFTA but not the EEA. Bilateral accords give it special access to the single market. Switzerland along with Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland are EFTA countries and not in the customs union, they can negotiate trade deals with third countries such as China.

EMCS: Excise Movement Control System

ENO: CHIEF Customs Entry Number (Import/Export Declaration)

Entry Summary declarations (ENS): these are Security filings

EPU: Entry Processing Unit (Customs Control Point)

ERTS: Renamed to ETSF/ITSF

ETA: Estimated time of arrival

ETD: Estimated time of departure

ETSF: External Temporary Storage Facility - Many companies are now looking at setting up their own External Temporary Storage Facility (ETSF) to mitigate potential delays through UK customs. ETSF’s are often located further inland away from the port or frontier. RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off) traffic can exit the port quickly and the customs declarations can be conducted at the ETSF avoiding unnecessary delays. From July 2021, all Temporary Storage Facilities must be inventory linked. Read More.

EU aka EEC: European Union (EU 27)

EU27: EU27 countries of the European Union excluding the UK

eurozone: The Euro area comprises 19 EU Member States which have adopted the Euro as their common currency and sole legal tender.

Examination of goods: the physical inspection of goods by the Customs this will be to check the nature, origin, condition, quantity and value of the goods are all in accordance with the details provided on the Goods declaration form.

Excise duty: A tax on goods that are manufactured locally / A tax on quantity, not value)Generally levied on alcohol, tobacco, energy products (oil, gas, etc), vehicles or "luxury" products.

Export: The customs procedure of taking Community goods out of the customs territory.

Export duties: Export charges due against goods being exported

Export entry: a declaration utilised by the government into which the goods are taken in order to collect data and to ensure compliance with their legislation. In some countries it may also used to collect export duties/taxes.

Export license: A government document which permits the ‘Licensee’ to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.

Exportation: The act of taking any goods out of the Customs territory.

Exporter: The person/company on whose behalf the export declaration is made and who is also the owner of the goods or has a similar right of disposal over them. It may also be the person who is partner of the export contract, the holder of an export license or who is entitled to export refunds

External Tariff: An import tariff applied equally by each country participating in a customs union, e.g. the EU might impose a common external tariff on imported whisky from Japan.

EXW ex-Works (... named place): The seller makes the goods available to the buyer at the seller’s premises. The title & risk pass to the buyer at that point, including payment of all transportation and insurance costs from the seller’s door. The EXW price does not include the price of loading goods onto a vehicle. EXW terms of trade are used for many modes of transport.



Flextension: A "flextension" was first used in House of Commons to describe the first extension made to the Article 50 period for the UK Leaving the EU. That extension was until 12 April 2019, but could have been extended to May 2019. A "flextension" was also how European Council president Donald Tusk characterised a following option that allowed for an extension until 31 January 2020, but which allowed the UK to leave before the deadline.

Free zone, free warehouse: A territory or premises situated in the customs territory where import duties and commercial policy measures are suspended for non-Community goods, and Community goods can already benefit from measures requiring their export.

FTA: Free Trade Agreement


GSP: Generalised System of Preferences

GVMS: The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) is intended to facilitate movements via RoRo ports by reporting vehicle details and customs declaration references for goods being carried prior to arrival at the port of export. This is intended initially from 1st January 2021 to be used for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland (and limited circumstances from Northern Ireland to Great Britain) as well as for all goods moving under Transit from the EU. From July 2021 this will be extended to movements between GB and EU on both imports and exports via certain GB ports, primarily RoRo locations. The aim is that for goods arriving at ports operating GVMS, a pre-lodged or pre-arrival declaration (or Transit) would be required along with any Safety & Security declaration before any goods travel to the port of export and that GVMS will be used so that Hauliers, Port operators and carriers can use a single GVMS Reference to process on arrival and departure of a vehicle or trailer so that on arrival in NI or GB the majority of goods will be able to flow without further intervention.


Hand baggage/Carry : Hand Carry - Merchandise in Baggage (MIB) usually as carry on to an aeroplane.

Hard Border : A border controlled by any sort of infrastructure, or customs officials, police, or military personnel.

Hard Brexit : unofficial description used by the media to describe the prospective relationship between the UK and the EU after a No-Deal withdrawal from the EU. It usually refers to the UK leaving the EU and the European Single Market with few or no deals (trade or otherwise) in place, meaning that trade will be conducted under the World Trade Organization's rules, and services will no longer be provided by agencies of the European Union.

HMRC : Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

HS : Harmonized System


ICD: Inland Clearance Depot

ICS – Import Control System: If you import goods from outside the EU, you’ll need to use the Import Control System to tell customs that your goods are arriving before they leave the country they’re coming from for safety and security purposes. For the UK a new system GB Safety & Security will replace the current EU ICS System.

Implementation period: The period ending on 31 December 2020 at 11 p.m. GMT, as stated in section 39 of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019–20. During this time any arrangements for customs are intended to be put in place by both the UK and the EU.

Implementing provisions: I

Import and Export Declarations: The are SAD and NES declarations made to UK's HMRC

Import duties: Customs duties payable on imported goods, as well as import charges laid down under the common agricultural policy and specific arrangements for processed agricultural products

Import goods: Goods placed under a suspensive procedure and goods that have been released for free circulation under the inward processing drawback system.

International organisation: The organisation mentioned in the TIR Convention as being responsible for the organisation and functioning of the international guarantee system

Intra-EU flight: The movement of an aircraft between two EU airports, without any stopovers, which does not start from or end at a non-EU airport

Intra-EU traveller: Traveller that takes an Intra-EU flight

Inventory Storage – (see also External Temporary Storage Facility) To link a computerised inventory system to HMRC you will need to join an approved Community Systems Provider. Approved providers are

  • Cargo Community Systems UK
  • Community Network Services
  • Maritime Cargo Processing
  • Pentant

Contact us for information on Pentant and Port Badges

Inward processing: A procedure allowing the import of goods for the purposes of processing and re-exporting them. The import duties are either suspended, together with commercial policy measures (suspension system), or initially paid and refunded at re-export (drawback system).

IPR: Inward Processing Relief

Irish Backstop: An arrangement intended to prevent a hard border between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and thus respect the Good Friday Agreement. It was included in the 2018 draft withdrawal agreement, and would come into force if no solution to the Irish border problem was found during the transition period. Under the plan, the UK would remain in a customs union with the EU, while Northern Ireland and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the UK would follow additional EU rules. The backstop is seen as being controversial because critics fear it would bind the UK to the EU for an indefinite time and the UK could not withdraw from the EU unilaterally. In October 2019, the withdrawal agreement was revised, and the Irish backstop was replaced with a four-year period in which Northern Ireland would remain aligned with EU law, and which can be extended to eight years with the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


JCCC: Joint Customs Consultative Committee, trade representation and Consultative Groups



LCP - Local Clearance Procedures: See EIDR

Letter Of Credit: A letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, whose validity has been confirmed by a domestic bank. An exporter who has a confirmed letter of credit is assured receipt of payment even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank then defaults.

Lisbon treaty: The Treaty of Lisbon. refers to the amended Treaty on European Union, including the insertion of Article 50 which concerns a Member State's ability to withdraw from the EU.

Loading list: An administrative or commercial document that may be used in place of a SAD when more than one item is being carried under transit.

Landed Costs: The ‘landed cost’ is the sum of the net cost of the item plus how much it is to send the item from the country of origin, transport it into the country in which it will be sold with any admin fees and then have the local taxes added. These costs are all calculable using Descartes Customs Info


Manifest: For maritime and air transport, it is the document listing the cargo on board the transport. The document may be used for customs purposes, subject to prior authorisation, when it contains the necessary particulars, in particular with regard to the customs status of the goods and their identification.

Member State Administration: Country Government of an EU member state

MFN - Most Favoured Nation: under WTO agreements all counties should be treated equally, a country should not grant certain countries special rates - this would become a most favoured nation

Modernised Customs Code: Regulation (EC) No 450/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 (Official Journal L 145, 04.06.2008, p.1. ). This Regulation lays down the general rules and procedures applicable to goods brought into or out of the customs territory of the Community. The code aims to facilitate trade by simplifying and computerising customs procedures and ensuring the interoperability between the IT systems of the customs administrations, while ensuring a high level of safety and security at the external borders. It was adopted in 2013

MRN: Movement Reference Number

MUCR: Master Unique Consignment Reference


NCTS - New Computerised Transit System: a system of electronic declaration and processing that traders must use to submit Common or Union Transit and Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) declarations electronically.

NCH: National Clearance Hub - open 24/7 as a Fiscal Control Centre for UK Customs

NES: New Export System/National Export System - Export Declaration

New computerised transit system (NCTS): Electronic data interchange system which was introduced as the transit declaration and is due to replace the traditional paper procedure in the Community as well as in the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland), can be used for Internal and External Union transit procedures. Used to transfer data and communicate with customs authorities.

No Deal Brexit: This means the UK would leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement. - see Hard Brexit

Normal Procedures: Customs Clearance at Frontier

Northern Ireland Protocol: New Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and Political Declaration relating to trade between the UK, Northern Ireland and The EU and relates to the border between the Republic of Ireland (in the EU) and Northern Ireland (part of the UK).

Norway Deal / model: See soft Brexit. If the deal between the EU and the UK was similar to this deal then the UK would be out of the EU and the customs union (Thus able to negotiate independent free trade agreements with third countries), but with enhanced access to the single market and selected EU programmes. However, it would entail continued financial payments and acceptance of the core EU principles and legislation of the single market, but with no participation in EU decision-making.


OJ: Official Journal of the European Union

Origin of goods: Origin is the "economic" nationality of goods in international trade. It is necessary to determine the origin of goods as any duties and/or equivalent charges or any customs restrictions or obligations applicable to them will depend on their origin. this is often important for the components of larger items, e.g. motor car engines.

Outward processing: This is a customs procedure allowing the export of Community goods for processing abroad and the re-import of the processed products under total or partial duty relief


Packing list: This indicates how the goods for export are packed, identifies the contents of the boxes and provides the volumes, weights and dimensions of each parcel in the consignment. Required by Customs when goods are exported or imported, and it must be able to be produced and seen.

PCC - Processing under Customs Control: A procedure allowing goods to be imported under suspension of import duties and commercial policy measures for the purposes of processing and subsequent release for free circulation at a more favourable import duty.

Pentant: Descartes Pentant is a leading Community System Provider (CSP) in the UK, providing a secure and reliable link to H.M. Revenue & Customs’ CHIEF System for Carriers; Freight Forwarders; Port, Wharf, Terminal, and Inland Freight facility operators; Fast Parcel Operators; Warehouse and Distribution centres. Pentant Badges are suitable for both inventory and non-inventory clearances at Dover, and all non-inventory ports. (See Chief Badges above).

Point of unloading: The location/point of delivery where goods are unloaded or signed for.

Political declaration: A document setting out the intended future relationship between the UK and EU. The declaration forms the basis for the trade deal negotiations now that the UK has left the EU. Unlike the withdrawal agreement, which is a legally binding treaty, the political declaration will not have legal force.

Port Badge: Also known as a “Badge” or "Chief Badge". individual Port Badges or “identities” are required for each inventory linked port, or inland UK customs clearance site, and their related Port Community System (See CSP above) it is for these systems that you will need a port badge.

Contact us for information on Pentant and Port Badges

Principal: The person who places goods under the transit procedure, even if this is done by an authorised representative.

Processing operations: Covers the working of goods, including assembling them or fitting them to other goods, the processing of goods, the repair of goods, including restoring them and putting them in order. Usually used for the temporary import of goods for repairs prior to being re-exported once fixed.

Proof of origin: Proof that the goods fulfil the origin requirements laid down may be required


Quantitative restrictions: Specific numerical limits on the quantity or value of goods that can be imported (or exported) during a specific period.

Quota: The quantity of goods that may be imported into a country without restriction or imposition of additional duties, relates to specific goods.


Re-exportation : Customs treatment of non-Community goods that are taken out of the customs territory.

Registered baggage: Baggage which, once registered in the departure airport, is neither accessible to the traveller during the flight nor at the stopover if there is one. This luggage is carried in the baggage hold of the plane

RoRo: Roll-on, Roll-off. Refers to vehicles, usually Heavy Goods Vehicles, entering and exiting a ferry using their own wheels.

Rules of Origin: The process of identifying where components in a finished product (such as a car) originate from and whether any duty (tax) needs to be paid. - refer to Origin of Goods


SAD: Single Administrative document (C88)

Safety & Security declarations: Import Control System / Entry Notification System

Security: in relation to an amount of money it is an amount that might be requested by the customs authorities to ensure payment of customs debt.

SEED: System of Exchange of Excise Data - The system allowing the Member States to exchange data of registered operators.

Sensitive goods: A range of goods for which the Community guaranteeing associations have withdrawn the TIR guarantee

Simplified procedures: Relates to Authorised Economic Operators and is any procedure that simplifies the process of submitting declarations to HMRC - AEO speeds up application

Single Administrative Document (SAD): This is a multi-copy form which is used throughout the Community and EFTA countries for the control of imports, exports and goods in transit. C88

Single Market: The EU policy that enables goods, services, people and capital (money) to move between all 27 EU member states (+UK During the transition period of 2020), as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Countries in the single market apply many common rules and standards. A UK company has been able to sell its product (goods) in Portugal as easily as it can in Portsmouth, bring back the cash (capital), offer maintenance (services) and dispatch a repair team (people) with out custom duties needing to be paid.

Smart Freight System: The Smart Freight System is to be used primarily for education and traffic management in areas such as Kent to avoid congestion on the roads, for example leading to Dover. The service is mainly intended for Ro-Ro freight travelling from the UK to the EU and would help ensure that only vehicles carrying the correct documentation for export and EU import travel to ports. Documentation will need to be submitted in advance of the vehicle travelling to the port, with potential fines for vehicles not using the system and not displaying the correct travel permits within specified areas.

Soft Brexit: unofficial terminology, commonly used by the media to describe the prospective relationship between the UK and the EU after the withdrawal. It includes any deal that involves remaining a member of the European Single Market and at least some free movement of people according to European Economic Area (EEA) rules.[40] Note that the EEA and the deal with Switzerland contain fully free movement of people, and that the EU has wanted that to be included in a deal with UK on fully free trade.


TAD (Transit Accompanying Document): The TAD accompanies the goods where a transit declaration is processed at an office of departure by the NCTS. Copies A and B of the TAD replace copies No 4 and No 5 of the SAD. The TAD corresponds to the specimen and notes in Appendix III, Annexes D3 and D4 Convention/Annex 45a IPC.

TARIC: Integrated tariff of the Community, held in a Commission database containing EC import and export measures applicable to specific goods, such as tariff suspensions, tariff quotas, tariff preferences, anti-dumping duties, quantitative restrictions, embargoes, export

Temporary storage: see also Customs Warehouse and ETSF (Freeport)

TIN - Tax Identification Number: This is an identifying number used for tax purposes

TIR carnet: Document facilitating transit, serves as both a customs declaration and as a guarantee in countries that are a contracting party to the TIR Convention.

TIR carnet holder: The company authorised by Customs to use TIR carnets

TIR Convention: The Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets, 1975

TIR guarantee: The amount of the security (money) covering the duties and taxes at risk. The TIR Convention recommends the amount of the guarantee should be $50,000 per TIR carnet. The EU Community has fixed the amount at 60,000 EURO per TIR carnet

Trade tariff: refer to commodity codes, duty and VAT

Transit movements: also know as NCTS

Transit Shed Operator (TSO) : Company who owns/runs shed at airport e.g. British Airways,

Transition period: The transition period is from 1st Jan 2020 until 11pm 31st December 2020 and is intended to allow time for the UK and EU to agree their future relationship. The UK will have no say in the making of new EU laws during the transition but will have to follow all EU rules, including freedom of movement. An extension can be applied for by the UK, but it must be ratified and agreed by the EU before the end of June 2020.

TSS - Trader Support Service: UK Government service to help traders moving goods to NI including the filing of Customs Declarations where traders are unable to do this themselves.


UCC: Union Customs Code

UKBF: United Kingdom Border Force

ULD: Aircraft Unit Load Device – A standard-sized aircraft container unit that is used to facilitate the rapid loading and unloading of aircraft all ULD's have compatible handling and restraint systems.

Union Customs Code: A key element of the ongoing actions to modernise EU customs. It provides a comprehensive framework for customs rules and procedures in the EU customs territory adapted to modern trade realities and modern communication tools. The Union Customs Code aims at a paperless and fully automated customs union. Started 1st May 2016


VAT: Value Added Tax

VAT Postponed Accounting : UK VAT-registered persons can account for the VAT on UK imported goods on their VAT returns, paying and recovering import VAT on the same VAT return.

VIES: VAT Information Exchange System


WCO: World Customs Organisation

Withdrawal Agreement : A draft treaty between the UK and the EU, setting out the terms for the UK's withdrawal. In October 2019, the EU and the new UK government agreed a new version of the withdrawal agreement, with the Irish backstop being replaced by another solution to the Irish border problem. The new withdrawal agreement passed its second reading in the House of Commons in December 2019 and Brexit took place, i.e. the UK legally left the EU and entered into the transition period where the final trade agreements is being negotiated.

WTO: World Trade Organisation - Without a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) trade between the UK and the EU would happen under the rules of the 164-member World Trade Organisation, of which the UK is an independent member. When countries do not have free-trade agreements, they usually trade with each other under rules set by the World Trade Organization. Each country sets tariffs - or taxes - on goods entering. For example, cars passing from non-EU countries to the EU are charged at 10% of their value. But tariffs on some agricultural products are much higher - dairy averages more than 35%. Should the UK choose to have zero tariffs on goods from the EU, it must also have zero tariffs on goods from every WTO member. (Refer to MFN.)


to top