The importance of the Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR)

The format of the Declaration Unique Consignment Reference

The format of the Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR) should conform to the Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) structure recommended by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

The format of a trader generated DUCR is <year> <country>< Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI)><-><traders' reference> where:

  • 'Year' - is the year in which the DUCR was allocated. For example, '9' if allocated in 2019, '0' if allocated in 2020 and '1' if allocated in 2021. Therefore for the year 2019, ensure the year component of the DUCR entered onto the Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH) advance notification contains the single '9' digit and not '19'. In 2020, enter the year as a single '0' digit and not '20'.
  • 'Country' - is the country where the DUCR was allocated.
  • 'EORI' - is the identity of the trader as known to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). In the UK this is the 12 character EORI number.
  • '-' - is a dash.
  • 'Reference' - is a unique series of characters that the trader, whose EORI number is included in the DUCR, devises and which provides an audit trail within traders' commercial records. This component of the DUCR is restricted to numbers, upper case letters and certain special characters.

To ensure a positive outcome from DUCR and optionally completed Part suffix matching is achieved, the DUCR reference quoted within the PEACH Advance Notification and the Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight (CHIEF) import declaration will need to be identical to meet the requirements of the Automatic Licence Verification matching algorithm.

Equally, failure to complete the declaration UCR on the CHIEF Import declaration will mean that CHIEF will generate a DUCR reflecting the entry number details resulting in a mismatch situation and potentially incurring delays in customs clearance.

If CHIEF generates a DUCR because a genuine DUCR has not been completed on the Import declaration, the corresponding PEACH application will require amending to match the same DUCR reference created on CHIEF.