National Clearance Hub

How declarations are processed at the National Clearance Hub


The procedures for Direct Trader Input (DTI) import and National Export System (NES) declarations are outlined below. Read about how to register for the National Export System to make an export declaration.

You must submit certain documents for clearance and/or examination to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when you are moving goods under either DTI or NES. Read more about contacting the National Clearance Hub.

Documents to be provided for clearance

When you receive Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) generated form E2 advising that an entry for your goods has been selected Route 1 for documentary check, Route 2 for physical examination or Route 0 you must send the National Clearance Hub (NCH):

  • the E2
  • a copy of the Single Administrative Document - form C88
  • evidence of the goods' value
  • packing list of items included
  • any appropriate licence or certificate

You can send this information by fax or email and it must be accompanied by an appropriate Trader Submission header form.

Use a separate header for each entry - even where a number of declarations are submitted at the same time. There may be delays to clearance if the appropriate header isn't used.

If you wish to submit declarations electronically you should use e-versions of the same headers. These must show the CHIEF generated entry number on the 'subject' line.

The NCH can receive popular file formats such as JPEG, TIF and PDF files. If you want to use compressed images or non-PC files, you should send a prearranged test email to check that the scanned documents are compatible with HMRC software.

Multi-item entries or multi-importer/exporter entries

HMRC is keen to ensure that the minimum amount of paperwork is submitted to the NCH for clearance to take place. When an entry that has multiple lines is selected for Route 1 or Route 2, contact the NCH enquiry point to determine what paperwork needs to be faxed or emailed for clearance.

Evidence of value

It's your responsibility to fax or email enough copy documentation to provide 'representative evidence' for the value of the total consignment.

When submitting multi-invoice entries you should fax or email all the invoices relating to the entry, or complete HMRC's example invoice summary form.

You will be advised via the CHIEF system if further documents are needed for clearance.

Packing lists

Where an entry is accompanied by a number of packing lists, you can schedule these using an amended version of the HMRC example invoice summary form and fax or email the schedule to the NCH with all other appropriate documentation.


You will receive an automatic delivery receipt for email but not for fax submissions.

Pre-lodgement entries

This is the posting, faxing and/or emailing copies of the (accepted) hold import entry and any supporting documents to the National Clearance Hub, post pre-entry but pre-arrival of the vessel/goods into the UK.

Pre-lodgement of expected Route 1 and Route 2 entries and any supporting documents by fax, post and/or email at the NCH will be limited to five actual days prior to the expected/scheduled arrival of the vessel/goods. This period includes weekends and bank holidays.

Pre-lodgement is only provided by HMRC to enable importers/agents to lodge their accepted hold entries which they know, or honestly believe, will be allocated a Route 1 or Route 2 status. This means that the NCH no longer accepts and/or actions large amounts of unsorted pre-lodged entries, many of which ultimately proved to be Route 6 ones.

  • NCH Enquiry Line
    0300 322 7900