Export declarations and the National Export System

National Export System fallback measures

You may experience technical problems when using the National Export System (NES). Usually connectivity is only affected for short periods so it pays to be patient. However, if you're continually unsuccessful using one 'route' into Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), you may wish to try another to make your declaration.

If connectivity on one or more routes is out for at least half a working day, fallback entry procedures will be brought in for users of those routes. These procedures will be announced in a number of ways:

  • via the CHIEF notice board
  • via the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) National Advice Service enquiry line
  • via the NES helpdesk

Once HMRC has made the fallback decision, you're required to present three key documents to customs - all of which can be downloaded from the HMRC website or faxed through from the NES helpdesk on request. It's recommended that you hold master copies of these three forms in the event of a systems failure. You can find the following forms on the HMRC website:

Note that the exporter/declarant is responsible for all of the following during fallback periods:

  • lodging documents with customs
  • presenting evidence of permission to progress (P2P) to loaders
  • submitting the export declaration electronically without delay once services resume

You must:

  • Complete each declaration and write 'Fallback' in red ink on each C88/ESS. If you're authorised for either the Simplified Declaration Procedure or Local Clearance Procedure, you will be allowed to submit partially completed SADs as Pre-Shipment Advice.
  • Form C 1402 (F) should contain an undertaking that you will make your declaration electronically once CHIEF is working again.
  • Complete a C 130EX as permission to progress (P2P) can only be given once Form C130EX is received. However, the fact that HMRC issues manual P2P in this way, does not guarantee that export loaders will be able to process and ship the consignments - for example, if their own inventory linked systems are still working. This is a commercial matter outside of HMRC's control.

Priority goods

Consignments which require urgent despatch by their nature, such as perishable foods, will receive priority attention.

CAP fallback

The only form of CAP fallback is by Customs Input Entry (CIE). This must be submitted on Form C88 (CAP) CIE with 'Fallback' written in red at the top - in addition to a C 130EX and C 1402 (F). The forms must be presented at the National Clearance Hub.