Using the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) to move goods

NCTS when moving goods under Union Transit

The New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) is in use in all member states of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. Its use is mandatory for traders wishing to move goods under the Community transit (CT) procedure.

When you enter a Transit declaration into the NCTS an electronic message is sent to the customs office of departure. If your declaration is accepted, the system will allocate a movement reference number, which is a unique registration number, given to identify the movement. The Anticipated Arrival Record message is sent by the office of departure to the destination customs office.

Goods moving under the transit procedure must be accompanied by a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) for presentation at destination or in case the goods are diverted or there are any incidents during transit. The TAD can be printed out at the customs office of departure or, if your printer can accommodate barcodes, at your own premises. TADs are authenticated by the system and do not need to be stamped by customs. When the goods arrive at the destination country, it is important that the TAD is presented to customs at the office of destination, so that they can inform the NCTS that the goods have arrived.

Simplified transit procedures

Authorised consignors are approved to:

  • declare goods to UT without presenting them at the office of departure
  • print the TAD and, where applicable, the list of items at the consignor's premises
  • remove goods under customs control directly from their authorised location - this could be the authorised consignor's own premises or an approved customs facility such as a warehouse, a Designated Export Place, Enhanced Remote Transit Shed (ERTS) or other temporary storage facility
  • have automatic 'timed-out' release of goods, provided that no control decision is taken by the office of departure - depending upon the conditions of authorisation, 'time-out' may be outside the normal opening hours of the office of destination

Authorised consignees are approved to:

  • receive the goods and documentation direct to their own premises, or another authorised location, eg a port/airport or other approved place such as a customs warehouse, ERTS or other temporary storage facility, without the requirement to present the goods and TAD to customs at the office of destination
  • send their arrival notification message to the relevant office electronically
  • receive automatic 'timed-out' permission to unload the goods, provided that the goods are not subject to further controls or inspections by the office of destination - depending upon the conditions of authorisation, 'time-out' may be outside of the normal opening hours of the office of departure

Applications for Simplified procedures

Traders and their agents can apply to use the transit simplified procedures using form C1343.

Application forms must be sent to HMRC at:

HMRC Central Community Transit Office

Telephone: 0300 322 7908

Once approval has been given, you must let HMRC’s National Simplifications Team know by post of any changes affecting your authorisation.

Exceptions to NCTS

There are some exceptions to NCTS. These include the simplified procedures given in Commission Regulation (EU) 952/2013 (Customs Code Implementing Provisions) for goods moving by air, sea, or rail. Traders moving non-Union goods within the UK can opt to move them under the Temporary Storage procedure.

You cannot use NCTS to make Proof of Union Status declarations (T2L) documents or Control Copy T5 documents.