Supplementary Declarations for export

Supplementary Declarations for exports and the National Export System

Supplementary Declarations (SDs) can only be made electronically through the National Export System (NES). If you want to use paper export documentation, you have to make a full pre-shipment declaration before shipment.

Communication options for using the NES

A range of technical options allow SD submissions to be integrated into computer systems, or simply typed into a form. SD submissions can be made:

  • as an email attachment via EDCS X.400 or online
  • across the internet via a web form
  • using XML messaging
  • through Community Systems Provider (CSP) links from third parties (agents)
  • via submission of a completed paper C88, Copy 2 to the National Clearance Hub (NCH) in Salford

For further information on submitting declarations electronically to the NES see export declarations and the National Export System.

Making export SDs via the NES

To use SDs via the NES, you need to take the following steps:

  1. Allocate a Unique Consignment Reference (UCR), for example using your own invoice number or other unique reference, for each export consignment so that the consignment can be traced and identified through your records.
  2. Make a simplified (electronic) Pre-Shipment Advice (PSA) to the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) computer system, either directly (using the web, email or XML messaging), via a CSP or through paper declaration to the NCH, containing the specified information. Your agent can do this for you if you wish.
  3. Await a Permission to Progress (P2P) message from CHIEF.
  4. Ship the goods.
  5. Finally, provide full details via the SD (the post-shipment declaration), within 14 days of the declaration or the export, whichever was the earlier.

The same UCR must be used on the PSA and SD.

There are three ways the goods can be physically shipped, depending on the simplified authorisations you hold:

  • from a port or airport, using the Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP)
  • from a Designated Export Place (DEP), using the SDP
  • from your own premises, using the Local Clearance Procedure (LCP)

These three options are explained as follows.


Using the SDP you, or your agent, can submit the simplified electronic declaration of the export consignment either before or after the goods arrive at a port or airport, and then export the goods once a P2P message has been received.


As an alternative to shipping from a port or airport, the SDP can also be used when the goods are moved from a DEP - a customs-approved inland location. Once P2P has been given the export may move to the port of departure.


If you're authorised to use the LCP, you may declare goods to be exported at your own or other approved LCP inland premises, rather than at a port or airport. Once you have received the P2P message, you can move goods to the frontier for export from the UK.

If you use LCP, you must make the SD within 14 days of CHIEF accepting a goods departed message or the actual date of export, whichever is the earlier.

Declaration Unique Consignment References and export SDs

Declaration Unique Consignment References (DUCRs) are unique consignment references allocated to the shipment and provided in the PSA. Because these are mandatory for export SDs, one is allocated by CHIEF if you don't provide a UCR for the PSA. The same DUCR must subsequently be used for the SD that is made for the shipment.

A Master UCR can be used to consolidate a number of DUCRs under one banner to ease communication.

Exporting complete industrial plant

A simplified procedure exists for declaring statistical information to customs when complete industrial plant, which has a total value of approximately £2 million or more, is exported in several consignments over a period. Only authorised exporters can use the procedure and applications for authority should be made in writing to HMRC Export of Industrial Plant.