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

Using EDIFACT to access the NCTS

If your business submits a high number of transit declarations, Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT) messaging by email is a more suitable option than the online service.

The benefits of EDIFACT include:

  • improved security
  • greater accuracy in data entry - you do not have to enter data twice into the system
  • improved financial planning
  • the ability to enter up to 999 items onto a transit declaration

The EDIFACT system sends and receives messages as email attachments, or in the body of the email, and is useful if you want to integrate your own internal systems with NCTS.

If you send an EDIFACT message to NCTS using your own trader software it will need to translate your declaration into an EDIFACT coded message that NCTS can read. NCTS will then accept or reject the declaration in EDIFACT. Your trade software must also be able to translate this.

To use this system you’ll need to buy specialised software or develop software that is compatible with NCTS. The costs and time constraints involved can be high so if yours is a smaller business it may be more cost effective to use the NCTS online service.

If you buy or develop software, you must ensure it is fully compatible with NCTS. Download the technical interface specification (TIS) and the TIS appendices for phase 4 of NCTS at New Computerised Transit System: technical specifications.

HMRC has a test service so you can check your software is compatible before you start using it.

There is a a technical pack if you want to develop your own NCTS system. Testing and technical information, along with a list of NCTS software developers, is available.

If you develop your own software, you’ll need to contact the NCTS helpdesk before you connect to the NCTS system for the first time.

Read technical information about EDIFACT declarations.