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OMG! Single Administrative Document - SAD: How do I complete it?

Every customs manager should know how to complete a customs entry. We explain how.

The Single Administrative Document (SAD) is a customs declaration form used in the United Kingdom, the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia, and Serbia. It is constructed of a collection of eight duplicates, each with a separate purpose, in paper form. It is also used in the United Kingdom until 2022. It is gradually being replaced by the UCC Data set which replaces the paper copy with electronic data elements.

Download the C88

Download PDF • 3.29MB

Using a single document saves administrative effort while increasing standards and harmonisation of trade data.

Where is the Single Administrative Document used?

The single administrative document is used for international commerce and the transportation of foreign products inside a country/jurisdiction.

Since the 1987 Convention on the Simplification of Formalities in Goods Trade, it has also applied to the territories of EFTA countries (Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland), Turkey (since 1 December 2012), and the Republic of North Macedonia (since 1 July 2015), as well as trade between these countries and the EU.

Procedures covered

The document covers the placement of any goods under any customs procedure such as

  • export,

  • free circulation,

  • transit (where the New Computerised Transit System was not used),

  • warehouses,

  • temporary admission,

  • inward and outward processing, etc.

It has more than 50 boxes, and they need to be completed on a step by step basis.

What do I need to complete the SAD?

This will depend very much on what you want to do, the type of movement. The option are:

  • A: Export/Dispatch

  • B: Customs warehousing procedure in order to obtain payment of special export refunds prior to exportation or manufacturing under customs supervision and under customs control prior to exportation and payment of export refunds

  • C: Re-export after a special procedure other than the customs warehousing procedure

  • D: Re-export after customs warehousing

  • E: Outward processing

  • F: Transit

  • G: Community status of Union goods

  • H: Release for free circulation

  • I: Placing of goods inward processing or temporary importation

  • J: Placing under a customs warehouses.

When is information Mandatory, when not?

There are only three options:

  • A: Mandatory: Particulars required by every Member State (A = Absolutely necessary)

  • B: Optional for the Member States: Particulars which the Member States may decide to waive (B = Both possible)

  • C: Optional for operators: Particulars which operators may decide to supply but which

  • cannot be demanded by the Member States (C = Choice)

The SAD Matrix

The EU Commission has now published a simple Matrix that explains when a box needs to be completed and when not.

Table of SAD boxes
Download PDF • 102KB

There are also notes to read for completion of the SAD

Completion notes SAD
Download PDF • 16KB

In this combination, it is easy to understand when a data element is required and when not.

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Where to find more help and support

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