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Transit: Completing and submitting your transit declaration

Learn how to submit a transit declaration successfully to love goods easier and without delays or duty

Before you can start your transit movement, you must complete a transit declaration on the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS). If you are moving multiple items together you may be able to move these together as a single transit movement under one declaration.

To make your declaration, you will need to plan your route.

Work out the status of your goods under transit

You’ll need to know what status your goods have under transit.

Your goods are T1 status if they are non-union goods, or do not meet the criteria for T2 or T2F status. Your goods are T2 status if they are union goods going to:

  • an EU member state

  • San Marino or Andorra (industrial goods only)

Your goods are T2F status if they are union goods, and they are going to EU special territories.

EU: External and internal union transit: T1, T2, T2F

The EU distinguishes external and internal union transit procedures. The T1 is required for:

  • non-union goods (that’s goods on which customs duties and other charges have not been paid)

  • union goods which are subject to an EU measure involving their export to a third country, for example, an export refund claim under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the goods are travelling to or through a common transit country under common transit

  • goods in chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonised System subject to a CAP export refund travelling to Andorra

The internal union procedure (T2) is used for union goods when they’re:

  • entering or travelling via a common transit country

  • travelling to, from or via San Marino - although San Marino is not part of the community, a special customs union exists with the EU, but excludes goods of chapters 72 and 73 of the Harmonised System coming under the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community

  • in chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonised System and travelling to or from the Principality of Andorra - although Andorra is not part of the EU a special customs union exists with the EU for these goods

The internal transit procedure (T2F) is required for union goods when they’re travelling to, from or between the ‘special territories of the EU, except for direct movements between the UK and the Channel Islands, where simplified arrangements apply.

Special territories of the EU are:

  • Aland Islands

  • Guadeloupe

  • Canary Islands

  • Martinique

  • Channel Islands

  • Mount Athos

  • French Guiana

  • Reunion


The NCTS is a European-wide system, based upon electronic declaration and processing, designed to provide better management and control of CT. It’s used in the UK, all EU member states, common transit countries and Andorra. Each country’s own NCTS processing system is connected, through a central domain in Brussels, to all the other countries.

The NCTS relies on transit declarations being input electronically. The use of the NCTS is mandatory for all eligible transit declarations.

Traders can choose to submit transit declarations using:

  • their own software

  • the NCTS Web - a basic, web based, free to use service, suitable for low volume NCTS users.

What you will need to use NCTS

To use NCTS and transit goods, you’ll need:

To use the online service, you’ll need:

  • to register with the authorities. For the EU, it can be CDS:

  • access to a computer that can download and print Adobe Acrobat PDF documents

  • a good quality printer that can print barcodes so you can print your Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) and List of Items

  • specific settings enabled on your internet browser

  • knowledge of how to complete transit declarations.

Filling in your transit declaration

To fill in the transit declaration, you’ll need the reference numbers for:

  • the office of departure or authorised consignor (your own or an agent’s premises) where your movement will start

  • the office of destination or authorised consignee (your own or an agent’s premises) where your movement will end

  • all offices of transit your goods will pass through (based on the route your goods are taking)

Find the reference numbers for offices of departure, transit and destination.

If you are using an authorised consignor or consignee they will give you the reference number.

You’ll also need:

  • your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

  • the status of your goods

  • your Local Reference Number (a unique number less than 22 characters that you create yourself)

  • your guarantee reference number:

  • estimated time it will take to for your goods to reach the office of destination, this can be no more than 14 days

  • the master reference number from either:

  • your export declaration – if you needed to submit one

  • from the previous declaration for the goods – if you have one

Safety and Security

If you do not need to submit an export declaration and your goods are moving through a common transit country (apart from just Norway or Switzerland), you will either need to include safety and security data on your transit declaration or you must submit an exit summary declaration.

Submitting your transit declaration

When you have submitted your transit declaration, the system will give you a movement reference number (also known as a master reference number) for the transit movement, which you should keep a copy of.

Barcodes and TAD


Although the NCTS is a largely paperless system, a covering document known as the TAD must accompany the goods during transit and be presented, together with the goods, at any office of transit en route and at the office of the destination.

The TAD includes a unique Movement Reference Number (MRN) generated by the NCTS upon acceptance of the declaration. The MRN appears on the TAD in both a numerical format and as a barcode. The barcode allows automatic processing using barcode readers, at busy CT offices, most notably on borders between the UK, or the EU and common transit countries, for example, France or Switzerland.

For multi-item consignments, the TAD may be supplemented by a list of items (LoI), that’s an electronic ‘load list’. The LoI is an integral part of the electronic Transit Declaration.

We recommend that declarants print the TAD on green paper, to enable lorry drivers and others to recognise the document and to draw their attention to the need to present it with the goods to customs at the office of destination.

More details

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