Photo credits @ UK Home Office/ Wikimedia Commons (illustrative purposes only)

Forthcoming UK and NI changes to multiple consignor declarations from 28 June 2024

The UK government is preparing to introduce NCTS5, the next phase of the New Computerised Transit System, on 28 June 2024 in Northern Ireland and 1 July 2024 in Great Britain. This update will bring changes to how transit declarations are made, particularly concerning the declaration of consignor and consignee information.

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During the transition period, which will last until 21 January 2025, businesses moving goods from multiple consignors to multiple consignees will face a change in how they declare consignor information.

Unlike NCTS4, where consignor details could be provided for each item individually, NCTS5 will require consignor information to be declared at the overall consignment level. This means that the same consignor must apply to all goods declared on the consignment.

If goods are sourced from multiple consignors, they can still be declared on the same transit declaration and covered by the same TAD, but the consignor information cannot be provided per item and should not be provided at the overall consignment level.

Further changes from January 2025

From 22 January 2025, NCTS5 will enter its final state, introducing the concept of ‘Multiple House Consignments.’ These are subsections of the transit declaration where information specific to the goods attributed to each house consignment can be declared. Each house consignment covers goods moving from one consignor to one consignee.

This change means that consignor and consignee information will no longer be declared for each item individually, as in NCTS4. Instead, goods moving from the same consignor to the same consignee will be declared to the same house consignment.

NCTS5 final state will allow up to 1999 goods items to be declared, an increase from 999 items in NCTS4, and these can be divided between up to 1999 house consignments as needed. However, each house consignment can contain only up to 999 goods items, and the total number of goods items on the transit declaration cannot exceed 1999.

Initially, the functionality of multiple house consignments will only be available to users of third-party or commercial software. Users of the free-to-use web portal will be able to enter multiple house consignments at a later date, to be advised on by HMRC.

Digital Movement References from January 2025

From 22 January 2025, the UK will transition to a system where Movement Reference Numbers (MRNs) can be presented electronically, simplifying border crossings. While the MRN must always be accessible to the driver or person in charge of the goods, the way it is presented will change.

At Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) border locations in the UK, the MRN will be included in the Goods Movement Reference, allowing for electronic completion of transit functions and communication of examination requirements. At non-GVMS locations, the MRN will need to be presented as a linear barcode.

For outbound movements, Border Force will continue to print the paper Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) for the driver, where required, until other countries transition to digital processing. Authorised Consignors and Consignees will have flexibility in how they communicate and receive the MRN, either electronically or through the existing paper TAD.

The paper TAD must still be carried with all goods up to and including 22 January 2025. After this date, a paper TAD will always be accepted where electronic presentation is not possible.