Transport declaration with Transit


If goods need to be transported without being cleared a transport declaration must be made. Usually this is a Transit declaration. The goods remain under the supervision and control of the customs. The most important information in a Transit declaration is:

  • The Movement Reference Number or MRN number. This is a Unique number that is assigned by the New Computerised Transit System and is processed in all transit declarations in Europe.  
  • The sender of the goods (box 2). This can also be the (transport) company from which the goods leave.
  • The receiver of the goods (box 8). This is usually the company that purchased the goods.
  • The sort of goods (boxes 31 and 33). This must also be registered by reporting the goods code.
  • The gross and net weight of the goods (boxes 35 and 38).
  • The number of packages (box 31).
  • The person who makes the declaration and gives security for the payment of the import duties, also called the holder (box 50).


The purpose of a Transit declaration is that the goods can be transported to a destination within or outside the EU without having to pay import duties or other taxes. Not only all EU-countries participate in this system, but also the countries Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. The customs want to be sure, that if those goods do not reach the given destination, they still can collect the due taxes. That is the reason why all data that are necessary to determine the due taxes, have to be on the Transit declaration. And that is why the declarant must give security to customs, so that customs are always sure that they can collect the due taxes.  


Transit declarations are usually made by customs agents or transporters. In principle they must give a 100% security for all Transit declarations they make. But that percentage is mostly moderated to up to 30% of the amount. If a customs agent makes many Transit declarations, he will be confronted with a high security. Therefore the risks he runs are also higher. For that reason the customs agent usually only makes Transit declaration for companies he knows and trusts.

Customs destination

At the place of destination that is entered in the Transit declaration the transporter must report the goods. There a new customs destination must be given. This can be import, export, storage in warehouse etc. Only when that new customs destination is given, the Transit declaration is cleared. This goes as follows.


When a declarant sends a Transit departure message to customs, it is registered there with a Unique Movement Reference Number or MRN-number. This MRN-number is immediately sent on to the destination office. That office of destination can be in another EU-member state, for example in Germany. When the goods arrive at that office and receive a new customs destination there, the MRN-number of the Transit declaration must be given. This number is recognised by the NCTS. A message is returned to the office from where the Transit departure message is sent and the clearance of the declaration takes place. The security of the declarant is released again. However, in this system many things can go wrong. 

Download example: Transit declaration

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