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BREXIT: Safety & Security Declarations – what you need to know

18 December

There was at one point, for some time, uncertainty over whether safety and security declarations (SSD) will need to be made as well as import and export declarations in order to move goods internationally. However, it has now been confirmed that these will be needed. Further still, it looks like the carrier may be liable for ensuring that the necessary SSDs are made at the correct time.

There are two types of SSD to be made, an exit summary declaration (EXS) made when goods are exported, and an entry summary declaration (ENS) made when goods are imported. The carrier is generally going to be the entity required to submit the EXS to the UK customs authorities when goods are being exported. However, it is not yet clear how this is to be done, when, in the UK, the EXS would normally be merged with the customs export declaration.

It could be that in order to make the relevant EXS, a haulier or carrier will be required to carry their own EORI number, although this is our own speculation and in no way confirmed. It may simply be the case that the carrier will have to confirm with their customer, or their customer’s representative, that the necessary arrangements are in place to ensure that the requisite SSDs have been made. There are (it is worth knowing) specific circumstances in which a standalone EXS will need to be made as opposed to a declaration merged with customs documentation. Some examples of such circumstances are:

  • An empty container moved under a transport contract (a transport contract, or contract of carriage, is an agreement between a carrier and shipper or passenger, setting out each party’s duties and rights).
  • Where the goods have remained in temporary storage for more than 14 days.
  • Where the goods have remained in temporary storage for less than 14 days but the import safety and security declaration details are unknown, or where the destination or consignee details change.
  • Where the goods are moved under transit using a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) or Transit and Safety and Security Declaration (TSADs) – TSADs cannot be used to meet safety and security requirements in GB from 1 January 2021.

It would be wise for hauliers to consider a review of their terms and conditions to ensure that these circumstances (and other Brexit-related circumstances) are considered. This is something that the Corporate and Commercial Department at Backhouse Jones can assist with.

As we have said, as well as making an EXS (an exit summary declaration), a carrier will need to ensure than an ENX (entry summary declaration) is made to move goods into the EU Member State. Usually (although not always), a number of EU Member States will allow an ENS to be submitted through their Import Control System (ICS). We would recommend that hauliers and/or carriers check with the ferry if they are crossing over water via a ferry service, to see whether the ferry operator is capable of making the necessary ENS for the EU Member State in question on behalf of the haulier or carrier.

Certain countries do, however, have specific systems and platforms through which carriers can make ENS declarations. France has spent a significant amount of effort implementing the ‘smart border’ system. Which allows for customs goods and procedures to be done electronically to assist in international movements. The Smart Border looks like it may be implemented in the Eurotunnel and on the ferry from Dover. Whilst we do not have certainty as to the details of how it works, the key concept seems to be that carriers will be able to make the relevant declarations electronically whilst crossing the English Channel.

Another example of a country with its own specific system in place is the Netherlands. For goods entering the Netherlands, ENS declarations will need to be made through the country’s bespoke platform, Portbase, at the time of booking the crossing.

Safety and security declarations are a relatively new concept to the majority of carriers, hauliers and traders; therefore the area is unpredictable and particularly uncertain. The above is subject to further information and developments and does not cover every detail relevant to SSDs. If you would like to discuss the above, please contact the Regulatory Department at 01254 828 300 or email

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