CEF eDelivery Action

Keep the flow of mission-critical data going through CUSDEC and eInvoicing

Brexit has ushered in a host of new Customs Declarations requirements affecting not only trade with the EU but also between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For many exporters and importers, the extra documentation required adds up to a time-consuming additional workflow.

The list is long. There are ‘EORI’ numbers (standing for Economic Operators Registration and Identification), export and import declarations, commodity codes, security and safety declarations, and special licences and certificates for dual-use and controlled goods.

SPS checks (sanitary and phytosanitary) apply to animals, animal products, plants and plant products. Traders will have to demonstrate compliance with any conditions required for zero-rated VAT transactions.

Unless they are using a freight forwarder, exporters will have to register with the National Export System in order to access HMRC’s electronic filing protocol, known as CHIEF, or Customs Handling Import Export Freight, and the accompanying Customs Declaration Service, CDS. Currently being phased in with existing CHIEF users and new registrations, web-based CDS submissions are now required for all shipments of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Some businesses are reporting their freight forwarders are now adding additional fees to administer customs declarations for deliveries and collections to and from the EU, even small businesses can face hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional costs, each year.

Overcoming the hurdles

Some of the hurdles around documentation have come about because the trade deal envisaged that zero tariffs and quotas would only apply to goods that originate in the EU or UK.

As a result, manufacturers will need to know the origin of the components, and the processes they have been subject to, in the finished goods. The reason for this is to protect the EU from the UK being used as a hub to import non-EU/UK goods tariff-free into the EU.

In response to the new raft of documentation requirements, Transalis spent much of the lead-up to the end of the transition period updating its electronic data interchange (EDI) platform with a series of new ‘message types’.

These support the growth in eInvoicing, the electronic exchange of invoices, an increasingly basic requirement of cross-border trade.

Data transfer

CUSDEC, or Customs Declaration, is an EDI message type that any company exporting or importing outside the UK will need to use.

It covers the transfer of data required to meet the legislative or operational requirements for import, export or transit.

CUSDEC may be used to transmit data from an exporter in one country to an importer elsewhere, or from one customs administration to another. It can also be used when declarants or customs authorities are called on to share data with other government agencies

The message type includes the necessary consignment, transport, statistical and customs information required for moving the goods across borders.

Improving efficiency

CUSDEC is an example of Transalis applying its experience in EDI and eInvoicing for the benefit of companies seeking to automate and improve efficiency in their processes.

Part of a suite of Transalis eInvoicing options, CUSDEC is a means of correctly formating and pre-validating customs declarations.

By reducing the risk of human error in data entry, and therefore the time spent on corrections and mitigation, CUSDEC helps companies avoid delays in despatch and receipt of goods and components.

A more streamlined process also benefits direct and indirect customs agents and brokers and companies’ engagement with HMRC.

Staying up to date

Adopting more eInvoicing options alongside CUSDEC will help companies stay up to date with the changing landscape of trading partner’s tax compliance and eInvoicing mandates around the world.

As well as navigating customs requirements, Transalis’ eInvoicing suite provides the technology platform and solution to digitally transform sales invoicing and or accounts payable administrative operations.

This can free up staff time to focus on other priority tasks to support the profitable growth of the business.

Confidence in your eInvoice provider

Transalis is recognised as one of just twelve providers in the world to fulfil the EU’s requirement for a common eInvoice standard. By Brexit-proofing our platform, we are giving those manufacturers, retailers and suppliers who use EDI the best chance of ready compliance with customs rules as they seek to continue seamless trading of goods between the UK and EU.

CUSDEC gives confidence to trading partners, customs and tax authorities that the trader can meet each party’s information requirements regarding customs. This underpins the goal of safe and secure trade including supply chain interoperability, not just within the EU but around the world as more trade deals open up.

Transalis’ cloud-based supply chain solutions help facilitate the exchange of around 40 million virtual documents a year, underpinning more than £4 billion of commercial trade in a myriad of business sectors across more than 30 primary trading countries.


Transalis is just one of just 12 eInvoice solution providers across Europe to pass a rigorous new electronic invoicing standard, EURINV19.

Under EURINV19 protocols, companies can signal to other traders that they operate invoice automation to a recognised common standard, so making the exchange of invoices within and between markets much easier.

Find out more

If you are involved in cross-border trade post-Brexit, and want to discuss CUSDEC or eInvoicing, why not talk to us on 0845 123 3476 or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or email us on sales@transalis.com.

View our eInvoice Product Bundles

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Transalis and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.