Excise Movement and Control System

EMCS Overview

EMCS (Excise Movement and Control System) is a computerised system for monitoring movements of excise goods under suspension of excise duty within the EU, i.e. for which no excise duties have yet been paid. As of 1 April 2010, itwill replace the paper document that currently must accompany such movements (the Administrative Accompanying Document - (AAD)), with electronic messages from the consignor to the consignee via Member State administrations.

EMCS: When and how?

1 April 2010: EMCS becomes operational;

From 1 April to 31 December 2010: Migration period;

1 January 2011: EMCS becomes compulsory for relevant movements of excise goods;

EMCS will mean

Simplification of procedures;

Reduced paper administration;

Secure movement of goods (Traders' data will be checked before the goods are dispatched);

Quicker release of the guarantee for traders (evidence that the goods arrived at their destination will come faster in a safer way), and

Effective monitoring with real time information and checks during movements.

This amounts to a major development for those who trade in alcohol and alcoholic beverages, tobacco or energy products.

Phase 1 1st April 2010

This phase will be the electronic write off for movements commenced in other Member States. The process will allow for the download of the e-AAD from another Member State in advance of receipt. Following trade pressure Customs have enhanced this phase to include the ability to reject a shipment (wholly or partially), and report discrepancies in receipts. This is a significant improvement over the original proposal, which did not cater for reporting discrepancies until 18 months after the start of EMCS.

Phase 2
(Known as FS1) January 2011
This period will cater for the upload of e-AADs for EU and UK outbound movements; it will not cater for split consignments.

Phase 3 (Known as FS2) - December 2011 / January 2012

This will be an enhancement of the system to cater for splits, and all the other complicated issues missing from Phases 1 and 2! More precise details are awaited from HMRC.

EU EMCS News can be found at



With regard to the live implementation of FS0 (receipts) this will be a somewhat damp squib if no outward messages are sent. At the moment 9 Member States have stated that all Excise movements, as of 1st April, MUST be declared under EMCS electronically. These Member States are: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia. Therefore if you receive goods from any of these Member States you MUST be ready to receipt electronically as of 1/4/2010.

A further ten Member States will be operational for FS1 as of 1/4/10, but will not make use mandatory. These are: Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Romania, Sweden, and Slovenia.

The UK position from 1st April 2010.

If you are receiving EMCS goods from any of the nine member states where electronic messages are mandatory or from a supplier in one of the above ten member states who elects to operate electronically then you MUST respond electronically. We would therefore recommend strongly that you liaise with appropriate suppliers and prepare accordingly. Alternatively if you tell us the contact details for such suppliers then we will undertake that contact/liaison on your behalf to help ensure that the new arrangements run as smoothly as possible.

There would be a range of immediate possible benefits to EMCS traders if for example their system providers in different member states were able to interface with Webdecs and indeed some other far reaching advantages could accrue if such system providers across the EU were able to work together on behalf of clients. This "cross-border" potential, driven by EMCS, would be a subject worthy of further discussion at our proposed client meetings.

e-customs and EMCS

Our latest developments

In the absence of the UK specification we have been developing our Webdecs solution from the EU specification; good progress is being made. We have a base model for the FS0 (Phase One) message receipting process and also the FS1 (Phase Two) message dispatching process.

Action Point -Registration

Clients of Webdecs wishing to receipt, and ultimately dispatch goods under EMCS must register with HMRC on their Government Gateway; you can do so from February 2010. We will need to be able to use the "gateway credentials" in order to send and/or receive your EMCS messages in Webdecs; a special web screen will be available in Webdecs to enable you to subsequently register those credentials with us.

Article by

Howard Marsh, e-customs Limited

Howard has over 20 years experience in the freight logistics industry, working for a freight forwarder initially, then a UK freight network provider, where he became heavily involved in customs developments and customer services, joining the Bell Davies Group and e-customs Limited in May 2001.

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