25 February 2021
Brexit and the excise, movement and control system (ECMS)
Does your business manages excise good? Wondering what happens to them now Brexit has happened? Read our latest article below to find out more...
The Excise, Movement and Control System (ECMS) is used across the UK and EU to record movements of excise goods where the duty has been suspended. The system collects information about the movements and allows online messages to be exchanged between the UK and EU trading partners.
The system also gives notifications of the dispatch and receipt of these goods in real-time. Anyone wishing to dispatch or receive goods in duty suspension must use the system, but HMRC must first approve this. The system is not used for energy products or movements which qualify for the use of simplified procedures instead.
To enrol for ECMS, you need your System for the Exchange of Excise Data (SEED) Excise ID number. You must enrol for and use ECMS even if you use commercial or in-house software to record the movements. ECMS is used by authorised persons, so it is important that the excise ID used when enrolling for ECMS is not that of the premises.
You will be classed as a warehouse keeper if you run premises which are approved for the storage or production of excise goods. If you are classed as a warehouse keeper but do not have a SEED ID starting with either ""GBWK"" for a business registered in Great Britain, or ""XIWK"" for a business registered in Northern Ireland, then you will need to write to the National Registration Unit and provide some details to request one before you can enrol for the ECMS.
There is a facility on the HMRC website where SEED IDs can be checked for validity, which is certainly worth doing before either attempting to enrol for ECMS or requesting a new ID from the National Registration Unit.
Once you have enrolled with ECMS, you will receive an activation code which expires after 28 days. If you do not activate your account within 28 days, you will need to request another code. The first person from an organisation to register for the HMRC service is given the role of administrator, so can add other users and has full access to manage the organisation's online account. There can be more than one administrator for the company and other roles such as 'assistant' can also be added if it would be helpful for others to use the system but with restricted access.
If you are dispatching duty suspended excise goods, an electronic administrative document (eAD) should be completed and submitted through ECMS ahead of the movement. The system will validate the details on the eAD and once the validation has gone through, the system will generate an Administrative Reference Code (ARC) which is unique to that movement.
Only movements from Northern Ireland which have a ""XI"" identifier in the ARC are permitted to EU member states. The ARC should accompany the goods as they are moved, so should be given to the driver transporting the goods, for example. This is so that details of the movement can be entered onto ECMS at the destination by the recipient of the goods.
Similarly, if you are receiving duty suspended excise goods, this will need to be recorded on ECMS. If the dispatcher used ECMS correctly, you should have received a notification of the movement from the system. Once the goods reach you, the consignment should be checked against the eAD and you then complete a report of receipt for submission through ECMS. If there are any differences between what has been received and the eAD, these should be noted on the report. The report of receipt must be completed within 5 days of receiving the goods.
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