The Norwegian Customs electronic transit system (NCTS) is an electronic
system for the exchange of transit information between the traders and the Norwegian
Customs, and for prenotification of goods transported directly to or from a
The NCTS (New Computerised Transit System) is an offer to the trade from the Norwegian Customs to increase the service and the efficiency in the movement of goods. Messages are exchanged electronically between the trade and the customs authorities and from customs authority to customs authority in the contracting countries. The system ensures
- quick discharge of transits
- quick release of guarantees
- reduced risk of counterfeiting and misuse
- increased security for the holder of the procedure.
As a contracting party to the Common Transit Convention (CTC), Norway is committed to use the NCTS, the international electronic transit system. A total of 34 countries are connected to this system.
What the NCTS is used for
In the NCTS, standardised messages containing transit information are exchanged between the contracting parties via the international network (gateway).
Additionally, the NCTS is used for prenotification that are related to the security in the transport of goods. This applies for goods that are transported to or from a third country (countries outside of the EU, Switzerland and Norway). For these transports, the carrier shall submit prenotifications, in the form of entry- or exit summary declarations in the NCTS.
The information you provide in the NCTS, are also used in the combat of fraud within the customs area.
Who may declare electronically to the NCTS and how?
If you send or receive goods that are under a transit procedure, you can apply to get access to send electronic declarations (EDI-messages) to the NCTS. This may be relevant if you are a carrier, shipping agent, exporter, importer or customs warehouse keeper.
What kind of hardware and software you choose to use is optional.
If you want to apply for access to the NCTS, you must also have the following:
- Identification number (ID no. / NODI number). This can be obtained by sending an application to Norstella.
- Software adapted to the NCTS. This kind of software is offered by many providers.
- Network provider approved by Norwegian Customs. Your software provider will give you guidance to find the right network provider.
Once you have obtained everything listed above, you must submit an application to the customs region where your company is registered.
Procedures in the NCTS
Below, the electronic procedures and message exchange when using normal or simplified procedure at departure or at destination are described.
The normal procedure is based on the fact that you as the consignor/consignee have the possibility to submit/receive transit information electronically, but are not authorised to use the simplified procedure. A transit declaration submitted under normal procedure, must always be processed by a customs officer, within the business hours of the Norwegian Customs.
The simplified procedure is based on the fact that you as a consignor or consignee at the office of departure or destination have the possibility to submit or receive transit information electronically, and are authorised to use the simplified procedure. Unlike the normal procedure, a transit declaration submitted under simplified procedure may be released automatically. This presupposes that the transit declaration is not stopped by a control filter for further manual processing.
Processing in the NCTS
The NCTS uses UN standard messages for EDI (electronic data interchange), Edifact. Mainly, the NCTS messages of this standard are CUSDEC (Customs Declarations Messages) and CUSRES (Customs Response Messages).
Customs Office of Departure – Registration and release of transits
If you are connected to the NCTS at the office of departure, you must register the necessary transit and guarantee information in your system. You submit the transit declaration (IE015) electronically to the NCTS via your network provider. When entering a transit declaration, you can use normal or simplified procedure. To use the simplified procedure, you must be approved as an authorised consignor.
- Read about how you can be approved as an authorised consignor (in Norwegian)
- Read more about completing the transit declaration
If the received transit declaration successfully passes the input control in the NCTS, the system will assign a transit number (MRN – Master Reference Number) to the declaration, which you will automatically receive in an electronic message (IE028). If a submitted transit declaration fails or is rejected, the declarant will receive an error message.
When you submit a transit declaration under normal procedure, you must go to the customs office at departure to present the goods and the associated documents. The customs authorities will check the validity and coverage of the guarantee and assess whether they will conduct a control and if the transport should be sealed before they decide if the transit can be released. When a transit releases by the customs authorities, the accompanying document and any list of goods that shall accompany the transport will be printed out by the customs authorities. In addition a message regarding the release (IE029) will be sent electronically to the declarant.
If you are registered as an authorised consignor, you can submit a transit declaration under simplified procedure. The declaration will be further processed in the NCTS at the declared customs office of departure, and among other things, the declared guarantee data will be verified. If you do not receive a control decision notification, you will not have to present the goods and the associated documents to the declared office of departure. You will automatically receive a message about release for transit (IE029). When you have received this message, the transport can start. Print the accompanying document and any list of goods, these must accompany the transport from the customs office of departure to destination.
When the transit is released from the customs office of departure, the NCTS will send an electronic message regarding anticipated transit (IE050) to the declared customs office of transit and a message regarding the anticipated arrival (IE001) to the declared customs office of destination.
Customs office of transit – crossing the border
At the customs office of transit, the carrier shall contact the customs authorities to register crossing the border. If all is in order with the transport, the NCTS will send an electronic message regarding the border crossing (IE118) back to the declared customs office of departure.
Customs office of Destination – arrival and completion of the transit
Upon arrival the carrier must report to the customs office of destination or to an authorised consignee.
If you are not approved as an authorised consignee, the transit and the goods must be presented to the customs authorities at the customs office of destination. The customs authorities will register the arrival in the NCTS. The arrival notification (IE006) is automatically sent back to the customs office of departure. In addition, the customs office of destination will verify the submitted transit against the declaration data that has been received (IE001) from the customs office of departure, before they will give you unloading permission, with or without a control by the customs authorities. When the unloading is completed, you must send the unloading remarks on paper to the customs office of destination, with information whether there are any discrepancies or not. The unloading remarks will be registered in the NCTS by the customs authorities.
If you are an authorised consignee, you will send an electronic message, an arrival notification (IE007) to the customs office of destination by the simplified procedure and you will receive a message regarding unloading permission (IE043). When the unloading is completed, you must report the results in a message regarding unloading remarks (IE044), with information whether there are any discrepancies or not.
When the unloading remarks have been received and verified at the customs office of destination, the NCTS will send a message regarding the destination control results (IE018) back to the customs office of departure. The transit is then completed at the customs office of destination. The declarant at the customs office of destination will receive a goods release notification (IE025) that states that the transit has been completed (IE025).
Customs office of departure – writing off the transit
When the customs office of departure receives a message regarding the arrival notification (IE006), the guaranteed amount charged to the holder of the procedure’s guarantee will be credited. When a message regarding destination control results without discrepancies (IE018) has been received, the transit will be automatically written off at the customs office of departure. For destination control results with discrepancies (IE018), manual processing at the customs office of departure will be required before the transit can be written off. When the transit is written off, the declarant at departure will receive a message regarding the writing off of the transit (IE045).
You can submit a prenotification in the NCTS either as a prenotification only, or as a prenotification combined with a transit declaration.
For direct transport between Norway and a third country, you shall submit a prenotification in the NCTS to the relevant entry customs office or exit customs office.
If you submit a prenotification in combination with a transit declaration, the exchange of messages will take place in the NCTS as described above.
When entering a transit declaration in the NCTS, the declarant will register the guarantee type, guarantee reference number (GRN), guarantee amount and access code. The validity and coverage of the guarantee is checked in the NCTS. If the guarantee data are invalid, a message ‘Guarantee not valid’ (IE055) is returned to the declarant, containing an invalid guarantee reason code. The following codes are used:
G01 – Does not exist
G02 – Guarantee exists, but not valid
G03 – Access code not valid
G04 – ‘Holder of the procedure’ of Guarantee is not equal to ‘Holder of the procedure’ of Declaration
G05 – Individual guarantee voucher already used
G06 – Use restriction : No suspended goods
G07 – Use restriction : NO sensitive goods
G08 – Not valid for Country of Tra/Des
G09 – Reference/guarantee amount NOT sufficient
G10 – Individual guarantee by Guarantor already used
G11 – Customs Office of Departure/Customs Office of Destination does not correspond (Guarantee type ‘2’)G12 – Declared Commodity code # Commodity code in guarantee
When the consignment has been registered as arrived at destination office, the guarantee amount will be credited the guarantee.
Change of access code
The access code for the electronic guarantees, types 0 and 1, can be changed by means of the change access code message (IE026). It addition it is possible to create additional access codes for a guarantee, and to make these codes invalid. In this way, the holder of the procedure himself will be able to have full control over the access codes for his electronic guarantees.
Cancellation of a transit declaration
A cancellation of a transit declaration or a prenotification, can only be performed by the declared customs office of departure. For transit declarations, this can only take place during the period from the MRN is assigned (accepted and/or released) of the customs office of departure until the transport starts.
When submitting a request for cancellation (IE014), the declarant must justify and possibly refer to an MRN that replaces the declaration that is requested to be cancelled. The customs office of departure assesses whether the cancellation request should be approved or rejected and a cancellation decision (IE009) is sent to the declarant.
If the consignment has already been released for transit, the customs office of departure will in addition send a message regarding cancellation (IE010) to the declared customs office transit and destination.
Routine for operational interruptions – Business continuity procedure
The routine for operational interruptions shall only be used when a system error arises in the hardware or software of the customs authorities, an authorised consignor, declarant or network provider.
If the NCTS is unavailable when a transit is to start, you must use manual paper-based systems. The holder of the procedure shall fill in the Single Administrative Document (SAD) or a copy of the accompanying document.
If the NCTS is unavailable when a prenotification is to be sent, you must use the form “Safety and Security Document” (SSD). You may complete the form from your computer and print or send it as an e-mail to the Norwegian Customs.
If the customs authorities select a transit declaration for control, the declarant will be informed of this by a message, control decision notification (IE060). If the customs office of departure, after control, decides that the transit cannot be released, they will send a message (IE051), no release for transit, to the declarant.
All new declarants in NCTS must conduct a test to ensure that they are able to use the software they have acquired. The test is carried out against the Norwegian Customs test environment where messages can be exchanged in the same way as in production. The length of the test period will vary, but it is important that all types of problems are resolved during this phase.
When the test period has been completed with satisfactory results, Norwegian Customs will give you permission submit transit declarations electronically in the production environment.
Specifications for business sector software
The “Message manual for Electronic Transits and Prenotifications” documents the procedures and routines that apply to electronic transits and electronic prenotifications.