We had a very bad situation recently. A shipment went by road to Switzerland; the export term was FCA Sellers Premises. Our customer nominated the freight forwarder who collected the goods. We provided them with the invoice and a CMR Note and advised them that we needed evidence of export. On arrival at the French/Swiss border the driver was asked to provide an EAD Form; they didn't have one and were told that they had to return to the UK, that there could be a 2000 Euro fine or they would seize the goods and the vehicle. We were in stalemate for about a week and then our Swiss customer sorted something out We don't know what and the problem went away. Is this EAD something we should have done?

The Export Accompanying Document (EAD) replaced the Single Administrative Document (SAD) Copy 3 (Travelling Copy – sometimes called an EX1 Form) from 1st July 2009 as a computer security declaration which is electronically forwarded to the EC export customs point. The EAD is also a document generated when the NES export declaration is made to UK Customs for indirect exports, ie goods travelling by road across the EC to a non-EC destination – in your case Switzerland. Under FCA terms the seller is responsible for export customs clearance so this was your responsibility though we would have expected the freight forwarder to make the declaration at the departure point from the UK and bill you for the service. A copy of the EAD physically travels with the goods but it is an electronic system so the reference number for this document (the MRN -Movement Reference Number) is automatically transmitted to customs at the office of exit from the EC. The office of exit must electronically endorse the EAD as exported but if you neglect to complete the export declaration at the time the goods leave the UK, Customs has the power to insist the goods are returned to the UK and the declaration completed before the goods are moved again. My guess on how it was resolved is that your customer declared it as an export started in France, probably using their own French VAT/EORI registration number – this is not correct and if UK Customs found out you will be in trouble. Also, I would image you will not get official evidence of export for this shipment so make sure you get the CMR Note back signed as received by your Swiss customer or you will have trouble proving you could VAT Zero-rate the shipment. 


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