We have heard about this security and safety procedure which was introduced by Customs for exports (ECS); we mainly export to Germany and France. Please will you explain how this new system affects us?

The Export Control System (ECS) (which came in on the 1st July 2009) does not affect the movement of goods to other European Community (EC). In customs language, you do not “export” to EC countries, such as Germany and France, you “despatch” or “supply” goods. The new Export Control System introduced additional security requirements only for goods that are being exported to countries outside the EC. There will be two types of exports:

  • Direct, i.e. goods leaving the EC without travelling through another member state, e.g. London Heathrow airport to New York USA.
  • Indirect, i.e. goods being shipped via other member states, e.g. from the UK by truck via Finland into Russia. 


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