Transit Accompanying Document (TAD)


A TAD is used in international trade for goods moving through one or more countries without being cleared for import or export in those transit countries.


In most cases, the customs office at the starting point of the goods’ transit journey, issues the TAD. Alternatively, a consignor can be authorised to issue TADs themselves under specific conditions.

Legal requirement

The TAD is based on the Common Transit Convention (CTC), an international treaty that governs the movement of goods under customs control. The CTC and any amendments are legally binding for member countries.

The New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) is an IT system that is mainly used for handling the common transit procedure (CTP) and the national transit procedure (NTP). The primary legal basis for the NCTS in the EU is Regulation (EC) No 2454/93, which lays out the rules and procedures for using the system.


As of 2023, the European Commission reported over 100 million NCTS declarations annually.


The standards specifying the TAD are primarily set by two international organisations:

  • WCO: The WCO Transit Guidelines outline best practices and recommended data elements for the document
  • EU: For member states, EU regulations establish specific requirements for the TAD. EU Regulation (EC) No 414/2009 specifies the format and content of the TAD used within the EU's common transit procedure.


The NCTS is used for all transit goods passing through transit on the way to the importing country/final destination in the EU.


  • TAD unique reference number
  • Customs office of departure
  • Customs office of destination
  • Description of goods: type, quantity, and weight.
  • Commercial value of goods
  • Harmonized System (HS) code
  • Planned route
  • Means of transport
  • Seals and security measures
  • Type of guarantee
  • Guarantee amount
  • Guarantee holder
  • Consignor and consignee details
  • Authorised person


In the EU, the NCTS is mandatory for intra-EU transit movements.

Outside the EU, there is a mix of eTAD and paper TAD usage depending on specific countries and regional agreements.


Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) is based on an international agreement, not EU regulations, and is not part of Union or Common Transit.