A. General Information

1. Title

Processing electronic transit declaration- via New Computerized Transit System (NCTS)

2. Status of the project/service
3. Implementation period of the project/service:
5. Geographical coverage
Regional: Europe
6. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
European Commission,EU Member States
Other participating agencies/entities
Common Transit Convention Countries
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities (op)
European Commission,EU Member States
Other participating agencies/entities (op)
Common Transit Convention Countries, Andorra ,San Marino
7. Main stakeholders/beneficiaries of the project/services
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
Customs brokers
Other Government Agencies (OGAs)
8. Business process category of the project/service
Regulatory/official control

B. Lessons Learned

9. Summary description of the project/service
a. Objective(s)

The New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) is a European wide system, based upon electronic declaration and processing, designed to provide better management and control of Community and Common Transit.

The NCTS is a computerised transit system for exchanging electronic messages. These messages replace the various paper documents and certain formalities of the transit system.

It involves all countries comprising the EU Member States and Common Transit Convention contracting countries.

The NCTS, in each country is connected, through a central domain in Brussels, to all of the other countries, linking the European customs offices.The main objectives of the NCTS are:

• To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of transit procedures;

• To improve both the prevention and detection of fraud; and

• To accelerate transactions carried out under a transit procedure and to offer security for them.

b. Business need for the project/service (background)

To overcome the problems arising from paper-based procedures (handing of documents, incorrect transit declarations, slowness of manual procedure, inefficient customs control).

c. Business process covered*

Computerized transit system has been operated for exchanging electronic messages. These messages replace the various paper documents and certain formalities of the transit system. The messages are exchanged electronically:

-between the economic operators and customs(‘external domain’);

- between custom offices of one country(‘national domain’)

-among the national customs administrations themselvesand with the Commission (‘common domain’).

d. Overall architecture and functionalities*

See figure below


e. Relevant document/figure
10. Documents and data exchanged via the project/service


The list of information exchanges and data elements is too extensive to insert in this document. They are publicly available on the European Commission CIRCABC platform, “Public specifications for transit, export, entry” group, NCTS-Phase4 and NCTS-Phase5 folders:

The “DDNTA-Appendix Q2” document of the Technical specifications contains all the details of the information exchanges and data elements.

11. Data models/databases, proprietary solutions, hybrid approaches

EU Customs Data Model aligned to the WCO Data Model:

12. Main challenges faced during the project/service

Systems interoperability was challenging. DG TAXUD performed data harmonization activity, which resulted in the legal amendment of the data requirements of systems.

Another challenge was the business continuity during the deployment window of phase 5, during which some National Authorities deploy the phase 5 version, while others still operate the phase 4 version. NCTS has a new module called “Information Exchange Convertor Application” (ieCA), which converts messages between national transit applications in different phase of the system.

13. Lessons learned from the project/service

Community knowledge and experience is a major factor in overcoming technical difficulties.

14. Main benefit(s) of the project/service
Enhanced regulatory compliance*
Transaction Cost savings*
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
14A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained:

Simplifications for trade facilitation (authorized consignor and consignee, special seals)

Simpler and quicker submission of transit declarations from traders

Direct and automated data exchange between customs administrations

Elimination of fraudulent document manipulation

Reduction of number of enquiry or recovery  procedures

More efficient allocation of human resources, particularly in the fight against fraud

More effective and targeted controls with risk analysis management

Overall reduction of costs

15. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance

Capacity building and trainings are organized for acceding countries wanting to be contracting parties of the Common Transit Convention, founded by the EU.

16. Future plan for expansion of the project and service

Include other countries (Georgia, Ukraine, Albania, Moldova, Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Update of NCTS to align with UnionCustoms Code and Common Transit Convention.

Ongoing improvement of the system:

Interconnection with the EU Import Control System

Interconnection with the eTIR International System

17. Other information or relevant references on the project and service

NCTS is interfaced with many different applications (risk management, database of traders, TARIC database, Reference Data application, Customs Office List, Export Control, Excise control, Temporary Storage, Single Windows, etc…). This integration is crucial for the success of operations. This integration by national customs administration, in collaboration with the European Commission offers an optimum choreography at national and international levels.

Link to the NCTS public specifications is provided under point 10.

Related to  point 21

18. Relevant document regarding the project/service

C. Relevant Standards

20. Electronic message standard
20A. Electronic message standard supporting the project/service:
EDIFACT message is used. XML vocabulary re-used in transit and export at EU level (40 countries):
20B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the project/service
Proprietary solution
Proprietary solution was applied because:
- Secured communication network between 40 countries is in place, it started 20 years ago, continuously updated, extended and secu
21. Technical communication standard
21A. Technical communication standard supporting the project/service
HTTP, Technical specifications are included in ‘Design Document for National Transit Application (DDNTA) published on CIRCABC
21B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the project/service
International standard
Proprietary solution
Proprietary solution was applied because:
- Need to adhere to existing ones, due to such reason as complying to requirements from partners and users
22. Security-related standards*
22A. Security-related standard supporting the project/service
TLS (Transport Layer Security) / SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Payload (message) encryption (text security)
Digital signatures
22B. Type of security-related standard applied for the project/service
International standard
23. Other Technical Information
23A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
23B. Other technical implementation information