NCTS (New Computerized Transit System) also does not escape a thorough update. Like virtually all customs systems, the transit document system needs to be updated to comply with the UCC. The project falls under the name NCTS P5 (Phase5), and has a current go-live in Belgium on 30/09/2024, although with a transition period until 31/12/2024. In the Netherlands, it would not be mandatory until the end of 2024. In Luxembourg, the whole thing would already be live since 06/2023, Stream Software operationally bringing Luxembourg customers to Phase5 in early April 2024 in consultation with Luxembourg Customs.

Background and changes

Like all other customs procedures, the UCC (Union Customs Code) is the basis for these changes. Again, the dataset is changing, and the new NCTS will be built from the European Data Model (EUCDM).

This is a thorough update of the transit system. Below is a brief description of the main changes:

- Behind the scenes, messaging is changing from edifact to XML. This translation is being developed within the NCTS module.

- The data structure will change to the European data model, this to the regulations within the UCC.

- The declarant is required to submit (at least) a 6-digit HS code along with it.

- There will be a link between NCTS and AES (replacing the Belgian TAO list).

- The call segment lump sum disappears.

- A pre-lodge (type D - message IE015) is going to be possible for transit documents, this through the presentation notification (IE170). This must be finally cleared within 30 days or the document will expire.

- There will be an additional level for house consignments. So from P5 it will be possible to place multiple consignments on the same transit document.

Unlike the Single Document that is disappearing, the current layout at NCTS would be retained.


Starting Dec. 2, 2024, shipments under transit status must be sent to the new DVA (Customs Transport Application) in the Netherlands. Below is the preliminary time frame:

- Dutch Customs will issue instructions to declarants in early 2024.
- The test environment will be opened to software developers (BTO) in mid-May 2024.
- From July 1, 2024, companies can connect to DVA.
- From October 1, 2024, all companies must be connected to DVA.
- NCTS will be discontinued after December 1, 2024.

How can you prepare?

As indicated, the biggest change is behind the scenes. The message format will change from edifact to XML, but Stream Software will take care of this for you. What may have an impact is the mandatory sending of the 6-digit tariff code, and the correct entering of the call segment.

If you do not currently include an HS code within your transit returns, it is appropriate to make the necessary preparations now. You may have to ask your customers to provide you with the necessary data. In addition, the fixed amount of the call segment will disappear. In practice, fixed amounts are often entered, which will soon be a thing of the past.

Stream Software has started the development of NCTS P5. Once possible, we will inform everyone about further practical changes, as well as changes within the application.

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