- November 2023 update: BE customs authorities have published an updated version of the MASP release schedule, officially confirming that they have delayed the implementation of NCTS P5. The new date for implementing NCTS P5 in Belgium will be March 30, 2024, with a subsequent transition period until June 30, 2024.
By the end of 2024, all member countries of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) are required to transfer to New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) Phase 5.
This change will affect all users of our Customs Management solution who submit BE transit declarations (transfer and discharge movements) via the application.
In this article, we will tell you more about the background and point out the BE timeline to enable you to prepare for this transition.
- More information on this topic will be made available on our Help Center soon. Subscribe to this article to receive update notifications by e-mail.
Background, key changes, and benefits of NCTS5
NCTS is a European-wide software system for automating the Common and Union transit procedures. Since its existence in 2003, NCTS has gone through various enhancements and upgrades and is currently operating under Phase 4 specification. To further modernize and harmonize transit processes, new requirements have been implemented by the CTC. These specifications will be rolled out with NCTS Phase 5.
Apart from certain message structure changes, NCTS5 introduces functional changes and benefits, like:
- New data set aligned to New UCC Data Annex B and EUCDM (further details available on https://financien.belgium.be/nl/douane_accijnzen/ondernemingen/douane/aangiften-kennisgeving-douanestatus/gegevenssets#q4)
- Amending declarations (replacing the workaround to cancel and resubmit transit declarations)
- Allowing the submission of pre-lodged declarations to simplified procedure usage
- Introduction of a digital Transit Accompanying Document, TAD (replacing the paper document carried with the goods and presenting the MRN electronically instead)
- Introduction of a new customs role “Office of Incident” (for registering incidents that occur during the transit journey to the nearest customs office)
- Introduction of house consignments in one declaration
- Introduction to indicate the 6-digit commodity number or customs tariff number in transit in accordance with the Harmonized System
- Since the implementation of NCTS Phase 5 is delayed in individual CTC countries, there will be a “transition period” in which not all NCTS5 features will become mandatory, and some temporary rules remain in place to allow the compatibility between NCTS4 and NCTS5. Please refer to the following section for more details.
Transition period for the migration to NCTS5
The transition period is the period of time during which countries may switch to operating NCTS5. To allow compatibility between NCTS4 and NCTS5 until the end of the transition period in December 2024, some temporary rules (like the NCTS message translation service ieCA) will remain in place and some NCTS5 features will not be compulsory yet. This means in practice:
- Pre-lodged declarations are not supported
- Commodity codes will not be mandatory until the end of the transition period.
- Allowing only 1 house consignment per declaration
- New Office of Incident procedures are delayed (incidents en route must be recorded on the paper TAD as now)
BE timescale for switching to NCTS5
Belgium will switch over to NCTS5 starting March 30, 2024, with a subsequent transition period until June 30, 2024. That means:
- NCTS4 can only be used for closing and handling of movements that were started before the Go-live date of NCTS5
- NCTS5 must be used to create new transit declarations from June 30, 2024.
The dates mentioned above are currently under discussion. We will provide an update as soon as new information becomes available.
AEB is preparing for the migration and the implementation of BE NCTS5 functionality for our Customs Management solution. We will provide a detailed timeline for rollout phase as soon as possible.
Make sure you are ready to move to NCTS5
Please take following steps to prepare for the migration at an early stage:
- Familiarize yourself with the technical and functional changes that will be implemented with NCTS5. Specifications can be found on the official BE customs website or, in future, here on our Help Center.
- When planning the migration, consider timing, resources, and staff training.