UK Import Data – MSS Data

What is MSS Data?

MSS (Management Support System) data is a record of all all the imports that have been declared to HMRC upon arrival into the UK.

It is not what your organisation believe has been imported but rather what HMRC know has been imported.

What is the source of MSS data?

When goods are imported to or exported from the European Union, a declaration is made to the customs office of arrival/departure which includes various details about the nature of these goods. The required details vary across the EU but will generally include:

  • The value of the goods and their associated duties/taxes
  • Logistics information 
  • Entry dates/times/numbers
  • Duty relief measures 
  • Intended uses 

This data is stored on the customs system of the country in which the customs office is located.  In the UK this is the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) system. 

Every time a business/trader makes an import or export declaration, they must provide their EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) reference number. 

From this, the system is able to keep track of all the declarations the business/trader has made throughout the whole of the UK. 

HMRC allows access to this data via an MSS report.

What is MSS Data used for?

This data is used by HMRC to reconcile what businesses believe they have declared and what the MSS data states has been declared.  Any discrepancies can lead to assessments for under declared duty.

For businesses, the immediate benefit is that from the MSS data you can see exactly the amount of duty paid, what goods have been imported and the values that have been declared to HMRC.

Regular review of MSS data can help maintain and demonstrate strong compliance procedures.  By building a regular review process into the control procedures, and certainly for businesses who are caught by the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) regulations, it goes a long way to demonstrating to HMRC that steps are actively taken to manage the organisations tax affairs.

Review of this data can also help manage procurement and supply chain costs.  Especially in larger organisations where multiple sites/departments are responsible for procurement and supply chain.  Knowing “who” is importing, “what” is being imported and from “where” is business critical information.  

Review of the trends within your MSS data can also help spot irregular transactions and the more serious issue of fraud.

How do I get my MSS Data?

MSS data can be requested from HMRC. The request can be made by downloading and completing the MSS Agreement here.

Please select report no. 1 – “Import Entry Standard Item Report” as this is the one that is compatible with C3.

You can request historical data, going back 4 years, as well as requesting an ongoing monthly report. We would recommend this approach, the more data that input into C3 the more useful the results will be.

Once complete, the pages 1, 2, and 11 of the form should be emailed to uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk 

At present, HMRC do charge for this information.

  • For historical data it is £240 (plus VAT) per year for a standard report.
  • For monthly reports it is £240 (plus VAT) for a minimum of 12 months for a standard report.

HMRC will send an invoice following the processing of your request.

All too difficult?

Alternatively, we can take on this process for you.  If you would prefer us to communicate with HMRC on your behalf please contact support@ccdigitalsolutions.co.uk.