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FAQ

If you are experiencing problems when using the Intrastat Internet System we may have the solution. Here is a list of questions and answers, some frequently asked and others that are unusual, divided into 4 sections:

Set up

Which browser do I need to use the Electronic Intrastat System?

We recommend the following minimum browser specifications:

 
For Windows users:
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher,
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.5,
  • Google Chrome 5.0, or
  • Safari 5.0

 

For Mac users:

  • Mozilla Firefox 3.2
  • Google Chrome 5.0, or
  • Safari 5.0

 

For Linux users:
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.5
  • Safari 5.0

 

Browser versions other than those listed above may allow you to access the site and use the pages, but may not display the site as designed, or allow you to access all the functionality.

To check for the latest version of your browser, please visit the supplier's web site and follow any instructions provided.

In addition, your Internet browder must have JavaScript and cookies enabled and be capable of supporting 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connection.

 

 

Why can't I access the site? (I am using AOL)

The AOL system is an adapted version of Internet Explorer and not all functions used by our system are available on it . One way to overcome this is to connect to the Internet using AOL and then access our system by using the original Internet Explorer. To do this click on Start then Programs then Internet Explorer.

 

Has my Log in stopped working? (I cannot access the site or get the message 'page not found')

  • If you have the address in your favourites you will need to refresh the address by going into the system a different way, and then re-saving the address to your favourites.
  • Have you saved your password or username into Windows or Favourites? This is not secure (anyone can login to your PC) and our system will eventually cease to work.

 

Does the system use cookies?

Yes. The service uses cookies in order to make sure you go through each step of the process in the right sequence.

  • The cookies we send to your browser are temporary and exist in your computer memory only for the duration of your secure browser session.
  • Our cookies are not stored on your PC, nor do they contain information personally identifiable to you.

 

Can't find the answer to your question here?

If you can not solve your problem here, please:

with your query, or

  • telephone them on 03000 594231.

 

 
 

Login 

Is there a format required for the password?

Yes, there is.

  • Passwords must be at least 8 characters in length, and you must use both alpha and numeric characters. 
  • The first character must be an alpha.
  • Your password must contain at least 2 numerics.  
  • Passwords must be entered in lowercase.

Is the login case sensitive?

Yes - the username and password must be entered in lowercase

I saved it in my favourites now I can't get in. Why is this?

You probably saved the wrong screen in your favourites, the URL page to save is www.hmce.gov.uk/ecom/is2

I have a username and password but it will not allow me to login. Why is this?

  • The system may be down - try again later
  • Have you saved your password or username in Windows? - This is not secure (anyone can log into your PC) and your connection will stop working.
  • Have you saved the front page or Login page to your favorites? - You should save the front page (Welcome to Intrastat) but not the Login page. If you save the Login, this is insecure and the connection will not work.
  • You might not be using the correct browser - please see the Which browser do I need to use the Electronic Intrastat System? in the Set up section of these FAQs.
  • Your computer may not have enough memory - try deleting your temporary internet files. To do this, open Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options and delete files.
  • You may have entered you Login and/or password details in the wrong format - both are case sensitive and you must use lowercase.

Can't find the answer to your question?

If you can not solve your problem here, please:

 

 

 Online Form

Why, when I submit my data, do I get a blank screen?

This could be because:

  • Your browser is not up to date  (See Which browser do I need to use the Electronic Intrastat System? In the Setup section of these FAQs)
  • You may need to turn your Pop-up Blocker off. To do this, click on Tools and scroll down to Pop-up blocker, and click on Turn off Pop-up blocker. Remember to turn it back on once you've finished.
  • Navigating back and forwarwards between an error page and the online form being submitted can cause the transfer process to run slowly. If this happens, the submit button will 'grey out' and you will need to click on  Clear Form and start again.
 

Why have I received the error message 'no access', or Java error Null?

This could be because:

  • You have been timed out. To ensure the system is secure and that resources are not clogged up, each log in is given a thirty minute time limit. This will be extended by another thirty minutes when you submit a csv file or an e- form. If you have been timed out, unfortunately you will have lost the data on the e-form you have been completing and you will have to log out and log back in again. Please note: your session is not extended by just filling in a form, it is the action of submitting that will extend your time.
  • You are using the wrong browser. (See Which browser do I need to use the Electronic Intrastat System? in the Setup section of these FAQs)
  • You were timed-out before the confirmation screen was confirmed. In this case, simply log back in and you should be able to confirm the submission.(Check in your browser and if the submission is there, your data would have been transmitted). 

Why has Commodity code/Nature of Transaction code (NoTC) data disappeared from my submission when I check my browser?

  • We only collect the data from the fields that are required according to the commodity code and NoTC; i.e. for NoTC 16/18 we only require the Value and no other line data.
  • Some Commodity codes are changed annually by Eurostat. Please visit the ICN Online page of this site to obtain the correct code for your goods.

 

What can I do if I have accidently duplicated the submission or made an error?

Email our Customer Services and ask them to delete one of the submissions.

Can't find the answer to your question here?

  • telephone them on 03000 594231.

 

 Offline Form

 
Why do I get the security alert message: 'Your current security settings do not allow this file to be downloaded' when I try to download the 'CSV Generator'?

This means the security settings on your browser may need changes please select menus as follows:
For Internet Explorer version 6:

  • Select Tools Menu from Tool Bar
  • Select Internet Options
  • Select Security tab
  • Select Custom Level button
  • Scroll down to Downloads
  • Under File Downloads - If the File Downloads is not disabled you will not be able to download files. To enable file downloads check the enable option.

 

Why do I get the error message 'Trader or Agent Header Missing' when I upload my csv file?

If you have created your csv file in Excel, it may have inserted some spurious characters.

  • Open the file in a text editor (such as notepad). This will display any spurious characters or formatting that Excel may have added.
  • Edit the file and save.
  • It may be easier to use the CSV Generator Tool available to download from the Main Menu of the Electronic Intrastat System, which has been pre-formatted.

When I uploaded my csv file, I got the error message: 'Bad CSV File Invalid CSV Header, Invalid Agent/Trader flag: corrupt or incomplete header'. I have checked my file and it looks OK, so why am I getting this message?

When you have browsed your csv file for uploading, please do not edit the file-path that is displayed when you select your file. If you do, you will get this error message. If you have spaces in your file path you will need to move your file to a folder that doesn't have a space in the name.

Why have I received a 'Bad header' message I uploaded my file?

The header details will be checked first any errors that occur will stop further validation and the Bad Header Screen will appear. The screen will show where the error occurs.

  • This could be caused by the company name not being the same as that on the Registration form, or
  • the company name is more than 32 characters (in which case shorten it to 32 characters).
  • The branch number, period number and date the leading zero will disappear when the file is opened in Excel. To return the zero change the field to a text field (highlight cell, click Format, then click Cells. On the Number screen highlight Text and click OK). If yoy retype your data, the zero will then remain.

Why do I get an Invalid VAT number; '1E+08' message when uploading a CSV file?

A CSV file in a Scientific format and it changes some of the fields. (E.g. the VAT registration number changes to 1E+8', when the file was opened in Excel).

Widen the field and the VAT number will return.

Why do I get the error message 'Processing Error, file is not a csv' or similar, when I know it is a csv file?

Some browser versions truncate the filename when it is uploaded to our server and the file loses its file extension. Rename the file to contain five characters plus the file extension, (for example, jun00.csv). This can be done in Windows Explorer.

I have corrected the errors but when I upload the file I get errors on the header that I did not have before. Why is this?

CSV files are saved in a Scientific format when you open a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file in Excel some of the fields change. It can cause certain fields - like the VAT number - to disappear. It also removes the leading zero in a field which can affect fields such as the branch number, date, period number and commodity codes.

To resolve these issues:

  • For the VAT number, widen the field
  • To return the zeros click on field go to Format, the Cells. On the Number screen click on Text and then OK. Re-type the field and the zero will remain save the file and resubmit. Alternatively,
  • go to Format, then Cells. On the Number screen click on Custom, in right hand box and enter the number of zeros required (i.e 0000 for period). Click OK and the zero will return to the cell. Save the file and resubmit.

Why has the period number been rejected?

You may have entered it in the wrong format. The period number should be entered as month and year (mmyy) (with no spaces, hyphens (-) or slashes (/). E.g. August 2011 would be entered as 0811.

Why does the confirmation screen display nil values when I upload my csv file?

Please check that you have put an 'X' in the 'declaration' field in the header details and not an 'N' (X indicates live data, while N indicates it is a nil return and it will ignore any data supplied)

I have successfully submitted my csv file, but the values on the confirmation screen are not correct. Why is this?

If you are submitting credit notes as well as other values the total does not calculate the amount for that submission, so the total value amount may not reflect the true amount. This is only displayed in the 'Confirm Submission. screen, the true calculated values will be correctly processed.

How can I correct errors on my CSV file when it was a pre-prepared Software package?

Errors can be corrected by opening the file in a Text creator (like Notepad) or opening the file in Excel and using the Text to Column wizard found in the Data menu.

Why do I get the error message 'The file format you have tried to submit is not recognised, please try another'?

You may have uploaded an Excel file (.xls) - the file needs to be a csv file.

  • Open the file in Excel, click on 'Save As', select 'Save File as Type: csv (comma delimited)';
  • click OK, a dialogue box is presented warning that the 'selected file type will only save active sheet';
  • click OK.

Why am I getting errors on Supplementary Units on fields that I have never filled in before?

You may have uploaded an Excel file (.xls) while the file needs to be a csv file.

  • Open the file in Excel, click on 'Save As', select 'Save File as Type: csv (comma delimited)'.
  • Click OK, a dialogue box is presented warning that the 'selected file type will only save active sheet'.
  • Click OK.

Why has the commodity code I have always used now been rejected?

The commodity code for your goods may have changed. The system has been upgraded to match the period with the valid commodity code for that year. The correct commodity codes are available on this site on the ICN Online page.

Why have I got the error page 'no access' whilst using The Intrastat Electronic System?

It sounds like you were timed out and you need to log in again. 
(To ensure the system is secure and that resources are not clogged up, each log in is given a thirty minute time limit. This will be extended to another thirty minutes when you submit a csv file).

Why have I got the message 'Java error Null' whilst using The Intrastat Electronic System?

If you get this message it probably means that you were 'timed-out' before the confirmation screen was confirmed. Just log back in and confirm submission.

Why did I get a script error when I upload my CSV?

It could be that you have erroneous characters e.g. a slash (/) separating the date: (e.g. 06/05/02). Simply remove the slash.

It is a good idea tp open the file in notepad to see if there are any other hidden characters.

I have sent the file twice, what should I do?

Either email our Customer Services or telephone them on 03000 594231 and ask to have one of the files deleted.

I have made a mistake on the file, what should I do?

You can use the on-line amendment form

Can't find the answer to your question?

If you can not solve your problem here, please:

email our Customer Services with your query, or
telephone them on 03000 594231.