Find guidance about how to prepare and submit an Intrastat declaration if you are a business trading in goods between Northern Ireland and member states of the EU.
General guide to Intrastat
You can find guidance about what you need to complete a declaration in the Notice 60 guide to Intrastat. The guide includes:
- who needs to submit declarations
- the rules for submitting declarations
- types of goods to include and exclude
- goods that need special treatment
- how to fill in the fields in the declaration
- what happens if you do not submit declarations on time
You can also download specialist guides to help you with specific issues relating to completing Intrastat declarations.
How to submit a declaration
You will need to register before you can submit a declaration.
Allow 48 hours for HMRC to process your registration and send your login details to you. These are different to the login details you use to submit your EC Sales List and VAT Returns.
You must submit your declaration within 21 days of the end of the reporting period.
If you have no trade to report, you should submit a nil return.
You can submit as many declarations as you like each month. You can do this by:
You will need to enter a commodity code in your declaration for each item you trade. This is a numeric description that classifies your goods.
You can search UK Trade Info to find the right commodity code.
You can also use the Trade Tariff tool (opens in new tab) to search for import and export commodity codes as well as the tax, duty and licenses that apply to goods.
If you are not sure how to classify a good, you can find out more about ways to help you to find a commodity code (opens in new tab). This includes getting advice from HMRC to find the right code.
If you need help with submitting your declaration, email email@example.com.
Submit using the online form
If you only need to enter a few lines of data, using the online form is a good option.
You will need to register to get your username and password.
You will need to fill in separate forms for:
- Arrivals (goods entering Northern Ireland from EU member states)
- Dispatches (goods sent from Northern Ireland to EU member states)
The online form will check the data you enter for errors before you submit your declaration.
For your security, we will sign you out of the service after 30 minutes. If you are timed out, you will need to enter the data again.
You can enter up to 20 lines of data using the form. If you need to submit more lines, submit another form for the same period.
If you need to submit over 20 lines of data, consider using the option to upload a CSV file that you can prepare offline.
Submit using a CSV file
A CSV file is a file where data is separated by a comma rather than columns.
You can submit your declaration using a CSV file that you have prepared offline.
Guide to using a CSV file
Format to use for CSV files
Each file can contain up to 95,000 lines of data.
For trader CSV files:
- the first line is the header details
- subsequent lines are for data
For agent CSV files:
- the first line is the agent header details
- the second line is the trader header details
- subsequent lines are for data
Check the technical specification for CSV files to find the format required for the file.
- CSV02 technical specifications - All Arrivals declarations (and Dispatches until period Dec 2021)
- CSV03 technical specifications - Dispatches declarations from period January 2022 onwards
Create a CSV file
You can produce your CSV file with most spreadsheet software, or use our prepared Excel spreadsheets.
The file name must be no more than 5 characters plus the file extension (for example, DE123.csv).
Using the prepared spreadsheets
Replace the example data in the spreadsheet with your own and save it as a CSV file by choosing the extension CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv). Please do not save the file using CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited) (*.csv) as it will fail our processing.
Example files for Arrivals (all periods) and Dispatches periods up to December 2021:
Example files for Dispatches from period January 2022 onwards:
- Download the CSV03 Trader spreadsheet (XLSX 36.4 KB)
- Download the CSV03 Agent spreadsheet (XLSX 36.4 KB)
How to submit the file
If you have registered, you can upload the CSV file using the Intrastat online service.
Before you upload, you should check the file for errors to make sure it is formatted properly, as we only accept files without errors.
Problems uploading your file
When you upload your file, the online service will check the data in the file and highlight any errors for you.
If there is an error, you will need to fix this and upload the file again.
Data formatting rejections
If your upload is rejected, you can correct it by either:
- amending the file in a text editor
- formatting the spreadsheet as text
Amend the file in a text editor
Amend the file by opening a text editor such as Notepad on your computer.
You will then be able to open the file, make any changes and save them.
Data formatting rejections
Properly formatted cells saved as CSV can lose their formatting once the file has been re-opened in Excel.
If you are using spreadsheet software, make sure the relevant cells are formatted to show leading zeros.
To change a cell containing numbers to a text cell, you should:
- Right-click the cell.
- Select ‘Format cells’.
- Go to the ‘number’ screen, highlight ‘Text’ and select ‘OK’.
- Retype the data.
- Save the file again.
This will also correct VAT Registration Numbers where the leading zeros have been dropped, or where Excel has converted the number to scientific format (for example, 123456789012 converted to 1.23457E+11).
How to correct data you have submitted
Correct existing data
You need to correct a declaration if both of the following apply:
- the error relates to commodity code, value, country, or goods declared in an incorrect period
- the value of the error on a single data line in the declaration is more than £10,000
Fill in an amendment form to correct the information on your declaration.
Add omitted trade entries
If you need to add a new trade entry to a previous declaration, you must submit a new declaration for the same period and only show the omitted data.
Withdraw a declaration or change its period
You cannot withdraw a full declaration or change its period online.
Send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the changes you need to make.