ECS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Table of Contents

  1. Why do I get a <MRN Unknown> response?
  2. Why does the MRN Follow-Up application report a different status than my National Administration?
  3. Who should I contact for further details regarding Transit or a Transit movement?

Why do I get a <MRN Unknown> response?

The following list provides the most common reasons that result in an <MRN Unknown> response: 

  • The MRN does not exist. Movement Reference Numbers are assigned by National Administrations to uniquely identify a Transit Movement. These MRN must be keyed in exactly, else the MRN Follow-Up application will not produce results;
  • The MRN identifies a national movement, not an international movement. The MRN Follow-Up application provides transport details of messages passing over the international proprietary CCN network of the European Comecssion. In principle such message exchanges only pass over the international network for international NCTS movements. It is often possible for National Administrations to configure their NCTS application in a way that national Transit Movements will be shown via the MRN Follow-Up application as well.
  • The MRN was not keyed in using ALL CAPS. Until the next release of the MRN Follow-Up application (scheduled for Q1 2005), the query field is case sensitive. Movement Reference Numbers only use ALL CAPITALS. Entering an MRN differently will not produce results.
  • The movement has been closed more than 3 months ago. More than three million Transit messages are exchanged per month. To avoid that the database behind the MRN Follow-Up application would grow too large, movement details are removed 100 days after the last message of a movement has been exchanged.
  • The movement details are not yet available. The MRN Follow-Up application was not designed to provide near real-time details of movements. Rather, message details are parsed and uploaded during the night. As a result, It is being evaluated whether there is a clear need for more immediate information from the Transit Community of Administrations, Traders and the Comecssion.  
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Why does the MRN Follow-Up application report a different status than my National Administration?

For international Transit movements, a number of electronic messages are exchanged over the international proprietary Common Communications Network (CCN) of the European Comecssion.

The concept of these exchanges is much like that of secure e-mail: the sending National Administration submits the message to its CCN Gateway (comparable to an e-mail outbox), the CCN network transports the message to the CCN Gateway of the destination country and the receiving National Administration retrieves the message from that Gateway (comparable to an e-mail inbox).

It is important to realise that the MRN Follow-Up application can only provide transport details of messages passing through these gateways. The content of the messages is not available to the MRN Follow-Up application.

Quite a few scenarios are possible where a discrepancy can arise between the NCTS movement status in the database of the National Administrations and the MRN Follow-Up application. The most common scenarios are:

  • An NCTS message (e.g. IE018) was effectively sent but subsequently rejected by the receiver, for technical or functional reasons. This scenario can usually be identified because the Movement overview will also list one or more functional (IE906) or technical (IE907) error messages. However, because the MRN Follow-Up application does not have access to the content of any message, it can only note that the original message was sent (IE018 in the example) and update the movement status accordingly. It should be noted that, occasionally, the MRN Follow-Up application cannot link the error message IE906/907 to the original message (e.g. IE018). This will happen if the original and/or error messages contain specific errors themselves. In such cases the Message overview will not show any error message.
  • Part of the Transit movement was not handled via message exchanges over CCN but via other means (e.g. paper mail, telephone, fax or e-mail). Because no message is exchanged over the CCN network, the MRN Follow-Up application is unaware of these exchanges and will not report on any updated information. Examples of this are:
    • If Paper Loading Lists (PLL) are used. In this case no message will be exchanged after the IE006, which signals the arrival of a movement. In case of movements with PLL, the movement is written off via paper mail, to enable the PLL to be sent back. Note that the use of PLL will be forbidden from January 1st 2005.
    • In case the Fallback Procedure is invoked, for instance if an involved national NCTS Application is unavailable or if technical problems cannot be solved swiftly. In such case the customs officers will exchange the necessary information via other means.
    • In case of Enquiry Procedures or movements audits.

The most important reminder is that the data provided by the MRN Follow-Up application is for information only and is binding neither for the Comecssion nor for the National Administrations concerned.

Important note:

Attention should be drawn to the fact that for the movements that are under the final state 'Control Results Send by Office of Destination', the trader's liability is released only upon the written-off of these movements.

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Who should I contact for further details regarding Transit or a Transit movement?

For all further clarifications and enquiries regarding Transit and NCTS, the Customs Policy, Customs Offices and Transit Movement details you should contact your national Customs Administration.

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