Ausfuhrbegleitdokument Symbolbild Schiff
Ausfuhrbegleitdokument Symbolbild Schiff
Ausfuhrbegleitdokument Symbolbild Schiff

Export accompanying document


If you are exporting goods for the first time at the latest, you have probably heard of the term export accompanying document. But what exactly is it and how does the creation of the export accompanying document work on the one hand and what is the process after the creation of the document on the other?

Information on the creation of an export accompanying document

The export accompanying document (English EX.1 or EAD = export accompanying document) is a document that is intended to accompany the goods to be exported from the country. More precisely, goods that are commercially exported from Germany to a so-called third country, i.e. a non-EU country e.g. goods that are shipped by truck to Switzerland or by ship to the United States. The export accompanying document then accompanies the goods to the external EU border, i.e. to the port or the national border of the third country. Up to a goods value of EUR 1000 and a weight of 1000 kg, no export accompanying document has to be created. However, should one of these values or both value limits be exceeded, such a document is mandatory in commercial traffic. In principle, for every cross-border transport process, the goods must be deregistered from the country they are leaving (= export) and reported in the country to which the goods are going (= import).

The export accompanying document thus ensures the de-registration of the goods from Germany. In order to accelerate the processes and to simplify them for the customs offices, however, this procedure has only been possible online for a number of years via a direct interface to customs with expensive software and appropriate specialist knowledge. But one interface is not enough to create an export document like the export accompanying document. It may be necessary to check whether the export requires a permit or whether it may not be exported to the relevant country at all.

Map of THE EU states. An export accompanying document must only be drawn up when shipped to a grey country.

Whenever a commercial consignor wants to send goods with a value of more than EUR 1000 to a country that does not belong to the European Union, an export accompanying document must be created. (EU countries here in orange on the map)

Structure of the export accompanying document

In the following you will find out which data we need from you to create the export accompanying document. You will get a detailed insight into the structure of the German export declaration. This can help you to better understand the context and information.

Export accompanying document sample

In order to get a better picture, we have created a sample of an export accompanying document for you here. This is something that the finished document would look like after we created it for you (see below). Please note that this preview is only the first page of the document. If you click on the image, the complete document will open in a new window. You can then also download the PDF document if necessary.

Export accompanying document model

Sample of the first page of an export accompanying document. The complete document can be opened by clicking on the image

However, not all fields of the export accompanying document have to be filled out in your specific case. So which information is always required and which only in special cases?

Constellation of participants

Let’s first take a look at the document provided in the example (see link above). The structure of the export accompanying document is always the same: the parties involved in the transaction and details of the goods are listed.
Let’s start at the top left with the Shipper / Exporter field (Field 2). To understand why it says sender and not sender here, it is important to know the following. In freight forwarding, the sender is the person who actually sends the goods or from where the goods are originally sent. For example, the goods are sent to New York by a company in Hamburg. The freight forwarder / transporter is based in Bremen and is therefore the sender. The company in Hamburg is thus the sender. The sender would be the freight forwarding company in Bremen. But the export accompanying document does not just say “Consignor”, but “Consignor / Exporter”. It is therefore important to know that the exporter is someone who takes responsibility for the export of the goods (more on this here).
Assuming the goods are – to come back to the example above – at a company in Hamburg. The latter sends the goods, but only acts on behalf of a company in Belgium. Ultimately, they want to send the goods to New York. The exporter is decisive. In this case, this is the company in Belgium, which must be entered in the corresponding field. The company in Hamburg, where the goods are actually located, will not appear in the document. However, that does not mean that customs do not want to know where the goods are. Under certain circumstances, he or she would like to take a closer look at the goods and check whether they are also the goods registered.

EORI No. (customs number)

So on the one hand the address of the exporter is required, on the other hand the loading address (company name + address). You also need a so-called EORI number for the recipient’s address. This is used to enable customs to identify the person involved under customs law. Without this, no export is possible if you are trading commercially. You can apply for the EORI number free of charge at the German customs office at

We come to the next field, the recipient field (field 8), directly under the field “Sender / Exporter”. Enter the name and address of the actual consignee here. Under “No.” you can also enter the recipient’s EORI number here, if they need one. However, this is not absolutely necessary because, for example, a company outside the EU usually does not have an EORI number.

In the field below for the declarant / representative (field 14) you can see the address of the person who made the declaration to customs. If you register yourself, you will find your own address here. Otherwise, this is the address of the customs broker as he will represent you.


Means of transport and weight

In field 18 “Identification of the means of transport on departure”, enter the identification of the truck that is transporting the goods. This field is not mandatory. Often the number plate is not even known to the sender at the time of registration.

Field 25 indicates the mode of transport at the border. That means whether the goods are transported by truck, by plane, by ship etc. – “33” stands for truck transport.

Field 35 stands for the “gross mass” of the goods (in kilograms). The gross weight is the total weight of the goods including any packaging and pallets.

Customs offices involved in the procedure

Field 29 designates the customs office of exit, i.e. the customs office at which the goods leave the EU. This can be, for example, a customs office on the border with Switzerland or at a port.

Nothing needs to be entered under “Number of the customs seal”, field S28, as customs may fill out this field itself. This guarantees the so-called identification of the goods. You can find out more on this topic in our other post on the various customs procedures.

So we have filled out / treated the left half of the first page of the export accompanying document together.

In the right column, we see the export procedure in field 1 (more on this here). This can be e.g. the export of the goods from the EU or export to an EFTA country etc. – and in field S 32 any special circumstances.

In field 3 “Forms” we see the number 1 on the left and the number 2 on the right. This information shows how many pages the document comprises. So here this means that we are on page 1 of a total of 2 pages.

Field S00 is filled in if security-relevant data is transmitted with the export. So this is irrelevant to us as it is filled in automatically.


Structure of the MRN number + further information

At the top right you can see the MRN number, i.e. the Movement Reference Number. It corresponds to a code for tracking the document. Similar to tracking a parcel, each interface, i.e. each border, scans the document. This makes it possible to trace exactly where the goods left the EU.

The MRN is structured as follows. 19 (the number of the year, here 2019), DE for the country and then the first 4 digits of the customs office that issued the export accompanying document. This means that 19DE586600822952E8 stands for an export accompanying document from 2019, which was released in Germany by the customs office with the number 5866. The following numbers are a consecutive number and a calculated control number.

Field A, directly below, shows again the customs office including address and date of issue.

Field 5 shows the number of customs positions, i.e. how many different types of goods the shipment contains. You can find the number of packages in the shipment in field 6, for example “10” for a total of 10 pallets of goods. The internal reference number of the customs service provider for this shipment / declaration appears in field 7.

All other fields on the first page are filled in automatically and therefore do not require any further explanation.

Customs items: Description of goods and customs tariff number

In field 31 at the end of the page, the goods are usually named precisely. However, since it is a detailed description of the goods, the text module was too large to be listed on the first page. All items and goods are therefore on page 2.
There you will find a detailed description of the goods including gross / net weight and customs tariff number and procedure.
For the creation of the export accompanying document, we also need the exact customs tariff number, the goods description, weights and documents such as the invoice and delivery note, as can be seen on the export accompanying document.
You are welcome to send us an email in advance to so that we can discuss together which documents you need. We are looking forward to your contact!

Is there a customs form for the export accompanying document?

We are repeatedly asked whether you could simply fill out the export accompanying document yourself at customs, e.g. with a form. Unfortunately, the creation of the document has only been possible electronically since 2009. Special software is required for this, in which the entries can be made. The registration may only be made on paper in exceptional cases such as a system failure or a technical fault in the German customs server. Even then, the electronic form must be submitted later.

How does the creation of the export accompanying document work?

The export accompanying document is usually created by a customs service provider such as we are. This reports the goods to be exported to customs via an electronic interface. With the transmission, he therefore makes an application for the release of the goods and the release of the export accompanying document. If the responsible customs office approves the export, a PDF document is created. In order for the release to take place, the goods must usually be registered with the customs office, which is responsible for the loading location of the goods according to the official directory. Depending on the zip code, another inland customs office may be responsible for the loading point in the external warehouse than for the company’s headquarters.
The export accompanying document contains information on the sender of the goods, the recipient of the goods, the goods themselves and the export procedure.
In order to identify the companies involved in customs, they must have a so-called EORI number, which can be requested from German customs.

What happens after the export accompanying document has been issued?

After your customs service provider has registered the export at the respective inland customs office, there is an immediate release of the goods (goods value up to 3000 EUR) or a so-called presentation period (goods value from 3000 EUR) depending on the value of the goods. During this presentation period of 24 hours, customs have the option to inspect the goods on site and to check the information you provided during export. At the same time, this also means that the goods may not be loaded during this time and may not be removed from the loading location specified in the export. After the 24-hour period has expired, you will receive clearance from customs for export. Your customs service provider can then print out your export accompanying document or send it by e-mail so that you or your carrier can transport the goods to the border.

The export accompanying document is then scanned at the external EU border. For this purpose, there is a barcode on the accompanying export document, a so-called Movement Reference Number, also abbreviated as MRN. Movement Reference Number literally means movement reference number. With the help of this number, it can be traced at any time which borders the goods have passed. Sometimes the MRN is mistakenly equated with the export accompanying document. However, this is not correct as the MRN is only a number that is part of the export accompanying document and other export documents such as T1 or T2 documents also have such an MRN.

After the export accompanying document has been scanned by the border customs office, the document is automatically converted into an exit note. This completes the process. The exit note serves as proof that the goods have actually left the country. You therefore need this exit note in order to prove during a tax audit that the goods were not sold within Germany (subject to VAT) instead of abroad (VAT exempt).

The status of each export accompanying document, i.e. whether the document has already left the EU, can be checked under the following link: Tracking an export MRN

Do you have anymore questions?
We are happy to help you with the application for the EORI number, take care of the creation of the export accompanying document and let you benefit from many years of expertise. Just give us a call or send us an email. Further help and information on the export accompanying document can be found further down on this page or in our specialist articles on the export accompanying document. We have summarized the most common definitions of terms for you in our customs glossary. We are also happy to help with other customs-related issues. ==> At our prices


Which documents must be made available to customs, the goods may have to be presented to customs, etc. We would be happy to advise you!

Creation of the ABD

The creation of the export accompanying document is the first step in successfully exporting your goods. With us you have a reliable partner at your side!


Should you export goods more often in the future, we can offer you particularly favorable conditions and exclusive advantages.

What is the export accompanying document?

The export accompanying document is the written proof that the export of certain goods is permitted. You can therefore export the goods listed in the document from within the European Union. You can then transport the goods to an EFTA country (e.g. Switzerland) or a third country. Sometimes the terms export declaration or export declaration are used synonymously when referring to the export accompanying document.

Since July 1st, 2009 this registration is only possible electronically via ATLAS (Automated Tariff and Local Customs Processing System). The registration in paper form was replaced by this. Depending on the constellation of the parties involved in the legal transaction, the weight and the value of the goods, an electronic export declaration is mandatory in some cases and not necessary in other cases.

The export accompanying document consists of information about the parties involved, the procedure and the goods. Using a unique 18-digit tracking number (MRN = Movement Reference Number) in the form of a barcode, you can always see at which EU customs office the goods were cleared. As soon as the customs office at the EU’s external border scans the accompanying export document, it generates a so-called exit note. This is the proof that the goods were properly exported from the EU.

The information in the export accompanying document is used to record the flow of goods and is included in the foreign trade statistics published by the Federal Statistical Office. With the aid of the export accompanying document, it is possible to check whether the exporter is complying with export regulations and foreign trade law.

When is an export accompanying document required?

In order to export goods from the EU to an EFTA / third country, you must always create an export accompanying document from a goods value of EUR 1,000 and / or a weight of over 1,000 kg. However, if you export the goods as a private person and transport them yourself, some customs offices do not issue an export. But it is always better to do the export in good time in order to avoid difficulties at the border.

So you need an export accompanying document if

The goods leave the EU * and
the value of the goods is over EUR 1000 or
the weight of the shipment is over 1000 kg

* = should the goods leave the customs union for a short time, for example, as is the case with a shipment from Spain to the Canary Islands, you also need an export accompanying document.

In our last article in the online help for the ABD, we already explained how the export accompanying document is structured. Now we show the differences between the various export accompanying document procedures.

There are basically two different procedures. The so-called one-step procedure and the two-step procedure. Depending on the procedure, different conditions apply in order to obtain clearance for export.

The single-stage procedure

Up to a value of 3,000 EUR, the single-stage export accompanying document procedure must be used. The customs agent sends a notification via ATLAS to the customs office of export. The export customs office always corresponds to the inland customs office at the seller’s location. If the goods are in a different location, you must register the goods at the customs office of export responsible for the place of loading. With the one-step procedure, this customs office of export also serves as the customs office of exit. The exit customs office is always the customs office at the EU’s external border.

Example 1 of the single-stage procedure
Since that sounds very theoretical, here’s an example: A German mail order company receives a large order from Switzerland in the morning (value: 2,500 EUR, weight: 880 kg). Just a few hours later, the company has palletized the goods and can export the goods. To do this, she or a customs agency must register with the customs office. A forwarding company is supposed to bring the goods on a pallet by truck across the Weil am Rhein / Basel border to Switzerland.

The Weil am Rhein Autobahn customs office therefore receives an electronic export application in advance via the ATLAS software. The customs agency then automatically receives a document with a barcode number (MRN), which it forwards to the shipping company. The forwarding company drives the goods to the Weil am Rhein border and shows the document with the barcode number of the export accompanying document. Customs at the German EU external border compares the goods with the registration on site and releases them for export. This completes the export.
Example 2 of the single-stage procedure
Here is another example. The same mail order company in Germany also receives an order in the morning for a parcel going to Brazil (value: 1100 EUR, weight: 20 kg). Since the recipient of the package is different from the consignment to Switzerland from example 1, the seller must have a separate export accompanying document drawn up. The company hires a parcel service to collect the parcel in the afternoon. At the same time, the sender asks the parcel service provider which airport they will use to transport the goods to Brazil.

He passes on the information to his customs service provider that the goods will leave Germany via Frankfurt Airport. The latter then creates an export application via ATLAS and sends it electronically to the relevant customs office. The customs office then accepts the declaration for the time being. The export barcode is available to the parcel service provider as a printout and electronically to the customs office. After the goods have been picked up by the parcel service and before the goods leave the country via air freight, the Frankfurt Airport customs office clears the export. The export is done.
Summary of the single-stage procedure
In summary, it must always be a German exit customs office. For this, an export up to a value of 3,000 EUR must be applied for via ATLAS. Theoretically, the export can take place immediately without there being any procedural waiting periods.

However, if a company were to send more than one shipment (e.g. as several partial deliveries) to the same recipient on the same day, it can declare the goods as one export. This would save the company additional costs for another process by the customs broker.

The two-stage process

If the value of goods exceeds EUR 3,000, you must always use the two-stage export accompanying document procedure. The customs agent must also send a notification to the customs office via ATLAS. However, in this case the operator does not send the declaration to the customs office of exit. Instead, the declaration is sent directly to the customs office of export. This is the inland customs office close to the exporter. On the German customs site, it is possible to find out which customs office is responsible for the respective zip code (find the export customs office).
The registration in the two-stage procedure at the customs office of export includes the same information as the registration in the one-stage procedure. However, the customs office of exit differs from the customs office of export in the two-stage process of declaration. While the customs office of exit and the customs office of export are the same in the one-stage procedure, this is usually not the case with the two-stage export. This is because the customs offices of exit, i.e. the customs offices at the external EU border, are usually not assigned to a specific postcode as the customs office of export (internal customs office).
In contrast to the one-step process, the carrier cannot bring the goods directly to the border. Instead, he has to present the goods to the inland customs office. This can be done in two different ways. The forwarding company drives the goods to the domestic export customs office. Alternatively, his customs agent reports the goods to the responsible inland customs office one day in advance. It defines a two to four hour period for the following day. During this time, customs can come to the sender’s place of loading. After the period has expired, the customs agent automatically receives the approval of the export.
Example 1 on the two-stage procedure

The following is an example of when the two-step procedure applies. A southern German car manufacturer wants to sell and send several vehicles to a car dealership in Belarus. For this he provides his customs agency with the necessary documents. Based on the postcode of the place where the goods are loaded, this determines which export customs office is responsible for the seller’s headquarters. In this case, the customs agency sends the notification electronically to the inland customs office in Böblingen. At the same time, the customs agent discusses the route of the transport with the carrier. He therefore knows that the forwarding company will bring the goods via the S19 expressway, which connects Poland and Belarus. The customs agent therefore states the customs office in Kuźnica in Poland as the customs office of exit.

However, the vehicles will not be exported until the next few days. Therefore, the car manufacturer passes on the information to the customs agent that customs can come through the next day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. No employee appears at the car manufacturer the next day. Instead, the customs broker electronically releases the export release at 2:02 p.m. In this case, the customs officer at the customs office of export did not consider it absolutely necessary to check the goods. The truck will then drive to the Polish-Belarusian border in the next few days. There the Polish customs scan the export, which takes care of it.

Summary of the two-stage procedure

In summary, the customs office of exit does not necessarily have to be a German customs office. The goods are declared at the inland customs office (export customs office) and the approved declaration is presented to the EU customs office of exit at the time of export. The export can be requested via ATLAS with a value of over 3,000 EUR. The export must take place in advance. In theory, it can also be done immediately by bringing the goods to the inland customs office. Alternatively, the goods can be inspected by customs at the sender’s location (presentation outside of the office).

A person holds their own self-create ABD

One person holds their own export accompanying document.

Who can prepare an export accompanying document?

The export accompanying document is usually created by a customs agency or a forwarding agency. The customs agency then acts as the declarant’s representative to customs. It has special software for electronic registration with a direct connection to the customs offices. For such a program, the manufacturers usually charge a one-time setup fee, additional monthly basic fees and then transaction fees for each declaration to the customs office.

Create the export accompanying document yourself

As an alternative to the creation by a customs service provider, the German Customs Administration also offers small companies and private individuals the free creation of the export accompanying document via the IAA website (Internet Export Registration).

Technical requirements

In order to be able to create the export yourself via the free IAA portal, you need a computer with a quick internet connection. This must have Java installed and an Internet browser that accepts cookies. In order to be able to display the completed export accompanying document in PDF format later, you also need a program that
can reproduce PDF documents. This can be, for example, the “Adobe Reader” or an equivalent free software.

Above all, it is important that you have a valid ELSTER certificate, i.e. a file in .pfx format. You can use this to log into the ELSTER portal and issue an ElsterOnline certificate there for using the IAA Plus. The ElsterOnline certificate is like a signature and confirms that you have actually registered. You can find more information
about the system requirements of ELSTER at: requirements and directly on the page for using the “IAA Plus” portal: IAA Plus system requirements

As a company, you must also have an EORI number. If you do not yet have an EORI number, for example, you can apply for one here: Information on applying for an EORI number

Please note that you need the “TrueType Font Code 128” font on your computer on the one hand for the creation and on the other hand for the correct display of the export accompanying document. Without this, the document cannot be printed. You can download it directly from the IAA website or via Google search.

Preparation of documents

In the next step, you must
make the following preparations in order to be able to create the export
accompanying document yourself:

·   You need a document showing the nature of the deal. This should list the value of the goods, the seller and the buyer or the sender / exporter and recipient

·   You need the information which customs offices you have to specify in the declaration. This is the customs office of export at the seller’s place and the customs office of exit at the place where the goods leave the EU

·   You know the weights (gross & net weight) of the individual types of goods and the entire shipment

·   You know the number of packages in the shipment, if applicable

·   If you ship commercially, you have an EORI number

·   You know the customs tariff number of the respective goods and, if applicable, the export restrictions + additional codes for the customs declaration

Have you observed all of the above points on our checklist? Then you can start creating the export accompanying document:

Free creation of export via IAA Plus

To create the export accompanying document yourself, go to . The first helpful documents are immediately available there, such as brief instructions or the entire manual for use with 230 pages. After you have accepted the terms of use at the bottom of the page, you can proceed to login. After entering the EORI number +, if applicable, your branch number and selecting the certificate file, you are logged in and you will get to the start page of the application.

You can create a new export via the menu item “Export customs office, export declaration… normal procedure”. Please find out about the one-step process and the two-step process first before proceeding:

One-step process

Two-step process

Customs office of export

Customs office of exit

This is the basis for understanding the further steps and processes. From here you can use the IAA Plus help page for the remaining points: to the help page

Do you have any questions about creating the EXPORT ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENT? The Customs Service Desk will be happy to help you. You will find an overview of the hotline numbers on the following page: Internet registration Service Desk .

Are you still stuck? Or is creating your own too tedious for you? We would be happy to create your EXPORT ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENT. Contact us now.

To contact form

What happens after the export accompanying documents is created

Have you created and printed the export accompanying document? Now this has to be passed on to your parcel service provider / forwarding agent. If you bring the goods to the border yourself, the export accompanying document must be printed out with a readable barcode and brought to the customs office of exit. There it is then scanned by the customs office, which creates the so-called exit note. You can later pick up this exit note yourself from the IAA portal. It is the proof that the goods were properly exported from the customs union. The exporter of the goods should keep the exit note for possible tax audits. This eliminates the tax liability when selling the goods, since it is a tax-free export. Without valid proof, you could otherwise become taxable and would have to pay 19% VAT afterwards.

The German export accompanying document is the preliminary stage for Swiss import customs clearance. Goods must always first be exported from one country in order to be able to be imported into another country afterwards. Information on customs clearance: Switzerland can be found here.

Vehicle clearances

Have you discovered an interesting vehicle abroad and now want to know how customs clearance works? As a customs agency, we are at your disposal for questions about car import and export. In addition to passenger cars, we can also declare your trailer, carry out customs clearance for trucks, import boats or handle aircraft.
You can find out more about this on the following pages and on our ”
What is customs clearance ?” and for vehicle preparation under ” inward processing “.

On request, we can also carry out the vehicle transport for you – our information page on car transport explains everything else.

Car Import to Switzerland

Would you like to import a vehicle from Germany or another country into Switzerland? We are happy to help you with Auto Import Switzerland. In our guide you will learn the entire process from the purchase of the vehicle to customs clearance. We will also tell you how the vehicle redemption works and how you can save even more.

Now go directly to => guide Auto Import Switzerland.

Car Import to Germany

Are you interested in how importing a vehicle from Switzerland to Germany or another country works? We are happy to help you with car export from Switzerland. In our guide you will learn the entire process from buying the Swiss vehicle to customs clearance. We’ll also tell you how the vehicle registration works and how you can make additional savings.

Now directly to the => Guide to Car Import Germany .

Transport solutions and shipping to Switzerland

Are you planning to send goods to Switzerland? Should the transport take place by truck or is it a package to Switzerland?

Read our comprehensive guide: => Guide to shipping to Switzerland
If you need Swiss import customs clearance, you can find out everything else on
information page on customs clearance .

Call us, we will be happy to make you a non-binding offer.

We also offer other transports, e.g. transport to the Czech Republic , shipping to Belgium or special transports to the Netherlands

Request a call back now!

With your request you are already one step further to the creation of your export accompanying document or other customs documents.