Customs Glossary
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In our Customs Glossary you will briefly get to know all important terms. By clicking on the respective stored link you will receive detailed information on request. These can be links to our technical contributions or to external sites, such as German customs.

We regularly expand our website with new technical contributions, so that the Customs Glossary is constantly updated and improved. In this way, we would like to give you an insight into the customs world and always inform you about innovations and changes.

If you have any questions about any of the terms or topics, we will be happy to explain the details in a personal conversation:

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ABD is a common abbreviation for the export accompanying document, i.e. the released export declaration of certain goods. You can find out more about this here in our Customs Glossary under the keyword Export Accompanying Document or directly in our technical contribution to the export accompanying document on the homepage. We have also created a contribution to the ABD in which you can learn how to create the ABD directly yourself – online and completely free: Create ABD yourself


ATLAS is the name of the German customs system. Each country has its own customs system, through which it records the declarations electronically. In Switzerland this is called e-dec.B. e-dec, in Austria e-zoll and in Germany ATLAS. You must therefore also purchase a different customs software for processing in each country in order to be able to make the registration.

Export declaration

Export declaration is a commonsynonym for the preparation of the export accompanying document. In part, the export declaration is also described as a process preceding the export accompanying document. You can find out more about the export accompanying document here in the Customs Glossary under the keyword Export Accompanying Document.

Export accompanying document

You will need the export accompanying document if you want to export goods from the EU from a certain value (over 1000 EUR) or weight (over 1000kg) to a non-EU country. For the technical contribution: export accompanying document.


The exporter is the person who exportes goods from the customs union or any other territory. This is usually the sender of a shipment.

Initial note

The initial note (AgV) is proof that you have exported goods from the EU. The German customs system automatically creates this when the export accompanying document is scanned when the border crossing is carried out.

Customs office of export

The customs office of export is the customs office in The Country where the goods you export from the EU are registered. This depends in principle on the place of loading of the goods. You can use the postcode to assign its customs office to each landing location. With a value of up to EUR 3000, the customs office of export can also be the customs office of exit at the same time in a single-stage procedure and thus be at the border, e.B. Frankfurt Airport or Hamburg Hafen. The customs office of export is different from the customs office of exit.

Customs office of exit

The customs office of exit is always the customs office where you export the goods from the EU. This could be, for example, the customs office at the Croatian-Serbian border, since Serbia is a third country or at a Spanish ferry station, as the goods then leave the customs union. The customs office of exit shall not be confused with the customs office of export.

Internal Customs Office

The internal customs office is the relevant customs office for the consignor of a domestic goods. The postcode can be used to find out to which export customs office the goods must be declared in a two-stage procedure via the "competent export customs office" page on the German customs website.

One-stage procedure

A single-stage procedure is a procedure for the clearance of goods by means of an export or an export accompanying document. You can use the single-stage procedure up to EUR 3,000 in value of goods. You can also process the goods at the German border customs office. You do not have to show the goods in advance / declare the goods to the internal customs office at the place of the consignor. If the value of the goods exceeds EUR 3,000, you must use the two-stage procedure. To the technical contribution: one-stage procedure.


E-dec is the name of the Swiss customs system for so-called "cargo processing", i.e. customs clearance of goods. It is issued by the Federal Customs Administration. All Swiss export and import declarations must be made either via e-dec or the previous NCTS system.

EORI number

The EORI number (formerly customs number) is used to identify economic operators to customs. You can apply for the EORI number free of charge and without any obligations. More about the EORI number.

IAA Plus

With the IAA Plus (InternetExport Declaration Plus), German customs has created an online software for occasional exporters to create the German export itself. You can find out more on the German Customs page or directly on the IAA page. You can find out how to create the export yourself in our article.

MRN number

The Movement Reference Number (MRN) is a tracking number for customs documents. It is used, for example.B in the export accompanying document or in the transit document. With the help of the MRN number, you can find out at any time which limit your goods have already passed and what check-in status the goods have.

Transit document

A transit document is a document which allows goods to be transited through a given area in different procedures, i.e. duty-free. The two most commonly used transit methods are T1 and T2.

T1 document

In the T1 Transit document, goods that have not yet been in the customs union, i.e. non-Community goods, are transported through the customs union duty-free. This can be .B. Goods from China that arrive in Hamburg and then pass duty-free through Germany with final destination country Austria. Customs clearance will then take place in Austria.

T2 document

The T2 Transit document allows goods that were previously in the Customs Union and are Community goods to be transported duty-free (usually through an area outside the Customs Union). This can be .B. goods from Germany, which you transport duty-free through Switzerland to Italy. Import customs clearance is therefore taking place in Italy.

Certificate of safety

The so-called Safety Certificate (UB) is a form used for the import of vehicles. This contains the chassis number and further details about the vehicle. After the import duties on the vehicle have been paid, the German customs stamps the UB so that the vehicle can be registered. The aim is to prevent vehicles from being registered without paying import duties.


In the forwarding sector, the consignor is the person who ships the goods. However, this is not the sender, as it is often called colloquially. According to AdSp, the sender is usually the forwarding agent. The consignor is therefore normally the seller. The sender and sender should therefore not be confused with each other.

Customs tariff number

A customs tariff number is the unambiguous classification of a product according to its material and, if applicable, its intended use in the harmonised system (HS). Each goods can be assigned exactly to a customs tariff number. The harmonised system comprises 21 sections, 99 chapters and over 5000 subheadings.

Two-stage procedure

A two-stage procedure is an extended procedure for the clearance of an export declaration or an export accompanying document. From a value of more than EUR 3,000, you must use the two-stage procedure. This includes the single-stage procedure. In the two-stage procedure, you must submit the goods to the internal customs office at the place of the consignor. Only then can you clear the goods at the EU border customs office. To the technical contribution: two-stage procedure.