Invalidation after goods are released for the export procedure

The purpose of a request for invalidation is not to replace amendments or correction. Primarily, the export declaration that already has been submitted is to be amended, if amendment of the incorrect data is permitted.

A request for invalidation can be submitted to Customs electronically or in writing.

When is invalidation permitted?

Invalidation of an export declaration at the exporter’s or his representatives request after release for export is allowed if the customer can prove that the goods in the export consignment will not be exported from the EU territory at all (e.g. if a sale is cancelled).

To cancel an export before the export declaration has been accepted as received, a written notification is to be submitted to Customs. Customs then sends the customer a rejection message, without a decision in PDF format, with the message ‘The received export declaration has been cancelled on the customer’s request’.

Invalidation is allowed if it is no longer appropriate to hold the goods under the declared export procedure. Invalidation can, for example, be requested if a code for a customs procedure with economic impact (3151) has mistakenly been provided for the export goods, even though it is a question of normal export (1000). In that case, a new export declaration must be made for the goods (procedure code 1000) in addition to the invalidation request.

If Customs has already decided to control the goods that have been declared for export, the request for invalidation is not accepted until the goods control has been completed.

If the request for invalidation concerns a notification of re-export from a customs warehouse (3171), the maker of the request for invalidation will have to present proof that the goods have been returned to the same customs warehouse. The proof can be a customs declaration on placing the goods under the customs warehousing procedure and a verification of the registering of the goods in the accounts.

Customs can also, case by case, consider allowing an invalidation if discrepancies are detected afterwards in the export declaration or if the details have to be corrected several times.

In connection with the invalidation, the customer has to present to Customs the documents (export accompanying document, EAD or Export/Security Single Administrative Document (ESS)) that they received in connection with the release for the procedure. Any other requirements set by Customs for acceptance of the invalidation have to be met.

Customs can also invalidate an export declaration on its own initiative, if the exporter or his representative has not presented an acceptable account of the exit of the goods.

Points to consider

A request for invalidation is usually not accepted if the export goods have already exited the EU territory.

There are situations though, where the consignee, and even the destination country, is proven to be incorrectly declared; with the goods already on the way to the destination and the exit of the declared goods already confirmed. These changes are normally processed with an amendment request, if the changed country of destination is outside the EU.

If the real country of destination is an EU country, then the whole export declaration is unnecessary. If the case is detected in time, then it is processed as a normal invalidation request, but since the exit of the goods has already been confirmed in the system; invalidating the declaration is complicated. In these cases, one must contact the customs office of export (Electronic Service Centre) and ask for case specific instructions.

Contact information

 


The written request for amendment or invalidation must be made with customs form no. 701s (in Finnish) on Customs’ website. The form is sent to Customs by e-mail or by post. The amendment or invalidation request has to contain the MRN or the transaction identifier of the export transaction as well as the reasons for the amendment or invalidation.

In a request for amendment, the customer must provide all the new information affected by the amendment. The status of the export declaration is entered in the form (waiting for release/has been released).  The required documents and reports shall be attached to the request.

The one-hour processing time is not applied to the processing of the amendment request. If the export goods have already exited the Union, the amendment is not considered urgent, and Customs will process the request as non-urgent.

Amendment and invalidation request, customs form 701s (in Finnish)


The electronic request for amendment or invalidation can be made either in message format or via the online service. An amendment or invalidation of an export declaration submitted using message exchange can be requested using the online transaction services.

  • Online transaction service

An electronic request for amendment or invalidation can be submitted via the Customs Export Declaration Service. The declarant must be an identified user in order to use search criteria to retrieve the declaration that needs to be amended or invalidated.

Via the online Export Declaration Service, it is possible to request an amendment or invalidation of message exchange declarations. To do this, the user selects the search “Export declarations submitted via other channels”. 

After retrieving the declaration, the declarant chooses whether to make a request for amendment or invalidation. For guidance, there are published filled-in models of requests for amendment and invalidation in the online export instructions.

The unidentified online declarant must make a written request for amendment and invalidation with attachments, and deliver them to the customs office of export.

  • Message exchange

To be able to submit a request for amendment using message exchange, the sender of the request

  • must have the EDI sender status for exports
  • must use messages according to version 2.1 or newer of the message implementing guidelines
  • must have tested the amendment and invalidation messages with Customs.

In message exchange, the customer’s amendment request message is the same as an export declaration message where the code (7) for amendment is given in the field “message function”.

When a correct request for amendment arrives to the customs system, the system sends a message of receipt as a reply and after that either an amendment message or a message of rejection of the request for amendment, as well as a decision in PDF format (a decision on amendment or rejection). If, in the checks on receipt, the request for amendment is found to have the wrong format, the message declarant will only receive a rejection message, no decision on rejection.

The message requesting an amendment is a separate message described in the ‘ELEX Message Implementing Guidelines’ (version 2.1 or newer).

When a correct request for invalidation is received by the system of Customs, the system sends a message of receipt as reply and after that either an invalidation message or a message of rejection of the request for invalidation, as well as a decision in PDF format (either a decision on invalidation or a decision on rejection of the request for invalidation). If, in the checks on receipt, the request for invalidation is found to have the wrong format, the message declarant will only receive a message of rejection of the request for invalidation (see 6.2).


The invalidation request message must include

  • the transaction identifier of the export declaration to be invalidated
  • the date of the request for invalidation
  • Reason for request for invalidation, entered using one of the following reason codes (explanation of the code in parentheses):

1 (the goods declared for export will not be exported out of the customs territory of the EU)
2 (holding the goods under the declared customs procedure is no longer appropriate)
3 several identical export declarations have been submitted for the same goods)
4 (processing of the declaration cannot continue due to the discrepancies in the declaration)

  • Free-form text describing the reason for invalidation
  • Replacement transaction identifier, that is, the transaction identifier of the export declaration that the customer wants to keep in force when the other identical export declarations have been invalidated

The replacement transaction identifier is not provided if reason code 1 has been used.
The data is optional if reason code 2 has been used.
The data is mandatory if reason code 3 has been used, or if reason code 4 has been used and a new, replacement export declaration has been submitted.

  • the reference number of the export declaration to be invalidated is mandatory
  • an additional reference number (representative’s reference) can be entered, but if it is entered it has to be exactly the same as in the export declaration to be invalidated
  • contact information of the maker of the request for invalidation (name, phone number and/or e-mail address of the contact person)
  • exporter’s or representative's Business ID and its extension.

If a representative makes the request for invalidation, both the exporter’s and the representative's Business IDs and their extensions have to be provided.

Examples of situations where a request for invalidation is rejected

  • The export declaration that the request for invalidation concerns has not been accepted as received in Customs’ export system ELEX.
  • When the request for invalidation arrives, the export declaration is being corrected.
  • The export declaration is being split.
  • the goods included in the export declaration have been placed under a transit procedure that is yet to be discharged.
  • The original declaration has been submitted by an agent acting as an indirect representative, and the request for invalidation is submitted by another trader.
  • The request for invalidation concerns excise goods or export goods that has been re-exported out of the customs territory of the EU.
  • One year has passed since the goods included in the export declaration to be invalidated were released for export (export date).
  • It is a case of an export procedure that has started in Finland but the goods have been declared for export via another EU Member State (indirect export) and the export system of this Member State rejects the invalidation message sent by Finnish Customs.

An invalidation request message sent by a message declarant can also be rejected, if

  • the message has been sent using a schema version older than 2.1 or if other schema errors are detected in the message
  • the original export declaration's transaction identifier provided in the message is not valid
  • it is detected in the checks on receipt that the mandatory data in the message does not match the declared export transaction.

In these cases, the message declarant will not receive a decision on rejection of the invalidation request, only a rejection message.


In Customs’ Attachment Upload Service, the applicant can send the attachments in advance regarding an electronic request for amendment and invalidation; this speeds up the processing.

The attachments can also be sent to Customs’ Electronic Service Centre, spake.vienti(at)tulli.fi immediately after sending the request for amendment and invalidation. The message is sent with the standard heading: AVO + MRN, for example AVO 16FI000000123456E1. Only the messages that have standard format headers can be immediately recognised as messages relating to a request for amendment and invalidation and the request can thus be processed without delay. The message must state that the attachments have been sent to the Electronic Service Centre. If the attachments have not been sent or they cannot be linked to the customs clearance transaction in question, the Electronic Service Centre sends the trader a request for additional information.

If the request for amendment only applies to transport data, then there is no need to send attachments.


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