If, exceptionally, the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) is not available there are special procedures to follow that will allow goods to continue moving under duty suspension arrangements. These procedures are known as 'Fallback'.
You can use Fallback, subject to the conditions set out below.
Fallback can be used by:
Full details of fallback procedures, including email and fax details, are included in Notice 197.
Fallback is available to:
Fallback should only be applied when EMCS is not available. EMCS is not available when it cannot be accessed or when messages cannot be submitted because of a system problem.
A system problem may affect all users because of a fault with the entire EMCS system. In this case if there is a problem with access or message submissions EMCS will display a message advising you of the problem.
Alternatively, the system problem may be to do with your systems. For example, a fault with hardware, software, internet connection etc. It your responsibility to ensure that you have robust systems in place.
If you need to use EMCS when it is not available HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recommend, where possible, that you wait for EMCS to become available and submit messages in the normal way rather than use Fallback.
If you normally use commercial software to access EMCS and experience a system problem, HMRC recommend that where possible you temporarily use the HMRC EMCS system, rather than using Fallback.
Fallback arrangements are intended to allow a consignor to move excise goods where there is a genuine system problem preventing the use of EMCS. The misuse of these arrangements may result in HMRC reviewing the consignor's conditions and approvals necessary to continue to trade under duty suspension arrangements.
The Fallback forms to use when you cannot access EMCS are available on the HMRC website.
These forms are for consignors to use when dispatching, changing the destination or splitting a movement of goods. To access the forms you need follow the links below:
You can also use commercial equivalents of these forms as long as they meet the requirements of Commission Regulation 684/2009 Article 8.
HMRC recommend that you print a copy of each form now, together with a copy of the process instructions and form guidance. You can use them if either EMCS is unavailable or you have IT system problems so that you can continue trading.
You should check the website regularly for any changes in process or to the forms.
EMCS allows a consignor to create an electronic Administrative Document (eAD) to dispatch the following movements on EMCS:
EMCS also allows a consignor to change the destination of their movements and/or split a movement of energy products in to two or more parts - up to a maximum of nine.
If EMCS is not available, and you cannot wait for it to become available to dispatch a movement, change a destination or split a movement, you should use the following procedures:
Goods must be accompanied by the Fallback Accompanying Document and you
must keep a copy of this document. Once EMCS becomes available again
you must submit the eAD on EMCS as soon as possible and show that
the movement began in Fallback.
In cases where EMCS is not available in another Member State, you may as consignor, receive a Fallback report of receipt from the consignee in the other Member State (this document will be sent through the authorities of the Member States concerned). When EMCS becomes available in the other Member State, the consignee will also submit the report of receipt on EMCS to close the movement on the system as normal.
If you are unable to submit a report of receipt message because you received the goods under Fallback, you should wait for the eAD to appear on EMCS and then submit your report of receipt on EMCS in the normal way.
If you are unable to submit a report of receipt message because EMCS is not available to you, you should wait until EMCS becomes available and then submit your report of receipt on EMCS in the normal way.
These scenarios are shown in figure 4 below. You can also read about this in more detail in Public Notices 197, 203A and 204A.
You can keep up to date with all HMRC Online Service availability and current service issues by visiting the online services pages on the HMRC website. You can use the following link to view these pages.