International transit transport involves the movement of a large number of different types of goods each day, which is why its control is so important. To maintain security and order, a registration number has been developed to identify the transit. The MRN number is assigned during the registration at the customs office.

MRN - what is this document?

The MRN (Movement Reference Number), also called tracking number, allows for quick and efficient identification of the transport operation. Moreover, it is also a confirmation of passing all export and clearance procedures. It has a characteristic appearance in the form of a bar code placed on the TDT document. The MRN is always attached to the transported goods. It is also very important to indicate MRN from clearance in JPK-VAT when importing goods.

Information appearing on the MRN document

On each MRN document you will find data of the exporter, consignee, and declarant. There are also markings of belonging, type of transport, and place of loading. The document may also contain information on the transhipments, certifications from the competent authorities, details of the inspection carried out by the office of departure and destination, and the container identification number. In addition, there is a field on the document to record events during transport. The MRN itself is indicated in the top right-hand corner.

It is also important when the MRN is assigned in the transport as it is required during the ECS procedure, the Export Control System, which provides for the electronic exchange of messages to automate administrative procedures. The procedure itself takes place in several steps. The first is the acceptance of the customs export declaration by the customs office, then the checked document is sent to the declarant. Once the goods have been presented to the declarant and have been positively examined and accepted by the customs authority, the system assigns the described MRN. As a final step, the declarant receives an IE-528 message, which indicates that the declaration has been accepted and the MRN has been assigned.

MRN tracking during transit

During export, tracking of the MRN is possible using a database. To track, one should check the official website of the European Council where one can find a space to enter the number. The data on this site is provided for information purposes but is not binding for the Commission or national administrations. Therefore, it is advisable to contact the customs administration of the respective country for detailed information. Importantly, MRN tracking is only possible for international transit movements. It is also worth remembering that as millions of declarations pass through the system, to mitigate the risk of data overload, all cases older than 100 days are permanently removed from the database and cannot be accessed. Browsing the site is possible only during the day because at night the database is updated.

How does customs clearance work?

While explaining the definition of the MRN and all the details about it, it is also worthwhile to know how customs clearance works. The first step is declaring the goods for export and having the declaration accepted by the customs office. The next step is that the office sends the export movement reference number to the customs agency (at this point the declaration is also accepted and the MRN is assigned). After that, it is time to inspect the goods and release them into the export procedure. Later, an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) is generated, which allows the goods to leave the Polish customs territory. The final steps are releasing the container in the ECS system, the closure of the export by the competent customs office of exit, and the transmission of the exit confirmation message to the exporter by the customs clearance agency.