Bottles of wines, crates of wine, UK Import Services

Accompanying Document Types (EMCS / SAAD)

When any commercial shipments of alcohol travel around the EU, they must travel with an 'Accompanying Document'.

The 2 most common types of Accompanying Documents are: an e-AD or an SAAD.

The old paper system (AAD) & the new EMCS System (e-AD)

Before January 2011, it used to be common place for alcoholic beverages which were being shipped to the UK, from another Member EC State, be accompanied by an AAD (Administritive Accompanying Document) Form, but this has since been updated into a digital format, and computerised on the EMCS computer system. If your goods are shipped from the EC, duty suspended, then your supplier will now need to registered on the European-wide EMCS computer system, creating an e-AD record of the movement of your drinks, for each shipment.

Please note : Even though this is only a requirement to duty suspended drinks, UK Customs prefers that even those shipments which are 'duty pre-paid' to be entered onto the EMCS system.

If you need assistance with importing alcohol, then please contact our Imports Team for further information and our charges.

The e-AD is an electronic document, generated by the EMCS computer system, whereas the SAAD is a paper form.


Further information can be found on the following Government sites:

  • HMRC Notice on: Receiving, Storing and Moving Excise Goods
  • EMCS (e-AD)
  • SAAD (HM4)

  • Related Pages

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