NCTS4 vs NCTS5 - What Traders Need to Know Before November 2023

The New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) has been a vital tool for companies engaged in international trade since its introduction in the late 1980s. Over the years, the system has undergone various updates and improvements, including the most recent upgrade from NCTS 4 to NCTS 5.


All member countries of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) are required to transfer to New Computerised Transit System Phase 5 (NCTS5) by 30 November 2023.


NCTS 4 and NCTS 5 are both designed to facilitate the movement of goods across borders, with a focus on simplifying customs procedures and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. However, there are several key differences between the two systems that are worth exploring.


One of the most significant differences between NCTS 4 and NCTS 5 is the level of automation. NCTS 4 relied heavily on manual input. This process was time-consuming and prone to errors, leading to delays and additional costs.

In contrast, NCTS 5 is fully automated, with all necessary data entered electronically. This streamlines the process and minimises the risk of errors. With the introduction of a digital Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) the paper document does not need to be carried with the goods. 


Another key difference is the level of security. NCTS 5 uses state-of-the-art encryption technology to protect the data that is transmitted between companies and customs officials. This ensures that sensitive information is kept secure, which is particularly important in today’s data-driven world. In contrast, NCTS 4 relied on less secure methods of data transmission, which could potentially put companies at risk.


NCTS 5 also offers real-time tracking capabilities, which allow companies to monitor their shipments at every stage of the journey. This provides valuable data for supply chain management and helps to ensure that goods are delivered on time. NCTS 4 did not offer this functionality, meaning that companies had to rely on manual tracking methods.

Another difference between the two systems is their integration with other customs systems. NCTS 5 is fully integrated with other customs systems, making it easier for companies to do business across different jurisdictions. NCTS 4, on the other hand, was less integrated, which could create additional complications for companies engaging in cross-border trade.

iCustoms NCTS module supports both NCTS 4 and NCTS 5 versions.

5 Key benefits of NCTS

The new system is expected to provide a number of benefits to its users, including:

  • NCTS5 will offer new and improved features, such as the ability to amend pre-lodged declarations, which will allow users to avoid the need to cancel and re-submit their declarations.
  • The introduction of a digital Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) will eliminate the need for a physical paper document to be carried with the goods, making the process more efficient and environmentally friendly.
  • The new system is designed to offer an improved user experience, making it easier for declarants to submit their transit movements and interact with the system.
  • NCTS5 is expected to reduce the administrative burden associated with transit movements by streamlining the process and offering more automated features.
  • The CTC aims to harmonize customs procedures across member countries, making it easier for businesses to trade internationally. By complying with the CTC, NCTS5 is expected to contribute to this goal.

Overall, the implementation of NCTS5 is expected to provide significant benefits to businesses and individuals who use the system, making it easier and more efficient to conduct transit movements across borders.

Reach out to iCustoms team at to learn more about the changes.

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iCustoms is an all-in-one solution helping businesses automate customs processes more efficiently. With AI-powered and machine-learning capabilities, iCustoms is designed to streamline your all customs procedures in a few minutes, cut additional costs and save time.


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