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No Match Process

What is a no-match? 

A no-match occurs when information declared on the HMRC Customs Declarations System (CD) and information declared on a Common Health Entry Document for Plants and Plant Produces (CHED-PP) on IPAFFS does not match.  This will ensure that Defra’s Automatic Licence Verification System (ALVS) is able to link declarations to CHED-PPs and facilitate automatic clearance once any checks that are required have taken place. 

If any errors are not rectified prior to vessel arrival into the UK, the consignment will be subject to a customs hold until errors are fixed 

Where no-matches happen and how to prevent them 

1. In data element 2/3 of your customs declaration(s) you must:

  • Ensure that the correct pre-notification reference has been input and in the correct format. You will need to copy the reference code in the correct format from IPAFFS. IPAFFS will provide the reference for CDS in the correct format, such as: GBCHDYYYY.NNNNNNN where Y stands for the year and N for a number. 

2. In data elements 6/14 and 6/15 of your customs declaration(s) you must:

Check the commodity code on your customs declaration(s) is the same as the commodity code on CHED PP. ALVS only matches according to how many digits there were on the CHED-PP. 

3. In data elements 6/1 and of your Customs declaration(s) you must:

  • Check the net mass on your customs declaration(s) exactly matches that entered on your CHED-PP's net weight field.  

Other areas you should check on your Customs Declaration in the event of no match are: 

Special characters 

Do not include any special characters such as“\” (backslash) in goods description and free text fields. If a backslash (“\”) is present your customs declaration will need to be invalidated and resubmitted without backslashes. 

Country of despatch 

Make sure you have included the country of dispatch in data element 5/14 at header level. If you do not include this data at header level your declaration will need to be invalidated and resubmitted. 

Other areas you should check on your IPAFFS CHED-PP are: 

Delivery address 


Ensure that the delivery address country mentioned on the CHED-PP is within the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man (e.g England). If a country other than those in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man are mentioned within the delivery address then you will need to amend your CHED-PP to list the appropriate country.   

CHED Type 


Document Code 



Common Health Entry Document for Plants and Plant Products 



Certificate of conformity with the GB marketing standards for fresh fruits and vegetables 



Table 1: Plant and marketing document codes needed for CHED-PP    

How to resolve no-match errors 

If you have a customs declaration under a Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) hold and have received an X00 error of any kind, you should take the following steps. IPAFFS will let you know if there is a no-match for your consignment.  


  • Check steps 1, 2 and 3 on how to prevent no-match 
  • Check the additional ‘other’ reasons as to why a no-match may occur 

To fix any of the above errors:  

If you can amend your customs declaration: 

You should use your software to amend the customs declaration to correct it in the usual way.  

If you cannot amend your HMRC Customs declaration: 

  • You must submit a cancellation request to CDS for the original incorrect customs declaration.  
  • If the customs declaration has been arrived, you must also contact the National Clearance Hub (NCH) to approve this request. 
  • Once cancellation is confirmed, submit a new entry with the correct details. 

The error will not be resolved if you re-use the Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR) or the original CHED reference on your new customs declaration before the original declaration has been cancelled. ALVS will be unable to process the clearance request as there will already be a live customs declaration trying to link to the same pre-notification.  

Once the original declaration is cancelled, you will need to submit a valid amendment to the replacement declaration to clear the error or cancel both the original and first replacement declarations and submit a new one. 

Complex relationships between pre-notification and customs declaration 

  • ALVS can successfully apply data matching on multiple CHED-PPs declared on a single customs declaration and against multiple items on a single customs declaration. 
  • ALVS can also match where a single CHED-PP is applied across several customs declarations. 

If you are using a single CHED-PP across multiple declarations or across multiple items on a single declaration, the information above must be correct on all declarations or items. 

If submitting more than one customs declaration for goods covered by a single CHED-PP you may receive an X00 error on submission of the first declaration until the second one is submitted. 

Many CHED-PPs to many customs declarations 

  • ALVS cannot match where multiple CHED-PPs are covered across multiple customs declarations  

Automatic clearance through ALVS cannot be given where multiple CHED-PPs are covered across multiple customs declarations. Before creating your CHED-PPs you should consider whether you can pre-notify and declare differently to avoid this “many to many” situation. 

Holds by the Foods Standard Agency (FSA) or Port Health Authorities (PHAs)

Please be aware that your consignment may also be held by the FSA or PHAs. It is important that you exhaust all available options before contacting APHA using the details below. 

This map contains the location and contact details of the UK’s Port Health Authorities. 

If your consignment is being held by the Food Standards Agency, please see this link: Importing high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin into GB | Food Standards Agency 

If after checking all of the above you remain unable to clear the SPS hold despite all required CHED-PPs showing as valid in IPAFFS, please contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for further assistance.  

  • Tel: 0300 1000 313  
  • Email: phsi-importers@apha.gov.uk  

If emailing use ‘SPS hold not clearing’ in the subject line and provide the CHED reference number and the customs declaration Movement Reference Number.  

Further information can be found on: