Customs fallback service

All exchanges of customs information between Revenue and traders must be made by electronic data processing techniques. Temporary failures of Revenue’s or traders' computerised systems can make this impossible. When this happens, the exchange of information can be completed in a non-electronic format, known as 'fallback'.

Fallback is the process by which goods are manually cleared by Revenue for import or export where an interruption to an electronic system occurs.

Fallback should only be used for consignments requiring urgent release. Traders should continue to lodge customs declarations, but may not receive a response message. 

Traders who avail of fallback may have to submit details of their Master Reference Number (MRN) or other documentation to Customs. It may be necessary for Customs to perform a full examination of the goods before they can be released.

Under fallback arrangements, traders must ensure that goods which are subject to checks by the following agencies are presented for inspection:

  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)
  • Health Service Executive (HSE)
  • or
  • any other regulatory authority.

Traders must be able to provide evidence (licences or certificates) to Customs to show that the checks have been undertaken.

How to use the fallback service

The eCustoms Helpdesk provides a 24 hour service.

If you wish to use the fallback service, you should contact the eCustoms Helpdesk:

Please provide the: 

  • Transaction ID - A Transaction ID is 36 characters in length made up of numbers, letters (always in lower case) and dashes (-)
  • and
  • reason why you are requesting fallback.

Monday to Friday 09.00 to 17.00

Telephone (open 09.00 to 14.00):

(01) 738 3677


Out of hours service

This service operates from 17:00 to 08:00 Monday to Friday, and 24 hours at weekends and public holidays.



(086) 6002423