German Customs NCTS Phase 5 migration to ATLAS 9.1


New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) is used to move products between EU member states and those outside the EU. NCTS allows customs officials to track and manage how items move through a customs zone. The system makes it easier for products to move between customs offices inside the European Union (EU) and between the EU and some non-EU nations.

For context, the Union Customs Code (UCC) changes driving interoperability between various country customs systems in the EU are also driving the change to NCTS system to NCTS Phase 5. Every EU country is required to migrate their NCTS implementation from version 4 to 5 by November 30th 2023. This document focuses on migration to new European NCTS Phase 5 for Germany’s ATLAS 9.1 system. With Change to new NCTS 5, Customs Shipments for NCTS in Germany must be filed electronically to the German customs system ATLAS 9.1.

The communication with the German customs authorities in the transit procedure area is to be switched from ATLAS 9.0 to ATLAS 9.1. This is the German implementation of the European NCTS phase 5.

New Change

NCTS phase 5 introduces a new interface between SAP GTS and the converter in the context of message exchange with the customs authorities.

The structure of the NCTS Phase 5 Shipments is a three-tier hierarchy compared to the two-tier structure of header and item in the current interface. Changes will be on new interface for NCTS between SAP GTS and SEEBURGER BIS. The new interface between SAP GTS and Seeburger for NCTS is based on web services. The IDoc interface is no longer used for NCTS Phase 5. This requires changes on the IT infrastructure to enable web service calls in both directions between SAP GTS and SEEBURGER BIS.

New Messaging Interface

Customs Message Exchange (CME) is an integration scenario between SAP GTS and the middleware (converter) that is used to exchange messages for customs authorities using Web service technology.

The CME integration scenario offers two main advantages for customs message exchange as compared to IDOC’s:
The interface is based on the Web service technology.
SAP GTS already transfers the XML required by the customs authority to the converter so that the conversions on SEEBURGER BIS are primarily streamlined for sending in the national message log.
The integration scenario Customs Message Exchange (CME) consists of the following enterprise services:
Sending a Message

Sending a Message (Customs Message Exchange Request)

Receiving the final status of an outbound process

Receiving the final status of an outbound process
(Customs Message Status Notification)

Receipt of a message

Receipt of a message from the customs authority
(Customs Message Exchange Confirmation)

Export Document Framework

SAP Master Notes to be implemented:

Customs Message Exchange - 3318211
NCTS Phase 5 – 3328059
ALTAS 9.1 – 3331609

Basis Component above 750 and Central SOA Management set up, use the Web Service Set Up V1.1.pdf in SAP Note 3318211.

If you are on lower than 750, follow below steps:

Upload the WSDL in SOMANAGER -> Tools -> Upload WSDL
Publish the uploaded WSDL to service registry.
Create a profile.
Create a provider system.
Create Logon Data
Create Integration Scenario from SAP Note 3318211
Create Logical Receiver Determination from SAP Note 3318211

Regarding the CUSDLL Partner

While setting up Logical Receiver Determination, maintain country of Legal Regulation and Data Transmission Service Provider


This is from the Custom Shipment Document in SAP GTS

Custom Shipment Document in SAP GTS

Sample XML Output

Message flow

Sample XML Output

M0121 XML

M0121 XML

Lessons: While migrating from IDOC interface to Web Services, the following are some watchouts

Whitelisting of Seeburger BIS managed service End points:

A common issue encountering our customers is the firewall rules preventing web services end points being accessible in either direction. Typical resolution involves involving the network security teams that manage firewall rules to update them and whitelist the end points for Seeburger quality and production end points.

End point Testing:

Since NCTS Phase 5 replaces the IDOC communication with Web services, SAP delivers a web services communication test tool Transaction /SAPSLL/CMSGEX_TST that can be used to test communications between GTS and Seeburger.

Message Monitor:

The typical IDOC monitoring tool transaction WE02 are no longer useful. Message monitoring is instead done in SRT_MONI web services message monitoring transaction.


While the typical message flow and data requirements remain like what existed before NCTS Phase5, there are still important underlying changes Introduced by NCTS Phase 5. The most important change being to the communication setup between GTS and Seeburger converter from an IDOC to a Web Services. Which in turn drives how we test, troubleshoot and establish communication channels from GTS to Customs and vice versa.