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EU Hauliers: Are you ready for changes at the UK/EU border?

New requirements for hauliers or carriers that move goods in and out of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales).

1. Important changes from 1 October 2021
2. Why you need to register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service
3. Updates on EU-GB import controls from 1 January 2022
4. Where to get more information

Important changes from 1 October 2021

If you’re a haulier or carrier that moves goods between Great Britain (GB) and the EU, from 1 October 2021, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Provide UK Customs with safety and security information for all goods that you move into the EU from Great Britain. Most goods will already be covered by a full export declaration containing safety and security information. If they are not, or if you’re moving empty pallets, containers, or vehicles under a transport contract, you will need to submit a separate Exit Summary (EXS) declaration. You may be delayed at the border and unable to travel if you haven’t submitted safety and security information. You can find out how and when to make an EXS declaration on the Gov.uk website.

  • Have a valid passport (if you’re an EU, European Economic Area or Swiss citizen) in order to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document – you won’t be able to use one to enter the UK. If you do not have a passport, you may be refused entry to the UK. Find more information and exceptions on Gov.uk.

Why you need to register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service

Full customs controls for exports from Great Britain to the EU are already in place and the UK government has confirmed that full controls will be introduced as planned for all imports from the EU into Great Britain from 1 January 2022. This means that from 1 January, the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) IT system will be used at some UK ports to clear all goods moved between Great Britain and the EU through customs.

From 1 January, if you move any goods through a port in the UK that uses GVMS, you must use this service. If you’re not registered for GVMS:

  • you won’t be able to clear your goods through customs; and
  • you won’t be allowed to cross the border.

Up until 31 December 2021, you only need to use GVMS if you’re moving goods into Great Britain from the EU under the Common Transit Convention (CTC or Transit).

Even if you don't need to use it yet, you should still register for GVMS now, to be ready for the new requirements from 1 January 2022.

Ports that use GVMS to control goods, will need pre-lodged declaration references to be linked together within a single reference number, called a Goods Movement Reference (GMR). You’ll need to present a valid GMR to the carrier for check-in.

If you’re the driver moving the goods, you’d usually create a GMR yourself. However, it can be done by a third party - for example your haulier manager, or the trader’s customs agent or freight forwarder. You must only create one GMR per vehicle. As the driver, you need to make sure you have the GMR along with all necessary customs information and documents for the route that you intend to use, before you reach the border.

Updates on EU-GB import controls from 1 January 2022

The UK Government have set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full import controls for goods that are brought into Great Britain from the EU.

Full customs declarations and customs controls for goods moved from the EU into Great Britain will still be introduced as planned from 1 January, meaning that:

From 1 January 2022:

  • businesses will not be able to delay making import declarations. If you move goods from the EU, using ports that operate the pre-lodgement model or the Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS), the business, whose goods you’re moving, will need to make full import declarations before you reach the UK Border.

  • all border locations will need to begin controlling goods. This means that you will not be able to pass through the port with goods unless they’ve received customs clearance.

However, safety and security Entry Summary (ENS) declarations for goods moved from the EU into Great Britain, will now be required from 1 July 2022, instead of 1 January.

There are other changes about the need for certificates and checks for live animals and agri-food products. You can find more information about the changes on Gov.uk website.

Where to get more information

If you need more information about these new requirements, you can:

  • Speak to an adviser using the live chat function on the UK Government’s haulier website. The live chat service is available in five languages: English, Romanian, Polish, Bulgarian and Hungarian.

  • Read the UK Government’s Haulier Handbook (available in multiple languages) that provides the latest guidance about all the steps you need to follow to move goods between Great Britain and the EU.


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