distribution services

Getting Ready for Changes – EU to UK Imports by Road

From January 1st 2022 all goods will require declarations to be made to be able to pass the UK border.

Until that date there have been little to no checks on any goods passing through Non-Inventory linked or mixed locations (i.e. those not connected to a Customs system at point of entry, Customs Controls). Extract from the Border Operating Model (page 65):

Under the pre-lodgement model, to achieve customs control whilst maintaining flow, industry must:

  • Ensure all goods have the appropriate declarations before they board.
  • Communicate to the person in control of the goods (e.g. the driver of a lorry for accompanied goods or the carrier for unaccompanied goods) by the time they arrive at the border, to inform them whether goods are cleared to proceed on their journey or alternatively whether the goods require a check. The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) The GVMS is an IT platform which supports the pre-lodgement model. The GVMS will allow:
  • Declaration references to be linked together so that the person moving the goods (e.g. a haulier) only has to present one single reference (Goods Movement Reference or GMR) at the frontier to prove that their goods have pre-lodged declarations.
  • The linking of the movement of the goods to declarations, enabling the automatic arrival in HMRC systems as soon as goods board so that declarations can be processed en route.
  • Notification of the risking outcome of declarations (i.e. cleared or uncleared) in HMRC systems to be sent to the person in control of the goods by the time they physically arrive.

Where Horizon International is concerned we will provide a pre-lodged import entry in most cases which will allow passage through the UK port. We will need in a single e-mail at least 24 hours before departure EU and during Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. We must have:

  • Information:
    • Port of EU exit
    • Port of UK arrival
    • ETA to UK port – i.e. arrival date/time of ferry or Eurotunnel train
    • Truck registration / plate
  • Documents:
    • Commercial invoice
    • Packing list
    • CMR (if available)
    • EAD

If anything is missing we will send you a message about what is required but it will be YOUR responsibility to ensure that all information is in order and complete.

**SPECIAL NOTE: We primarily handle general goods only, so if you have anything which requires particular attention, e.g. military or foodstuffs, please check with us first if we are able to assist as the importer may need specific licences and documentation.

What happens if I can’t get an import reference / don’t provide enough information?
You may not be allowed to board the ferry / tunnel. If some information is provided and you still reach UK side you may be stopped by UK Customs until you can confirm that a declaration is completed. Penalties / fines / trucker costs will likely be charged.

Why has this rule changed happened now?
UK goods have been checked at EU ports since January 1st 2021. The UK government decided to relax these requirements for EU to UK trade goods so that there were fewer delays at ports and goods could continue to be imported in UK. This was never a permanent solution, so the time has now arrived to start to tighten up the importation regulations.

I am the shipper, what should I do?
Your carrier should be very aware of the changing rules, if they are not you need to make sure they follow this. Instruct your carrier to send eu.imports@hicargo.com the required information at least 24 hours before departing from EU.

Will I expect additional costs from my transporters?
If your transporter did not provide correct information either to you or to Horizon and we were unable to produce an import pre-lodged declaration or if your shipment arrived at port and cannot be cleared there may be additional charges incurred.   If everything is correct and in order then your consignments should pass through without any delays, other than individual Customs checks depending on your goods.

Note: Horizon only acts in a capacity of arranging Customs declarations for the importer, our client. You should ensure that the consignee/importer on consignments is fully aware of their responsibilities and have confirmed to you that goods can be imported without operational delays.

We very much appreciate your support in this and hope to continue to work efficiently and effectively with you.

For further information on this topic, please contact us