You need to prepare the required documents when collecting goods to be exported from the European Union (EU) and into the United Kingdom (UK).
Pre-notification – moving goods into GB
When collecting the goods, the driver must be given all the relevant customs information or documents and other paperwork. The driver must confirm:
- that the trader has completed the EU export procedures
- with the exporter that they’ve met all the UK import requirements
Until 1 July 2021, there will be different customs requirements for controlled goods and non-controlled goods.
CTC – moving goods into GB
If the trader arranges for the goods to move under the CTC the driver must be given either:
- a TAD from the trader, and be told by the trader that the movement has been released to the transit procedure and that they can proceed to the place of exit from the EU member state
- a LRN or a TAD that hasn’t been released to the transit procedure, and be told to present the goods and the LRN or TAD to the EU member state authorities at a nominated EU office of departure – the goods will then be released to and a TAD will be given to the driver
The exporter/agent is responsible for updating the haulage company and driver on the status of the TAD.
ATA Convention – moving goods into GB
If the trader arranges for the goods to move under the ATA Convention, the driver must obtain the ATA carnet document from the trader.
TIR convention – moving goods into GB
If the trader arranges for the goods to move under the TIR Convention, the haulier must hold a TIR authorisation obtained in their country and the vehicle moving the goods must hold an approval certificate of a road vehicle for the transport of goods under customs seal.
The haulage company must:
- give the driver the TIR carnet
- ensure that arrangements have been made, either by the trader or haulage company, to declare the movement to the NCTS and have the reference numbers (LRN and/or MRN) needed to present the goods to the EU customs authorities
- instruct the driver to take and present the goods and the TIR carnet to the EU customs authorities at an EU office of departure
Customs declarations are required for all goods on the controlled goods list. Therefore, the haulier must have the MRN when moving controlled goods.
For non-controlled goods, the importer can make a record in their own commercial records, and then follow this with a supplementary declaration which must be submitted to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 6 months of the point of import. Therefore, the haulier must have the trader’s economic operator registration and identification (EORI) number when moving these goods.
EXS declarations are required for goods leaving the EU.
However, to allow for the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, safety and security import declarations on goods from the EU into GB are waived for 6 months, up to 30 June 2021.
From 1 July 2021, safety and security ENS declarations will be required for imports from the EU into GB. This is the same model used for Rest of World trade.
For goods being imported to GB, carriers have the legal responsibility to provide the UK customs authority with safety and security pre-arrival information, by way of ENS declarations. For RoRo, a carrier is the ferry operator for unaccompanied goods or the haulier for accompanied goods. The carrier can agree to pass the safety and security requirement onto the trader. However, the carrier retains legal responsibility for safety and security.
The legal requirement is that the safety and security ENS declaration is complete and accurate to the best of the declarant’s knowledge at the time. However, if details change, a safety and security ENS declaration can be amended up to the point of arrival in the UK.
The data required for an ENS declaration includes:
- a description of the goods
- routing (country by country)
- conveyance (e.g. ferry or Eurotunnel details)
- time of arrival
Goods must have their safety and security declarations submitted a specific number of hours in advance of arriving at, or departing from, a UK port. This is to ensure there is sufficient time for Border Force to assess the declarations.
For Eurotunnel, safety and security ENS declarations must be submitted at least 1 hour before arrival (this time is dictated by arrival at Coquelles).
For short sea journeys, safety and security ENS declarations must be submitted at least 2 hours before arrival for both containerised and non-containerised imports. Short sea journeys refer to journeys from:
- the English Channel, or the Atlantic coast of Europe from the point where it meets the English Channel to and including the port of Algeciras
- the Faroe Islands
- ports on the Baltic Sea and the North Sea
An EORI number is required to make safety and security declarations.
For imports to GB, the submission of the ENS declaration must be made in the new UK safety and security system, ‘safety and security GB’. Declarants will need a GB EORI.
For goods moving into Northern Ireland, ENS declarations must be made into the ‘ICS NI’ system. Declarants will need an XI EORI or a valid EU EORI.
There will also be the option to submit declarations through CSP systems/ third party software providers.
Those who have anti-smuggling nets (ASNs) to meet safety and security requirements can continue to use them from 1 January 2021.
If goods are going to an excise warehouse in the UK, the driver will need to ensure that they hold either a copy of the eAD or commercial documents that clearly state the ARC, before they leave the port. Drivers should obtain these documents from their customer or an intermediary working on their behalf.
However, if the importer has used a simplified customs procedure that allows for the arrival of the goods to be delayed, the creation of the eAD will also be delayed until the goods have arrived. The driver must instead ensure they hold a copy of the pre-lodged customs declaration, which must include details of an excise movement guarantee, before leaving the port.
If goods are still travelling to their delivery address by the end of the next working day following import, the importer (or their agent) should supply the driver at this point with a copy of the eAD or the ARC to formalise the excise movement requirements.
If the driver is carrying high priority plants and plant products, live animals or goods covered by CITES the EU exporter or their agent must make sure that they provide the following documents and/or data to accompany the consignments. The driver needs to present these at check-in at the EU border:
- the original, wet signed, EHCs if one or several are needed
- any CITES documentation required
Checks on these products will be carried out at the point of destination until July 2021.
There will be further changes to EU to GB movements in April and July 2021.
From April 2021, there will be additional requirements for products of animal origin (e.g. meat, honey, milk or egg products) and all regulated plants and plant products. These products will require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation, e.g. EHCs. Any physical checks on plants or plant products will continue to be conducted at the point of destination until July 2021.
From July 2021, full import controls and checks will be in place on all products. Safety and security ENS declarations will be required for imports from the EU into GB. This will be the same model currently used for Rest of World trade.
Further versions of the handbook will set these new procedures out in detail.
UK, non-EU and EU haulage companies and their drivers must secure vehicles coming into the UK to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.
Drivers crossing the UK-EU border should be aware of the potential threats to vehicles and how they can stop ‘clandestine entrants’. A clandestine entrant is a person who hides in or on a vehicle to avoid going through UK border control.
If a driver does not secure a vehicle, and is found carrying clandestine entrants into the UK and UK controlled zones, the vehicle’s driver, owner or hirer can each be fined up to £2,000 for each person found (also known as a ‘civil penalty’).
The law applies to all arrivals into the UK or UK control zones, including from European ports and via the Eurotunnel.
Keeping vehicles secure
For haulage companies, an effective system includes:
- written instructions for drivers on how to use the system
- robust security devices to effectively secure the vehicle, load and load space
- evidence of training for drivers on how to use the system and security devices
- providing vehicle security checklists to drivers
- monitoring that drivers are complying with the codes of practice
For drivers, an effective system includes:
- application of security devices (e.g. a padlock, uniquely numbered seals and tilt cord) to secure vehicles after loading
- checking the security devices and vehicle thoroughly after each stop and before entering the UK
- recording comprehensive checks on a vehicle security checklist, to show compliance, and have available to present to a Border Force officer
Drivers should follow the 10 step guidance on preventing clandestine entrants, and carry this with them throughout their journey.
If someone hides in a vehicle
If a driver suspects someone is attempting to enter their vehicle or has entered their vehicle, they should contact local police as soon as it is safe to do so. In the UK call 999 or in the EU call 112 before you enter the port.
Once you’ve completed these requirements and you have the correct documents, you are ready to leave with the goods.