Prepare for additional customs and border requirements below.
Passports / ID cards.
EU, EEA ,and Swiss national identity cards are not accepted as a valid travel document and a passport is required for entry to the UK.
This does not apply to those EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 or otherwise have protected rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements.
Gibraltar identity cards issued to British citizens and Irish passport cards also continue to be accepted for travel to the UK.
Further details on the requirements and exceptions is provided on: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-as-an-eu-eea-or-swiss-citizen
Those people, where these exceptions apply, will still be able to use national identity cards for travel until 31 December 2025 at least.
Visa requirements for the UK
EU drivers can continue to operate in the UK without the need for a visa, providing they do not spend more than 6 months in the UK in any 12 month period.
Third country drivers may require a visa depending on country, check if you need a visa.
There may be delays when applying for a UK visa as a professional driver.
Driver and vehicle documentation
EU operators doing business to, from or through the UK will need to carry proof of motor insurance for their vehicle and trailer. A Green Card or other proof of motor insurance will be recognised in the UK, however, green cards are not mandatory for EU drivers in the UK.
Community Licence EU operators must be licensed by their own country of establishment and carry a True Certified Copy of the Community Licence at all times.
Cabotage – the transport of goods or passengers between 2 places in the same country by a transport operator from another country for the purposes of hire and reward, this is heavily restricted in the UK and abroad.
EU operators are able to undertake unlimited journeys to, from and through the UK, with up to two cabotage movements in the UK, provided they are performed following a journey from the EU, and within 7 days of unloading in the UK.
The UK Government has introduced a temporary extension to cabotage rules, which came into effect on 28 October 2021.
These temporary additional cabotage rights will run for six months to 30 April 2022, and allow cabotage:
- within Great Britain for a period of 14 days, with the first day being when a laden entry into the United Kingdom was made, with no limitation during that period on the number of cabotage journeys permitted.
- to be undertaken by operators from any country, irrespective of whether or not they are in the EU or covered by another permit arrangement.
Vehicle checks by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) of non-UK Heavy Goods Vehicles routinely include checking for cabotage breaches and enforcement action can be taken where serious breaches are found.
It is the trader’s responsibility to make customs declarations and provide the haulage company and driver with the correct documents. This can be done directly or via a third party, for example a freight forwarder, logistics company or customs agent.
The haulage company must ensure their operations have access to IT systems such as Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) and GB safety and security (S&S GB) – this can be done by registration and will require the haulier to have a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
The driver should have all the necessary customs information and documents and other paperwork for the route they intend to use. If the haulier intends to use a third party to complete the S&S GB entry, they will need to have put this in place via the third-party software or the community service provider (CSP).
The haulage company must also make sure that their drivers know what documents to present at each stage of the journey, including:
- at ports or train terminals
- at customs posts
Note: Depending on your route, some or all of these documents may be submitted digitally in advance. Please ensure you understand the process for the route you are using
The driver must carry the information and documentation provided by the haulage company in the vehicle for the duration of the journey. This also includes information and documentation necessary to meet EU member state requirements. This is because each movement of goods from the EU to the UK is both an export movement for EU authorities and import movement for UK authorities, and vice versa.
It is vital that drivers know what information and documentation is needed, and where, when and how they will be presented and checked.
If you are travelling to Great Britain (GB) from outside the UK, there are new rules on goods you can bring in for your own use without having to pay tax or duty.
Rules for drivers and personal food and drink
Drivers travelling to and from the EU should be aware of the rules about what personal food, drink and plants they can take with them. These rules apply to items carried on their person, in luggage or in the vehicle.
Drivers cannot take products containing meat or dairy (e.g. a ham and cheese sandwich or coffee with milk) into (now) or out of the EU (from 1 July 2022).
Almost all plants and plant products, including fruits, vegetables, flowers and seeds, require a phytosanitary certificate before being allowed into the EU.
If drivers have banned items with them, or they are not carrying the necessary certification, they will need to use, consume, or dispose of them at or before the border.
Failure to do so may result in them being seized and destroyed with a risk of costs and penalties.
Find out about:
On 31/12/20 the UK Government introduced a new IT platform called the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to support the Pre-Lodgement model for imports, both Standard and Arrived Export models and to facilitate Transit movements.
Currently this applies to the following routes:
- goods from the EU (not including Ireland) to Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) — a goods movement reference is required for all movements
- goods from Ireland to Great Britain — a goods movement reference is only required if you’re moving goods under the Common Transit Convention using a Transit Accompanying Document
- goods from Great Britain to the EU — a goods movement reference is required for all movements
- goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland — a goods movement reference is required for all movements into Northern Ireland ports using the goods vehicle movement service
- goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain – a goods movement reference is only required in the following circumstances:
- Common Transit Convention movements
- TIR and ATA Carnet movements
- movements from the Republic of Ireland to Great Britain through a Northern Ireland port
- movements from Northern Ireland to Great Britain under a customs special procedure or on a list of goods where specific international processes apply
The benefits of the GVMS is that it:
- Enables declaration references to be linked together so that the person moving the goods (e.g. a driver) only has to present one single reference (Goods Movement Reference or GMR) at the frontier
- Allows the linking of the movement of the goods to declarations, enabling the automatic arrival/departure of goods within HMRC systems.
- Automate the Office of Transit function, marking the entry of goods into NI or GB
- Allow notification of the risking outcome of declarations (held or cleared) in HMRC systems to be sent to the person in control of the goods by the time they physically arrive in NI or GB
As of 1 January 2022, full customs controls have applied to all goods moving between the EU and GB. Except for the temporary exemption for non-transit goods from Ireland (ROI) to GB.
You will need to get an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number) starting with GB to register for GVMS if you’re a UK or non-UK based haulier.
This includes if you’re:
- an independent driver transporting goods and doing your own customs paperwork
- a company that sub-contracts to pick up goods on behalf of another business
- a logistics business, hired to transport goods and complete customs processes on behalf of another business
- a large retail business, that transports and declares your own goods.
If you’re not registered and attempt to move goods through a GVMS border location, you won’t be able to:
- board the ferry or shuttle
- cross the EU/GB border
- clear your goods through customs.
Further details are available in the Haulier Handbook
Once you’ve completed all of these requirements, you are ready to start your journey and collect the goods.