Prepare for additional customs and border requirements below.
Passports / ID cards.
Before 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can enter the UK with a passport or national identity card, as they do now.
From 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss national identity cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document and a passport will be required for entry to the UK.
This will 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 will also continue to be accepted for travel to the UK. Further details on the new requirements and exceptions will be provided on GOV.UK.
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.
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.
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 both imports and exports and to facilitate Transit movements.
Currently this applies to the following routes:
- goods from the EU to Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) – only if you’re moving goods under the Common Transit Convention using a Transit Accompanying Document
- 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 the rules will change and the requirement to use GVMS will apply to all movements through the ports using the GVMS, both from EU to GB and GB to EU.
This will apply to all customs processes (ways of moving goods)
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.