Check the individual requirements for the EU port you are crossing below.
The driver must follow the EU’s import and border requirements for the country they are entering. Further country specific information is set out below.
If the movement is being made under the CTC, the TAD must be presented by the driver to the EU customs authorities in line with the EU’s procedures.
The driver must present the ATA carnet and ensure it is stamped by the EU customs authorities in line with the EU’s procedures.
If the movement is made under the TIR Convention, the driver must present the TIR carnet and ensure it is stamped by the EU customs authorities either when the goods leave the customs territory of the EU or at an EU office of destination or at an EU-TIR authorised consignee’s premises.
France has designed a smart border system for processing HGVs using ferry and Eurotunnel crossings. It pairs customs declaration data with the vehicle registration number transporting the consignment(s).
At check-in at ferry terminals or at the ‘pitstop’ at Eurotunnel, the driver will hand in the MRN. The MRN will be scanned and matched with the Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) or Trailer Registration Number (TRN).
For consignments from multiple traders, either the exporter or the driver can scan all the barcodes from the separate documents, using the Prodouanes app. This will create an MRN envelope. The driver will then only need to present one single MRN from the load they are carrying.
This data is analysed by the French customs system while the driver and consignment are on the ferry or train crossing the Channel. It allows HGVs to be pre-selected for further customs and/or sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls.
The driver will be informed en route if:
- they can proceed
- they need to declare for customs and/or SPS
- there are any problems which need to be addressed before they can continue their journey
Safety and security declarations for France
For traffic from the UK, ENS declarations must be submitted into the French ICS before crossing the EU border. Submission can only be made by electronic data interchange (EDI) using certified software (or web portals). Some ferry operators provide ENS submission via their online booking service.
For accompanied freight, the haulier makes the ENS declaration entry into the French ICS.
For unaccompanied freight, the ferry operator makes the ENS declaration entry into the French ICS.
The Netherlands logistics industry has advice on how to pass through Dutch ports. This will help freight and logistics operators with the various formalities involved in UK-Dutch transportation of goods.
All customs declaration numbers for UK export and imports that travel through the Netherlands must be pre-registered via Portbase. This is a paid-for service.
Drivers will not be able to access Dutch terminals if they have not pre-registered via Portbase. The driver must present MRNs at UK check-in.
Safety and security declarations for the Netherlands
ENS declarations are submitted via the Portbase system at the time of booking the crossing. The transmission of the data is always completed by the carrier (i.e. the ferry operator) for both accompanied and unaccompanied freight.
At Zeebrugge the RX/SeaPort digital system joins up the data submitted and required by all parties at the Port of Zeebrugge. The data is registered for imports and exports through their e-Desk. This can be done manually, through a linked data connection or through customs software.
Drivers will not be allowed to proceed to the Zeebrugge Terminal if customs declarations have not been pre-notified through the RX/SeaPort e-Desk.
At Antwerp the pre-notification of customs documents is done via the Port Community system of C-point. This pre-notification can be lodged by the exporter, the freight forwarder, customs agent or the haulage company.
C-point has detailed information about customs procedures at Antwerp.
Safety and security declarations for Belgium
ENS declarations should be submitted into the import clearance system via an EDI interface to the Customs Computer Paperless Customs and Excises (PLDA) system.
In Belgium the ENS declaration submission is done by the ferry operator or shipping company for both accompanied and unaccompanied freight.
Ports in the South of Spain, such as Algeciras Port Authority, use the port community system Teleport 2.0.
The northern Spanish ports of Santander will soon use a similar port community system. Those who register can trace their goods via the online e-service.
The Port of Bilbao uses its own port community system, e-puertobilbao
Hauliers going from GB to Spain should:
- make or arrange to make the ENS declaration into the Spanish ICS
- obtain the MRN
- log into the carrier system and link the vehicle registration number to the MRN
- the system checks the first 4 digits of the Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (TARIC) code, number of packages and weight
There is no equivalent ‘envelope’ system for groupage loads, so all consignments must be entered individually. The HGV cannot proceed to GB check-in unless goods have been cleared for export. The data must be sent to the carrier in advance of the HGV arriving at the GB port or the driver must have it with them.
Safety and security declarations for Spain
An ENS declaration must be lodged for all consignments. The ferry operator must be satisfied that this requirement has been met before loading will be authorised.
For accompanied freight, the haulier makes the ENS declaration entry (using EDI only) into the Spanish ICS. This doesn’t rule out the possibility of a private agreement between the ferry operator and the haulier for the ferry operator to make the ENS declaration for accompanied freight.
For unaccompanied freight, the ferry operator makes the ENS declaration entry into the Spanish ICS.
The ferry operator sends the manifest (including references to previous ENS declarations) to the operatives in the Spanish ports. The operatives then send the documents to Aduanas (Spanish customs).
All EU import declarations will need to be submitted to the new Automated Import System (AIS).
The Irish Revenue Customs RoRo Service provides 3 functions to facilitate the flow of commercial vehicles into and out of Irish ports.
The 3 functions are:
1. Pre-boarding notification – customs declarations should be made in advance of arrival at the port of departure in the UK. The details of safety and security and customs declarations for all goods to be carried on an HGV need to be recorded in the pre-boarding notification (PBN). The PBN is a virtual envelope that links together the details of all the goods being carried on a HGV. The customs authority will provide a single instruction to be followed by the driver on arrival at an Irish port, regardless of the number of consignments on board the vehicle.
2. Channel look-up (CLU) – hauliers can track the progress of the PBN via the Customs RoRo Service so that they know when to arrive at the terminal. The CLU service provides information on whether an HGV can directly exit the port or if the goods need to be brought to customs for checking. This information will be made available via the customs RoRo service 30 minutes prior to arrival of the ferry into Ireland and can be accessed by anyone in the supply chain.
3. Parking self check-in – drivers whose vehicles have been called for a physical inspection will remain in their vehicle and inform Revenue that the goods are available for inspection using this function. When an examination bay becomes available the driver will receive a text message advising where to attend for inspection.
Using the Customs RoRo Service is a pre-requisite to receive the PBN without which access to the ferry will be denied.
Once you’ve met all of these requirements, you can transport the goods leaving from the EU port of arrival.
Check for updates in the Haulier Handbook