Check the individual requirements for the EU port you are crossing below.
General Process (pre-lodgement)
The driver must follow the EU’s import and border requirements for the country they are entering. Further country specific information for the main EU member states for RoRo freight 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.
For processing HGVs using ferry and Eurotunnel crossings France has implemented a smart border system.
It pairs the customs declaration data with the vehicle registration number transporting the consignment(s).
At check-in at the Port of Dover ferry terminals or at the ‘pitstop’ at Eurotunnel’s Cheriton terminal, the driver will hand in the MRN(s) from the transit or French import declaration. The MRN will be scanned and matched with the Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) or Trailer Registration Number (TRN) –trailers are at Dover only.
Note: The process for sending data can also be done digitally on the Eurotunnel portal or via electronic data interchange (EDI). That generates a Eurotunnel Border Pass (EBP) with which the driver does not need to show any paperwork at the pitstop but can continue on this reference.
For consignments from multiple traders, either the exporter or the driver can scan all the barcodes from the separate documents, using the website https://www.douane.gouv.fr/enveloppe/en/enveloppe.
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 – via screens on board the driver carriage at Eurotunnel or in the drivers lounges on the ferries, if:
- they can proceed – they will be ‘green routed’
- they need to present to goods for customs and/or SPS – either ‘Orange-douane’ or ‘Orange-SIVEP’
- there are any problems which need to be addressed before they can continue their journey – they will be ‘Orange-routed’
On disembarkation of the ferry or shuttle service, if selected for a control (i.e. orange routed), it is the driver’s responsibility to follow that guidance – if they ignore the routing, they could face penalties. Also, to note, that there may also be selections from green routed trucks to check compliance.
Safety and security declarations for France
For freight from GB, 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) approved by the French customs.
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.
Compliance regimes in France (customs and SPS)
If you are selected for a control on entry to France, either for customs or SPS or both, you must follow the orange routing signage (for either customs or SPS) to attend the facility.
If you are selected for an SPS control (SIVEP), you must seek help from a ‘commis’ service (for ferries) or Eurotunnel operatives (for Eurotunnel) to unload, load and present your consignments and to the administrations
The Netherlands logistics industry has advice on how to pass through Dutch ports at – Get Ready for Brexit.
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 – Port Community System.
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 – Port Community System.
RX/SeaPort has detailed information about:
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.
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 (Brittany Ferries) 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
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 provides 3 functions to facilitate the flow of commercial vehicles into and out of Irish ports using the Customs Roll-on Roll-off service (RoRo service).
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.
Verification and release regimes in Ireland
If issues cannot be resolved goods will be held in temporary storage for a maximum of 90 days.
Holding areas are in place around ports but space is limited. If goods are seized, claims must be made within 1 month and in writing.
Traders must pay a fee to use border control posts (BCP) and an additional fee may be required if notification is not received prior to arrival.
Goods may be refused entry or destroyed if SPS requirements are not met.
Find out about bringing goods into Ireland from GB.
After the Irish border
Once the goods have passed EU customs, if they have not been selected for a control, they can proceed to their destination.
Safety and security declarations for entry into Ireland
There is a legal requirement to submit an electronic customs safety and security declaration in advance of import.
This declaration is called an entry summary (ENS) declaration. The ENS declaration must be submitted to Irish customs in advance of the goods departing GB.
The carrier is responsible for ensuring that the ENS declaration is submitted. Accordingly, the importer must ensure that the carrier of your goods is aware of their responsibilities for this declaration. Failure to do so will lead to delays.
Find out about the ENS in the Import Control System (ICS) Trader Guide.
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.