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This is the direction goods are travelling.
To/through EU to GB, or to/through GB to EU.

2. Ways of moving goods

The driver must carry the correct information and documentation in the vehicle for the duration of the journey.

There are 4 ways in which goods can move across the border:

  • Pre-notification
  • Common Transit Convention (CTC)
  • Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA)
  • Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR)

The trader will choose which of the 4 ways to use. Their choice will depend on what is most appropriate for the characteristics of the consignment.

For all of the export models a Safety and Security (S&S) exit declaration will be required.

There are two types of safety and security declarations: an exit summary declaration (EXS) and an entry summary declaration (ENS).

A carrier is generally required to submit an EXS to the customs authority of the country from which the consignment is being exported. For consignments exported from the UK the EXS data is normally merged with the export declaration (which is a customs declaration).

If it is a separate declaration (e.g. for an empty truck), it is entered into the export control system (ECS) of that country.

A carrier is required to submit an ENS to the customs authority of the country that the consignment is entering into the import control system (ICS) of that country.

Check with your carrier (ferry/shipping line) as, on some routes into the Netherlands and Belgium, the ferry operator performs the ENS procedures on behalf of the haulier. Safety and security data must be provided at the time of the booking.


Safety and security export declarations on goods exported from GB are temporarily waived until 30 September 2021, for 2 categories of movements:

  • empty pallets, containers and vehicles moved under a transport contract to the EU (or to other countries for which pre-departure declarations were not required before 1 January 2021)
  • and movements of goods in RoRo vehicles where there is a requirement for an exit summary declaration

Safety and security requirements apply to other types of movements from GB to EU and continue to apply to goods moving from GB to rest of world (RoW).

A safety and security EXS declaration is required.

The requirement for safety and security information on export can usually be done via the customs export declaration, which contains information to meet safety and security requirements. Where an export declaration is not submitted before departure, a standalone EXS may be needed into the ECS of that country.

A standalone EXS declaration will be required if:

  • an empty container is being moved under a transport contract (a transport contract, or contract of carriage, is an agreement between a carrier and shipper or passenger, setting out each party’s duties and rights)
  • the goods have remained in temporary storage for more than 14 days
  • the goods have remained in temporary storage for less than 14 days but the import safety and security declaration details are unknown or where the destination or consignee details change
  • the goods are moved under transit using a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) or Transit and Safety and Security Declaration (TSADs) – TSADs cannot be used to meet safety and security requirements in GB.

A standalone EXS declaration will not be required if empty pallets and containers are moved out of GB not under a transport contract.


For joint safety and security EXS declarations and customs export declarations, and for standalone safety and security EXS declarations, the submission can be made on CHIEF/Customs Declaration Service. There will still be the option to submit EXS declarations through community system provider (CSP) systems or third-party software providers.

Find out why, when and how to make an exit summary (EXS) declaration.


In addition, relevant safety and security ENS requirements must also be met for the country the goods are being moved to.

See the sections, later in this guidance, about safety and security declarations (S&S) for:

The pre-notification procedure applies at locations without customs control systems.

When collecting goods to move into the EU, the driver must be given all customs documents necessary to cross into the EU.


The GB exporter must complete the UK export procedures comprising, at minimum, a combined customs and safety and security EXS declaration. The driver will need to be told if the goods need to be presented to a UK customs office. Once this has been done, the exporter will be given permission to progress (P2P).

Once the exporter has permission to progress (P2P), having completed any additional documentary checks requested by the National Clearance Hub, the driver can collect and take the goods to the GB port or terminal of departure.

If the exporter is told that the goods must undergo a physical check, the driver can collect the goods and take them to a designated export place (DEP) or to an approved inland location for appropriate checks. Only after P2P is granted following completion of those checks can the driver take the goods to the GB port or terminal of departure.

It is the responsibility of the exporter to inform the haulage company about the P2P situation that applies to a given transport job at a given point in time.

The driver will need to carry evidence that a UK combined customs and safety and security EXS declaration has been made and they will be required to carry EU import documentation as well as other documents as detailed elsewhere in this guidance.

If the trader arranges for the goods to move under the Common Transit Convention (CTC)

Then the driver must be given either:

  • a transit accompanying document (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 GB

    TAD
    TAD
  • a local reference number (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 UK Border Force at a nominated UK office of departure  – the goods will then be released, 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.

Safety and security requirements will apply in the EU and GB for goods being moved using transit.

Combined TSADs cannot be used to meet safety and security requirements in GB (UK EXS declarations). Traders moving goods under transit will need to ensure that the appropriate safety and security declarations are made via other means in the EU and in GB where necessary.

As TSADs cannot be used for ENS requirements on transit movements from GB to EU until the roll out of NCTS5 (due 2023), separate TAD entries must be made into the EU Transit System (NCTS), and separate ENS declarations must be made into that member state’s ICS using a commercial EDI platform.

ATA carnets are international customs documents used for the temporary export or import of goods.

If the trader arranges for the goods to move under the ATA Convention

Then the driver must:

  • obtain the ATA carnet document from the trader

    ATA
    ATA
  • take the goods and the ATA carnet to the UK Border Force at a UK office of departure as instructed by the trader, their agent or the logistics company controlling the movement
  • Check with the trader that the safety and security EXS declaration requirements have been met for the movement – relevant safety and security ENS requirements must also be met for the country the goods are being moved to.

If the trader arranges for the goods to move under the TIR Convention.

Then the haulier must hold a TIR authorisation obtained in his/her country and the vehicle moving the goods must hold an approval certificate of a road vehicle for the transport of goods under customs seal. To get a certificate for a vehicle using an approved design for TIR border crossings.

The TIR system allows UK customs officials to pack and seal goods before they are transported outside the EU. This means that the load will not need to be opened and inspected by customs officials at border crossings.

Book a TIR test.


The haulage company must:

    • give the driver the TIR carnet

      TIR
      TIR
    • ensure that arrangements have been made, either by the trader or haulage company to declare the movement to NCTS and have the reference numbers 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 UK office of departure where the page 1 of TIR carnet will be stamped and detached by the customs officer and customs will seal the vehicle
    • instruct the driver to take and present the goods and the TIR carnet to the UK Border Force at a UK office of departure – customs will check the documents and ensure that the seal is intact, and will stamp and detach page 2 of the TIR carnet
    • Check with the trader that the safety and security EXS declaration requirements have been met for the movement – relevant safety and security ENS requirements must also be met for the country the goods are being moved to

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Once you are aware of the method in which goods will be moved, and your requirements, you are ready to start your journey and collect the goods.