Guidance for Carriers – Exporting humanitarian aid to Ukraine – The UK Government has today announced a customs easement to make moving aid and donations to the people of Ukraine easier. The simplification of customs processes will apply to goods intended to support those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine which are exported from GB. Provided the goods are not exported to, or through, Russia or Belarus, then these simplified processes apply to qualifying goods regardless of the destination to allow maximum flexibility to get aid to where the need is greatest.

The Government still recommends that organisations and people who would like to help donate cash through trusted charities and aid organisations, rather than donating goods. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it’s needed and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what’s most needed.

However, businesses, charities and community organisations sending aid from GB ports will be able to make a customs declaration by speaking to customs officers or simply by the act of driving through a port.

They will no longer need to complete and submit electronic customs declarations to HMRC before exporting these goods, and smaller movements will not need to use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service to pass through ports where it is in operation.

The easement will also remove other customs formalities, such as needing to notify HMRC when the goods have been exported.  The easement, which excludes all controlled goods and dual use goods, will be in place for a limited time, which will be announced in due course.

A press notice outlining the change can be found here

Further guidance is available here: Taking humanitarian aid out of Great Britain to support Ukraine – GOV.UK (

The remainder of this email explains the process and how you as carriers will help these movements.

Moving goods in baggage using a small vehicle
Small vehicles that can carry up to a maximum of 9 people and weighs 3.5 tonnes or less. If your customers are moving goods in their own baggage or in a small vehicle, they will be permitted to move humanitarian goods under passenger movements.

Under this approach, goods will be declared in one of two ways.

  1. Making an oral declaration: If there are facilities available, through speaking to a Border Force Officer at the ‘goods to declare’ channel or the red point phone in the customs area at the port or airport
  2. Making a declaration by conduct: If there are no facilities available to make an oral declaration, declaration by conduct can be made at the port by either:
  3. walking through a customs control point (this can be a green channel signed ‘nothing to declare’) with the goods;
  4. driving (or being driven) past a customs control point with the goods inside the vehicle,
  5. continuing onward journey, if there are no customs control points.

Customs documentation will not be required.

 Moving goods as freight in a larger vehicle  
A large vehicle is a vehicle that can carry more than 9 people and weighs more than 3.5 tonnes (e.g. a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV)).  For these movements, export goods should be listed as ‘humanitarian aid’ on your booking systems where possible.

Border locations using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS)
Goods moving via a location using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) will continue to need a GMR, the process for customers follows:

  1. Have an EORI number starting with GB.
  2. Be registered for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS).
  3. Get a ‘declaration by conduct’ Goods Movement Reference (GMR) through GVMS by selecting the ‘oral or by conduct declarations’ option.
  4. At the port of export, present your GMR for check-in in order to board.

Border locations using Temporary Storage with Inventory Linking
Public guidance advises customers to check with the relevant carrier / port of steps to take to follow ahead of moving their goods. If a vehicle needs to move as freight through a temporary storage location, Carriers will need to manifest the goods using either

  • T2 for locations using CNS, or
  • ETC 01 for locations using Destin8.

New: updated edition of the GVMS Border Guide

British Embassy The Hague – HMRC has issued a new, second edition of the GVMS Border Guide. This has been updated to reflect new/amended information based on feedback and queries received since 1 January. It doesn’t replace the guidance available on GOV.UK but is a supplement to it providing additional detail. Changes to the Border Guide in the 2nd edition:

  • Additional ‘Note’ at start (Page 1)
  • Amendments to Using GVMS from 1 January 2022 (Page 1 / 2)
  • Amendment to Key Points to follow when using GVMS (Page 2)
  • Additional section on Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) and Trailer Registration Numbers (TRNs) (Page 4)
  • Additional section on difference between arrived and pre-lodged exports for GMR (Page 4)
  • Additional section on When goods should/should not go to an Inland Border Facility (IBF) (Page 4)
  • Additional section on GVMS and Transit movements in and out of Great Britain (Page 5)
  • Amendment to an explanation of Movement Reference Numbers (MRNs) and Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCRs) (Page 6)
  • What to do if a declaration is not ‘arrived’ (Page 7)
  • Additional information for Unaccompanied movements within Business processes section (Page 8)
  • Additional information in Where and how to check if an inspection is required section (Page 9)
  • Additional information in Where to go for an inspection (Page 10)
  • Amendment to Common GMR errors (Page 11)
  • Correction to link for CDS location codes in Shorts Straits Dual Codes section ( Page 12)
  • Amendment to Help and Support information (Page 13)

Transporters in the EU take note! New pre-lodgement model requires action prior to departure – For cargo that resides under the pre-lodgement model, you as a transporter must take additional action before you proceed to the Dutch ferry terminal!

Pre-lodgement requires extra actions from transporters

One-time registration in GVMS 

In order to be able to use GVMS for pre-lodgement shipments, you must submit a one-time registration as a transporter with the British government. You can read here how to you will next receive a GMR for each shipment.

You must do this additionally for each shipment

In the British Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), you must first link the declaration made in the UK to your trailer. You do this using the MRN(s) provided to you by the UK importer or their representative. You specify the Goods Movement Reference (GMR) that is subsequently generated by GVMS when you make your ferry booking. Only if the ferry terminal has the GMR when your trailer arrives can your cargo continue without delay following its arrival in the UK.

This is what you need to check for every shipment

Which model does your client use?
As a transporter, ask for each shipment which model the British importer (or their representative) has selected: temporary storage or pre-lodgement. You need to indicate this in your booking with the ferry operator. This prevents unnecessary delays at the British border.

Please note! If you select the wrong model, this can often no longer be corrected after arrival at the Dutch ferry terminals. The shipment will automatically fall under the temporary storage model.

Brexit cost plenty of energy, time, and money; but also brought opportunities

Brexit has been a fact for a year now. Yet, it still weighs on many people’s minds. For example, in September, the United Kingdom announced that it was again delaying the further phasing in parts of the Border Operating Model. The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality says the UK government blames COVID-19 for this postponement. The pandemic is having an ongoing impact on British businesses, specifically regarding phytosanitary certificates and physical checks for veterinary and phytosanitary products. Read the full article via

One-click visibility of a yes/no inspection in the UK – Before arriving in the UK (or departing from there) you can now easily check whether your cargo is subject to inspection. The British government offers this handy website for that purpose. All you need to do is fill in the GMR (Goods Movement Reference) of your cargo. One click and you know where you stand. If inspection is indeed required, the website, which is available in thirteen languages, will also help you on your way.


EU & EN flags

CLECAT Circular 2022/014 (BREXIT) – UK HMRC Guidance: Arrived Export and Empties

CLECAT Circular – We would like to inform you that, in response to feedback in the first weeks of full customs controls at the EU-GB border, the UK HMRC has produced two additional guidance documents concerning export movements from GB and empty movements. In particular, enclosed you will find the following:

‘Arrived’ export declarations: Contains an important update on moving goods out of GB through GVMS border locations, concerning an issue raised about declarations being assumed departed after only 5 days for some locations. This has now been changed to 15 days in line with all locations.
Empty movements in GMRs: Contains a reminder that all movements need a GMR, including empty vehicles and containers.

We would be grateful if you could share these documents with interested parties.

Most common bottlenecks on import controls in the UK since January 1 and how to avoid them

Important information for transporters

HMRC has issued additional guidance on import controls in GB based on the lessons learned over the past two weeks. Please find attached their message in English, Dutch, German and Polish. The pages have also been updated with information to refer to. These include:

EU Trader Digest
Brochure for transporters (in Dutch)

CLECAT Circular 2022/02 (BREXIT) – UK HMRC guidance on common errors when using GVMS

CLECAT Circular – We would like to share with you the latest guidance from the UK HMRC concerning the use of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), which supports the introduction of full customs controls at the EU-GB border on 1 January 2022. The guidance addresses common user errors occurring when economic operators are creating Goods Movement References (GMRs) into GVMS.

In particular, the UK HMRC clarifies that, when moving goods through border locations that use GVMS, economic operators need to ensure the following:

  1. Get a GMR for all movements, including empties.
  2. Do not use the trailer references when entering your Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) into the GMR for an accompanied movement, as this means the carrier will be unable to validate your GMR. The VRN must match the vehicle presenting the GMR.
  3. Do not add EU export Movement Reference Numbers (MRN) numbers into the GMR.
  4. Ensure that you are entering the correct type of declaration reference which is relevant for your movement. For exports via CHIEF or CDS this is the DUCR, for imports via CDS this is the MRN and for imports via CHIEF this is the ERN. For full details around which declaration types should be entered in a GMR refer to Get a goods movement reference on GOV.UK.
  5. Declarants – Use the dual location code for all exports declarations from GB to EU – when moving through the border locations of Dover and Eurotunnel.
  6. Declarants – Ensure that RRS01 is included on your import or export declaration if your goods are being moved via a GVMS border location, otherwise the GMR will be invalid, and your goods will be delayed.

If economic operators do not follow the instructions above, they will be unable to board the vessel.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could further share the guidance with interested parties.

Pre-lodgement and temporary storage: the differences and applications by Dutch ferry operators – Since the 1st of January 2022, import declarations can be submitted to British Customs via two different models: Pre-lodgement and Temporary storage. The main features of both models:


In the pre-lodgement model, parties already submit their customs declarations before goods are taken on board in the EU. The carrier next links these declaration(s) to a specific trailer via the British Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS). The carrier uses the ensuing Goods Movement Reference (GMR) to gain access to the Dutch ferry terminal. With help of the GMR, the goods can usually immediately proceed upon arrival in the British port.

Temporary storage

Goods entering the UK under the temporary storage model may be stored at a temporary storage facility at the border for up to 90 days. After having been declared to British Customs, the goods next travel on to their final destination in the United Kingdom.

How do the ferry operators apply this

Each ferry operator/terminal in the UK decides for itself which model it chooses to use. The ferry operators active in the Netherlands do this as follows:

View access models to British ports Dutch ferry operators (subject to change)

Ferry company

British ports of call


Access model


  • Purfleet
  • Killingholme
  • For import to the UK: the temporary storage model. Optionally, pre-lodgement is possible.
  • For through transit documents with ‘office of destination’ in the UK: the pre-lodgement model.

Attention! No GMR upon arrival at the Dutch terminal means automatic processing according to the temporary storage model (changes no longer possible).

  • Felixstowe
  • Immingham
  • Newcastle
  • For import to the UK: the temporary storage model. Optionally, pre-lodgement is possible.
  • For through transit documents with ‘office of destination’ in the UK: the pre-lodgement model.

Attention! No GMR upon arrival at the Dutch terminal means automatic processing according to the temporary storage model (changes no longer possible).

P&O Ferries
  • Hull
  • Teesport
  • For unaccompanied traffic to the UK: the temporary storage model. Optionally, pre-lodgement is possible for through transit documents with ‘office of destination’ in the UK.
  • For accompanied traffic to the UK: the pre-lodgement model.

Please note! The following applies for pre-lodgement: no GMR upon arrival at the Dutch ferry terminal, no access

Stena Line
  • Harwich
  • Immingham
  • Killingholme
  • For accompanied traffic to the UK: the pre-lodgement model.
  • For through transit documents (accompanied and unaccompanied) with ‘office of destination’ in the UK: the pre-lodgement model.
  • For import to the UK: the temporary storage model. Optionally, pre-lodgement is possible.

Please note! The following applies for pre-lodgement: no GMR upon arrival at the Dutch ferry terminal, no access

Want to know more?

CLECAT Circular 2021/265 (BREXIT) – HMRC Webinars & Communication Materials

Clecat circular – We would like to share with you some useful information materials from the HMRC, as well as supporting documents to recent webinars, which form part of its engagement activity with stakeholders to ensure they understand the new obligations and processes from January 2022.

Related to haulier communication to support the use of GVMS as of 1 January 2022, enclosed you will find two guidance documents on import and export movements. Enclosed you will also find the slides presented by the HMRC during the import and export processes webinars, held on 1 and 2 December, along with two FAQs documents, produced from the webinars.

Enclosed you will also find the slides presented by the HMRC during the detailed webinar on GVMS, held on 6 December. The recording of the webinar is available here.

Additionally, enclosed you will find a presentation on Hauliers Customer Support Model and Business Continuity Plan, which provides an overview of the appropriate channels for stakeholders to direct any issues they experience.

We would also like to inform you that the HMRC has updated the list of ports that will use the GVMS from 1 January 2022, including the border locations using GVMS to support pre-lodged customs controls in Northern Ireland, the locations supporting pre-lodged customs controls for movements into Great Britain, the locations supporting pre-lodged customs controls for movements out of Great Britain, and the border locations using GVMS to support Offices of Transit. You will find the updated list here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  Haulier Customer Support Model And Business Continuity Plan.pdf
  Hmrc Exports Webinar 2 December 2021_Faq.pdf
  Hmrc Gvms Step-By-Step Webinar 6 December 2021.pdf
  Hmrc Imports Webinar 1 December 2021_Faq.pdf
  Hmrc Exports Webinar 2 December 2021.pdf
  Hmrc Imports Webinar 1 December 2021.pdf
  Gvms Haulier Guidance Exports.pdf
  Gvms Haulier Guidance Imports.pdf