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Insight into moving goods under the common transit convention (CTC) from the EU to GB, and use of GVMS

This guidance is for hauliers and commercial drivers who move goods or pick up/drop off trailers between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union (EU).

It explains:

  • what documents you need

  • how to follow new rules to manage traffic heading to ports

  • new border control processes

Guidance on moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be published separately.

Haulier advice sites

You can also visit an advice site at a motorway services or truckstop for the latest information.

At haulier advice sites, heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers can:

  • find out about the rules and documents needed to move goods between the UK and EU

  • complete a free border readiness check to ensure they have the correct documentation to cross the EU border

Goods: personal allowances

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.

Find out about bringing personal goods into the UK and to know if you have to make any necessary declarations.

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 (for example, a ham and cheese sandwich or coffee with milk) into the EU.

The highest risk plants and plant products, including some fruits, vegetables, flowers and seeds require a phytosanitary certificate before being allowed into the EU.

New rules for bringing animal and plant products from the EU into Great Britain will come into effect later in 2023 and we will update the guidance then.

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 EU border.

Failure to do so may result in them being seized and destroyed with a risk of costs and penalties.

Find out about:

Securing a vehicle when travelling to and from the UK

UK, non-EU and EU haulage companies and their drivers must secure vehicles coming into the UK to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Drivers crossing the UK-EU border should be aware of the potential threats to vehicles and loads and how they can help stop ‘clandestine entrants’. A clandestine entrant is a person who hides in or on a vehicle to avoid going through UK border control.

If a driver does not secure a vehicle, and is found carrying clandestine entrants into the UK and UK controlled zones, the vehicle’s driver, owner or hirer can each be fined up to £2,000 for each person found (also known as a ‘civil penalty’).

The law applies to all arrivals into the UK or UK control zones, including from European ports and via the Eurotunnel.

Keeping vehicles secure

For haulage companies, an effective system includes:

For drivers, an effective system includes:

  • application of security devices (e.g. a padlock, uniquely numbered seals and tilt cord) to secure vehicles after loading

  • checking the security devices and vehicle thoroughly after each stop and before entering the UK

  • recording comprehensive checks on a vehicle security checklist, to show compliance, and have available to present to a Border Force officer

Drivers should follow the 10 step guidance on preventing clandestine entrants, and carry this with them throughout their journey.

If someone hides in a vehicle 

If a driver suspects someone is attempting to enter their vehicle or has entered their vehicle, they should contact local police as soon as it is safe to do so. In the UK call 999 or in the EU call 112 before you enter the port.

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