INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO RORO FREIGHT 

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.


Inland border facilities


Inland border facilities (IBFs) are UK government sites where customs and documentary checks can take place away from port locations.


IBFs act as an Office of Departure (for outbound journeys) and as Office of Destination (for inbound journeys).


Checks for the following movements are carried out at IBFs:

  • Common Transit Convention (CTC), also known as Transit

  • ATA Carnet

  • Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Carnet

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

  • other forms e.g. C108, duplicate lists etc – check with your trader what you need to carry


Stays at an IBF are time limited to 2 hours. You may incur extra charges if you stay longer than 2 hours.


An IBF app is available for smartphones on the Google play store and the App store.


Note: Not all hauliers will need to attend an IBF unless required to undertake an Office of Transit check. For example: if you are starting or ending a CTC movement at the premises of an


Authorised Consignor or Authorised Consignee and already have a validated Transit Accompanying Document (TAD), you do not need to attend an IBF.


It is important to note that IBFs are not:

  • truck stops/rest points for drivers – drivers should check the amount of driving time left on their tachographs when entering an IBF to minimise risk for having to find a place (elsewhere) for the mandatory rest breaks while also wanting to attend the IBF

  • places to initiate customs formalities (go elsewhere for those services – there are no customs agents on site)

  • mandatory for every export – if you already have all your paperwork for both sides and Permission to Progress (P2P) from CHIEF then you don’t need to attend an IBF


IBF locations and functions


IBF siteLocationFunctions

Sevington inland border facility
(inbound and outbound)Mersham,
Ashford
TN25 6GE
sat nav: 51.132138, 0.914994
what3words: corner.coach.sing

Start transit movement (Office of Departure)
End transit movement (Office of Destination)
ATA carnets stamp
CITES
Traffic management

If Sevington IBF is closed, Waterbrook will be made available as a contingency site.

Ebbsfleet
(outbound)International Way
Ebbsfleet Valley
DA10 1EBStart Transit movement (Office of Departure)
ATA and TIR carnets stamp
CITES licence check
DEFRA prioritisation (seafood and day old chicks)
Physical checks and inspections


North Weald Airfield
(outbound)North Weald Airfield
Merlin Way
North Weald
Bassett
Epping
CM16 6GB


Start Transit movement (Office of Departure)
ATA and TIR carnets stamp
Physical checks and inspections


Birmingham Airport
(inbound and outbound) Birmingham International Airport
BHX Car Park 6
B26 3QY Start Transit movement (Office of Departure)
End Transit movement (Office of Destination)
ATA and TIR carnets stamp
Physical checks and inspections

Warrington


(inbound and outbound) Barley Castle Lane
Appleton Thorn
Warrington
WA4 4SR Start Transit movement (Office of Departure)
End Transit movement (Office of Destination)
ATA and TIR carnets stamp
Physical checks and inspections

Dover Western Docks
(inbound) Dover Western Docks
Lord Warden Square
Dover
CT17 9DN End Transit movements (Office of Destination)
ATA and TIR carnets stamp
CITES licence check
Physical checks and inspections

Stop 24
(inbound) Folkestone Services
Junction 11 M20
Hythe
CT21 4BL End transit movement (Office of Destination)
ATA and TIR carnets stamp
Physical checks and inspections

Holyhead – Port of Holyhead
(inbound and outbound) Holyhead Port Office of Transit
CITES checks

Holyhead – RoadKing Truckstop
(inbound and outbound) RoadKing Truckstop
Parc Cybi
Kingsland
Holyhead
LL65 2YQ Start Transit movement (Office of Departure)
End Transit movement (Office of Destination)
ATA carnet stamp

Booking is required for these services.
At least 24 hours before you are due to arrive:
- let Border Force know when you expect to arrive
- tell Border Force if you’re transporting live animals

Notify Border Force of your arrival by emailing BFHolyhead@HomeOffice.gov.uk

Get ready before you travel to Holyhead – use an Authorised Consignor/Consignee to start or end your transit movement

Kent traffic management

Congestion may occur if HGV drivers reach the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel without the correct documentation or because of delays for other reasons (e.g. bad weather). The Kent Resilience Forum has plans in place to deal with this. Kent Police will decide when to activate parts of the plans, depending on the level of any congestion.

Traffic management arrangements involving the M20 movable barrier may be deployed if required. Signage will direct hauliers as necessary if that occurs.

If travelling through Kent, be aware that there is potential for disruption if there are delays at the border. HGV drivers should plan their journey to ensure that they can take breaks and, in particular, overnight rest periods before entering Kent. This will minimise the risk of reaching drivers’ hours limits.

Traffic management at other ports

The Short Straits routes via Kent are particularly vulnerable to disruption, and this area is the focus of most traffic management plans. Highway Authorities with high volume ports may also have localised traffic management schemes. During normal business these will only be introduced if there is abnormal traffic disruption and hauliers should follow local traffic signs if these are implemented.

Empty trucks and trucks with reusable packaging


If you are carrying packaging, you will need to check with the importer and/or exporter:

  • whether it meets the reusable packaging criteria

  • whether you have the authority to make a declaration by conduct on their behalf on import

  • whether the declaration is for the free circulation procedure or temporary admission

  • check the rules in GB (and the EU) about swap body containers

  • check the rules about machinery mounted on HGVs to facilitate loading and unloading


These items include plastic or metal cages, crates or frames.


At GB entry locations you can make a declaration by conduct for all reusable packaging. The declaration by conduct will generally be by disembarking from a vessel.


At EU entry locations, the haulier should check whether the packaging is EU or GB origin as this will impact which formalities you need to follow.

On export the declaration by conduct will be made by driving across the boundary of a port.


Find out about declaring reusable packaging for GB imports and exports.