MOVING GOODS FROM THE EU TO GB – PRE-LODGEMENT/TEMPORARY STORAGE

Insight into moving goods into GB from the EU, and Ireland, and using the prelodgment/temporary storage model, and GVMS

Before leaving an EU Member State

When collecting the goods, the haulier must be given all the relevant customs information or documents and other paperwork. The haulier must confirm:

  • that the exporter has completed the EU export procedures

  • with the importer the type of import declaration they are making and secure the right evidence to demonstrate a declaration has been made depending on the route

Island of Ireland to GB

For goods that are in Ireland (or Northern Ireland, where applicable) immediately before their importation into GB, there are different customs requirements for controlled goods and non-controlled goods.


At present, until such time further changes are announced, the evidence needed will depend on what type of declaration the importer is able or chooses to make, including whether the goods are controlled.


Controlled goods

Customs declarations in HMRC systems are required for all goods on the controlled goods list.

When moving controlled goods, the haulier must have the appropriate reference number from the import declaration (CHIEF entry number or the MRN). If pre-lodged temporary storage declarations are being used, the haulier will need the inventory consignment reference (ICR).


The exporter’s MRN or an EORI number cannot be used as evidence that an import declaration has been made for these goods.


See the Border Operating Model for more information.


Non-controlled goods


Non-controlled goods moving from the island of Ireland to Great Britain can continue to do so on the basis of the arrangements that applied prior to 1 January 2022.


This is a temporary facilitation that enables the importer to either make a customs declaration at the point of import or make a declaration in their own commercial records, and then follow this with a supplementary declaration that must be submitted to HMRC within 175 days of the point of import.


The haulier must have either the reference number from the customs import declaration (CHIEF entry number or CDS MRN) or the trader’s EORI number if the importer has made a declaration in their commercial records. If pre-lodged temporary storage declarations are being used, the haulier needs the inventory consignment reference (ICR).


Find out about delaying declarations for EU goods brought into GB.


The driver must check which type of declaration the importer is making and carry the appropriate evidence.

Goods from other EU countries


As of 1 January 2022, import controls and checks are in place and border locations have processes to control imported goods. Locations where pre-lodgement is needed use the GVMS. Locations using the temporary storage model may also use the GVMS but if they just use an inventory system hauliers will need to follow commercial instructions.


The new procedures are outlined in the imports section of the Border Operating Model.

List of ports using GVMS.


If hauliers are moving goods through a location using the GVMS, they will be required to:

  • ask the importer to provide, for each consignment carried, a unique reference number that proves that a declaration has either been pre-lodged or is not needed – this can be an MRN (for goods declared into CHIEF or CDS)

  • link all these references together into 1 goods movement reference (GMR) for each vehicle movement. Inclusion of safety and security references is an optional extra step. References can be linked in 2 ways:

    • a direct link from the haulier’s own system into the GVMS; or

    • an online portal available in the haulier’s Government Gateway account (if the ferry operator is submitting the ENS, the haulier will need to check how to consolidate this into 1 GMR)

  • for each vehicle movement, update the GMR with the correct VRN – this can be updated to cater for any changes but must be correct when the GMR is presented to the carrier at the point of departure. You must enter references for all the goods being carried in the vehicle into a single GMR

  • instruct drivers not to proceed to the border before all the necessary references are added into a GMR to make it complete, or if any declaration reference has not been accepted onto the GMR, as they will not be allowed to board. Drivers may also be asked by Border Force to provide a GMR with all the necessary references as evidence that are legally able to move goods

  • instruct drivers to present the GMR to the carrier on arrival at the point of departure to demonstrate they have the necessary evidence to legally move goods – this can be presented through paperwork, mobile phone, tablet etc

  • instruct drivers to check whether their vehicle is cleared or not cleared before disembarking and to follow instructions on where to go if checks are required


At the EU border


The driver must have, for each consignment, the EU export declaration MRN as evidence of a customs declaration from the declarant in the EU.


For goods that are in Ireland (or Northern Ireland, where applicable) immediately before their importation into GB, the driver must have evidence of a customs declaration from the declarant in the UK.

For goods imported at locations using GVMS, the driver must present a GMR containing the declaration reference, or references, for all the goods to the carrier.


Some locations that use GVMS alongside other customs models may operate alternative processes. If you’re moving goods through one of these locations, you should check with the carrier you’re intending to travel with about what information you need to clear customs


Some of these processes can be done digitally.


At the UK border


UK authorities do not routinely stop vehicles on their way into the UK to check that they have the correct import customs documents.


However, on arrival, UK Border Force officers may stop vehicles to carry out certain checks. When they do, they may take the vehicle off-line and ask the driver to present the references (for example, GMR, CHIEF entry number, MRN and/or EORI) for each consignment, along with other documentation or information as required.


When goods are imported at locations where pre-lodgement is needed and are moved without sufficient evidence that a declaration has been made, the driver may be liable to a penalty.


On arrival, the haulier and the driver must follow HMRC instructions about whether they need to get the goods checked or if they are able to continue their journey.


They may be directed to an IBF for documentary or physical checks of their load if these checks cannot be done at the border.


This currently applies for border locations at Dover, Eurotunnel terminal at Cheriton and Holyhead. The goods must be taken to an IBF directly and must be in the same condition as they were at the time of importation.


A driver can check the status of their goods themselves using the Check if you need to report for an inspection service, as long as they have access to a device that can access the internet, such as a mobile phone.


The person who created the GMR should ensure that the goods arrive at an IBF for a check and that the drivers are made aware or have the means to check if an inspection is required.


It is important that the haulier ensures that their supply chain is compliant and that drivers understand their responsibilities to take goods to an IBF if required.


You may be liable to a penalty of up to £2,500 if you fail to follow HMRC instructions.


Whenever HMRC needs to consider penalties, they will always take into account the facts and what has gone wrong, on a case-by-case basis.

There is detailed guidance available for Attending an Inland Border Facility.


For goods that are in Ireland (or Northern Ireland, where applicable) immediately before their importation into GB, there are different customs requirements for controlled goods and non-controlled goods.


At present, until such time further changes are announced, the evidence needed will depend on what type of declaration the importer is able or chooses to make, including whether the goods are controlled.


Controlled goods


Customs declarations in HMRC systems are required for all goods on the controlled goods list.


When moving controlled goods, the haulier must have the appropriate reference number from the import declaration (CHIEF entry number or the MRN). If pre-lodged temporary storage declarations are being used, the haulier will need the inventory consignment reference (ICR).


The exporter’s MRN or an EORI number cannot be used as evidence that an import declaration has been made for these goods.


See the Border Operating Model for more information.


Non-controlled goods

Non-controlled goods moving from the island of Ireland to Great Britain can continue to do so on the basis of the arrangements that applied prior to 1 January 2022.


This is a temporary facilitation that enables the importer to either make a customs declaration at the point of import or make a declaration in their own commercial records, and then follow this with a supplementary declaration that must be submitted to HMRC within 175 days of the point of import.


The haulier must have either the reference number from the customs import declaration (CHIEF entry number or CDS MRN) or the trader’s EORI number if the importer has made a declaration in their commercial records. If pre-lodged temporary storage declarations are being used, the haulier needs the inventory consignment reference (ICR).


Find out about delaying declarations for EU goods brought into GB.

The driver must check which type of declaration the importer is making and carry the appropriate evidence.


Goods from other EU countries

As of 1 January 2022, import controls and checks are in place and border locations have processes to control imported goods. Locations where pre-lodgement is needed use the GVMS. Locations using the temporary storage model may also use the GVMS but if they just use an inventory system hauliers will need to follow commercial instructions.


The new procedures are outlined in the imports section of the Border Operating Model.


List of ports using GVMS.


If hauliers are moving goods through a location using the GVMS, they will be required to:

  • ask the importer to provide, for each consignment carried, a unique reference number that proves that a declaration has either been pre-lodged or is not needed – this can be an MRN (for goods declared into CHIEF or CDS)

  • link all these references together into 1 goods movement reference (GMR) for each vehicle movement. Inclusion of safety and security references is an optional extra step. References can be linked in 2 ways:

    • a direct link from the haulier’s own system into the GVMS; or

    • an online portal available in the haulier’s Government Gateway account (if the ferry operator is submitting the ENS, the haulier will need to check how to consolidate this into 1 GMR)

  • for each vehicle movement, update the GMR with the correct VRN – this can be updated to cater for any changes but must be correct when the GMR is presented to the carrier at the point of departure. You must enter references for all the goods being carried in the vehicle into a single GMR

  • instruct drivers not to proceed to the border before all the necessary references are added into a GMR to make it complete, or if any declaration reference has not been accepted onto the GMR, as they will not be allowed to board. Drivers may also be asked by Border Force to provide a GMR with all the necessary references as evidence that are legally able to move goods

  • instruct drivers to present the GMR to the carrier on arrival at the point of departure to demonstrate they have the necessary evidence to legally move goods – this can be presented through paperwork, mobile phone, tablet etc

  • instruct drivers to check whether their vehicle is cleared or not cleared before disembarking and to follow instructions on where to go if checks are required


At the EU border

The driver must have, for each consignment, the EU export declaration MRN as evidence of a customs declaration from the declarant in the EU.


For goods that are in Ireland (or Northern Ireland, where applicable) immediately before their importation into GB, the driver must have evidence of a customs declaration from the declarant in the UK.


For goods imported at locations using GVMS, the driver must present a GMR containing the declaration reference, or references, for all the goods to the carrier.


Some locations that use GVMS alongside other customs models may operate alternative processes. If you’re moving goods through one of these locations, you should check with the carrier you’re intending to travel with about what information you need to clear customs

Some of these processes can be done digitally.


At the UK border


UK authorities do not routinely stop vehicles on their way into the UK to check that they have the correct import customs documents.


However, on arrival, UK Border Force officers may stop vehicles to carry out certain checks. When they do, they may take the vehicle off-line and ask the driver to present the references (for example, GMR, CHIEF entry number, MRN and/or EORI) for each consignment, along with other documentation or information as required.


When goods are imported at locations where pre-lodgement is needed and are moved without sufficient evidence that a declaration has been made, the driver may be liable to a penalty.


On arrival, the haulier and the driver must follow HMRC instructions about whether they need to get the goods checked or if they are able to continue their journey. They may be directed to an IBF for documentary or physical checks of their load if these checks cannot be done at the border.


This currently applies for border locations at Dover, Eurotunnel terminal at Cheriton and Holyhead. The goods must be taken to an IBF directly and must be in the same condition as they were at the time of importation.


A driver can check the status of their goods themselves using the Check if you need to report for an inspection service, as long as they have access to a device that can access the internet, such as a mobile phone.

The person who created the GMR should ensure that the goods arrive at an IBF for a check and that the drivers are made aware or have the means to check if an inspection is required.

It is important that the haulier ensures that their supply chain is compliant and that drivers understand their responsibilities to take goods to an IBF if required.


You may be liable to a penalty of up to £2,500 if you fail to follow HMRC instructions.


Whenever HMRC needs to consider penalties, they will always take into account the facts and what has gone wrong, on a case-by-case basis.


There is detailed guidance available for Attending an Inland Border Facility.