EU Exit: Check how to move goods through ports that use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service

Guide

Last updated 4 July 2021

You need to create a goods movement reference if you’re moving through a border location using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

This is a new requirement at ports using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service. You will not be able to move goods without a goods movement reference and you may face delays at the port.

This service brings together multiple declaration reference numbers into a single goods movement reference. This is to speed up the clearance of goods through customs.

You may need to create a goods movement reference for the following journeys:

  • goods from the EU to Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) – a goods movement reference is only required if you’re moving goods under the Common Transit Convention using a Transit Accompanying Document
  • goods from Great Britain to the EU – a goods movement reference is currently not required in any circumstances
  • goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland – a goods movement reference is required for all movements into Northern Ireland ports using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service
  • goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain – a goods movement reference is only required in the following circumstances:
    • Common Transit Convention movements
    • TIR and ATA Carnet movements
    • movements from the Republic of Ireland to Great Britain through a Northern Ireland port
    • movements from Northern Ireland to Great Britain under a customs special procedure or on a list of goods where specific international processes apply

If your movement type is not listed, you do not need to create a goods movement reference even if travelling through a port using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

These rules will change on 1 January 2022.

If you’re a trader

If you are a trader sending goods, you must:

  1. Check if the port where the goods are arriving is using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service because you need to pre-lodge declarations.

  2. Before the goods arrive at the departure port you must give the haulier your movement reference numbers from any safety and security declarations, import or export declaration, TIR and ATA carnet numbers. Alternatively you must give your EORI number if you are approved to make an entry in your own records.

  3. If your goods are travelling under common and union transit, you must give the haulier the transit accompanying document, as well as the movement reference numbers for any safety and security declarations. A single vehicle may be carrying more than one transit movement. You must give the haulier a Transit Accompanying Document for each movement and a movement reference number for each safety and security declaration.

If you’re a haulier

If your business has been hired by someone to move goods, you must:

  1. Check if the ports where the goods are moving from and to are using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

  2. Register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service if you’re a haulier.

  3. Get a goods movement reference.

  4. You must follow instructions about whether you need to get your goods checked by customs on arrival or if you are able to continue your journey. If a check is required, you will receive a message advising this and you will need to report to Border Force.

If you’re a carrier

If you are transporting a vehicle for a haulier, you must:

  1. Check if the port where the goods are arriving is using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

  2. Get access to the carrier application platform interface (API).

  3. Check if a goods movement reference is valid.