Trade Alert

Pre-lodged import declarations for GVMS operated ports

By Nicholas Tate

Great Britain (GB) border locations will use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) and pre-lodged declarations to support imports (and exports) from 1st January 2022. These new rules will affect RoRo shipments arriving via ferry and Eurostar. GVMS has been live for movements to and from Northern Ireland and GB-EU transit movements since 1st January 2021. Traders should update their procedures to meet the new rules and check their hauliers are ready for the changes.

Why the need for new procedures?

GVMS was developed around the pre-lodgement model to help to process truck and trailer cargo to take pressure away from the frontier. There are currently two models of goods imports to a customs territory - temporary storage and pre-lodgement. Temporary storage allows goods to be held securely on arrival whilst import clearance formalities are undertaken. Under the pre-lodgement model, goods declarations are submitted before goods board the ferry or Eurostar, and clearance is undertaken whilst goods are in transit.

Goods entering GB via ferry ports, with no facilities to hold cargo, cannot be processed under the temporary storage model. GVMS prevents vehicles from boarding at the port of departure until the pre-lodged import declaration has been submitted.

How does it work?

GVMS is an online service for carriers (typically road hauliers) to register their vehicles and cargo with the UK authorities by creating a Goods Movement Record (GMR). The carrier must complete details related to the journey, vehicle registration number, or trailer registration number (if goods are unaccompanied) and the Movement Reference Number (MRN) for each consignment of goods loaded on the vehicle.

The MRN is supplied to the importer by HMRC after the pre-lodged customs declaration has been accepted. To make a pre-lodged declaration, importers require an EORI Number, a deferment account (for paying duties and taxes) and software for processing declarations. Safety and Security declarations will be required from 1st July 2022. Importers of animals, animal products, plants and plant products may need an IPAFFS entry. IPAFFS has replaced the EU system TRACES.

GVMS issues a GMR number and barcode once approved; the confirmation may be printed or saved to a smartphone. Checks are undertaken whilst goods are in transit, and the driver of the vehicle will be directed to an inspection point on arrival if necessary.

Process for importing to GB via GVMS border locations:

- Importer makes pre-lodged declaration

 - EORI Number

 - Deferment account

 - Software for processing declarations

 - Commercial Invoice from Exporter

- Road haulier creates a GMR

 - GVMS account

 - MRN(s) supplied by the importer(s)

 - IPAFFS entry for certain goods

- Road haulier boards ferry/Eurostar

 - Goods are cleared for entry on arrival

 - On arrival driver directed to GB inspection point if required

What should I do to prepare?

1) Check whether your goods enter via GVMS port

Details can be found at

2) Liaise with your haulier

See if they have registered for GVMS and have procedures in place for their drivers. Details can be found at

3) Prepare to make customs declarations

Obtain an EORI number and deferment account authorisation.

Buy commercial software to make a customs declaration or outsource to a customs agent.

Talk to a Just Trade representative to arrange for Just Trade – Declaration account access. Email to arrange a demonstration. Further details from

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