Check an HGV is ready to cross the border (Kent Access Permit)

Skip to contents of guide

Apply for a Kent Access Permit (KAP)

You can use this service to:

  • apply for a Kent Access Permit (KAP)
  • check you have the paperwork you need to cross the border between Great Britain and the EU via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel

You must have a KAP to enter Kent if you’re driving an HGV to the EU from the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel. The permit helps manage traffic by confirming drivers have the right documents for EU import controls.

This service is also available in other European languages.

You must test negative for coronavirus (COVID-19) before you cross the border into certain countries. Check if you need a test and when you should get one. Get tested before entering Kent to avoid delays.

When you need a KAP

You need a KAP if your vehicle is both:

  • leaving Great Britain from the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel
  • over 7.5 tonnes

You will need a KAP even if the HGV is not carrying goods or if it is only carrying post.

You need at least one new KAP for each journey.

When your KAP is valid

Each KAP is valid for 24 hours. You can choose when it starts.

The driver must carry a KAP that is valid for the day and time the HGV enters Kent.

You must apply for a second KAP if the HGV will cross the border more than 24 hours after entering Kent. The second KAP must be valid from the day and time the first KAP expires.

The driver could be stopped and fined up to £300 for entering Kent without having a valid Kent Access Permit, or for making false declarations when travelling to the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel.

When you do not need a KAP

You do not need a KAP if:

  • the vehicle weighs 7.5 tonnes or less
  • you are not leaving Great Britain from the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel
  • you are not travelling internationally, for example you’re just driving an HGV through or in Kent
  • you are dropping off a trailer that will be taken across the border

You should still check that your vehicle is ready to cross the border, even if you do not need a KAP.

What this service does not do

This service does not provide any customs or goods-specific paperwork apart from a KAP.

Before crossing the border, you may also need to:

  • make a safety and security entry summary declaration (or ‘ENS declaration’) into the Import Control System (ICS) of the EU country you are crossing into
  • get a local reference number from the shipper (or ‘consignor’) supplying the goods, if you’re travelling to a customs office of departure before taking the goods to the EU
  • make a safety and security exit summary declaration (or ‘EXS declaration’) on the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system

Until 1 April 2021, you do not have to make a safety and security exit summary declaration for certain journeys. Check if you need to make a safety and security exit summary declaration.

Find out more about the documents you need.

What you’ll need

You will need:

  • the expected date and time of arrival of the HGV in Kent
  • the registration number (front number plate) of the HGV

To get a KAP, you will have to confirm which documents you have already. Before you start, check whether you have:

  • an EU import document with a barcode (for example from an import declaration or Transit Accompanying Document)
  • Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA) or Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) carnets

Use the service even if you do not need these documents, or you’re planning to collect them while travelling to the border. The service will tell you if you do not have a document you need.

Find out more about the documents you need.

If you’re carrying specialty, restricted, or controlled goods

You’ll need to confirm you have additional documents if you’re transporting:

  • live animals
  • animal products
  • fish products
  • plants
  • other specialty, restricted, or controlled goods

Find out more about the paperwork needed for specialty, restricted or controlled goods.

Apply for a Kent Access Permit online

To get your KAP, you will have to:

  • confirm you have the correct customs and export documents before the HGV travels
  • complete a self-assessment to confirm you meet EU import requirements

It takes around 5 minutes.

Start now

If you need help

Speak to an adviser online using webchat between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week.

Use the HMRC online support form if you need technical help with the service or more information.

Face-to-face advice for hauliers and HGV drivers

Get advice on the new rules in person at ‘haulier advice sites’ located at some motorway service stations and truck stops. Find your nearest haulier advice site.

What happens next

If the HGV is not ready to cross the border, you will be given instructions on how to get the paperwork you need.

If you have the correct paperwork, a KAP will be emailed to you. Share the KAP with the HGV driver as both an email and a printed copy.