Guidance

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

If you're a trader, haulier or carrier and use a UK port using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service, find out what you need to do to get goods through customs.

You need a goods movement reference to move goods from:

  • the EU to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales - for transit movements only
  • Great Britain to Northern Ireland

You may need to use a goods movement reference for Northern Ireland to Great Britain movements (for example a transit movement).

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.

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.

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.

Published 8 December 2020
Last updated 17 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Information about if you're a haulier using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service has been updated.

  2. First published.