ENGLISH CHANNEL CHECKLIST
1: Remember to get Movement Reference Numbers
You and your driver need Movement Reference Numbers (MRNs) for each export and import consignment. You usually get MRNs from your customers or their agents. Without MRNs, the driver can’t check in at the terminal.
The MRNs prove that the export/transit and import customs documents are logged in the UK and French systems.
Your driver, the customs agent or someone from your organisation must log the UK export transport in the UK Government’s Smart Freight App before the vehicle enters Kent. When logging the transport in this App you need to verify that the French import declarations have been made, and that you are ready to ship. You then receive a confirmation and can proceed to the port. Without these declarations, your driver may be turned away and fined by the Police en route to the port.
YOU MAY NOT TRANSPORT CARGO ACROSS THE BORDER AFTER DEC 31, 2020, WITHOUT MRNs FOR CONSIGNMENTS.
2: Remember to log a Safety & Security Declaration
According to current regulation, the carrier or his/her agent must log a Safety & Security Declaration in the UK and French customs system for each consignment when transporting goods to and from the EU. Proof of this will also be in the form of an MRN. We recommend that you check up on this regularly on this page.
Are you a UK importer? Special rules apply until July 1, 2021.
3: Remember Cargo Accompanying Documents for inspections
You may need the relevant physical documents (commercial invoices and certificates and licenses) to accompany the cargo. These must be provided to you by your customer or his agent. Please inform your drivers that he will need those for inspections at the border. These may be included:
- Transit accompanying documents (TAD)
- Commercial invoices
- Possible certificates and licenses
For EU imports: if the goods are of animal origin, or fruit and vegetables, there will normally be phytosanitary or veterinary inspections at special Border Inspection Points in or near the port. For most other goods, there may occasionally be inspections. It is important that you check the requirements before the goods leave the depot, as in some case the original health certificates will have to be produced at the Border Inspection Point in France.
Are you customs ready?
Check what you will need prior to arrival and at check-in.
Are you an exporter/importer of goods?
View the Brexit checklist for exporters and importers working with DFDS.
All drivers will also need a passport or valid ID card to cross the border, regardless of nationality or port of entry.
Q&A: Your top Brexit questions answered
What changed when the UK left the EU on December 31, 2020? What's done to avoid congestion and slow check-in at ports? Do unaccompanied trailers require a Security & Safety declaration?
Read the detailed answers to all your questions on how to best prepare your business for UK border control.
Leave customs to us
As an EU certified AEO customs operator in many European countries you don’t have to be a customs specialist yourself – leave it to us. Simply get in touch with us and we’ll handle your customs declarations in your own language and in due time.
Customs tariffs, INCOTERMS, VAT rules in the EU and the UK, EORI number, HS Classification: find it all on our Useful Links page, including relevant UK and EU government websites.