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If you move goods between the EU and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), you must register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) now or contact a customs agent to help you through the schedule.

From 1 January 2022, full customs controls will apply to all goods moving between the EU and Great Britain. The GVMS system has been designed to enable fast and efficient movement of goods and will be used by many UK ports.

From 1 January, if haven’t received a GVMS reference and attempt to move goods through a GVMS port, you won’t be able to:

  1. Board the ferry or shuttle
  2. Cross the EU/UK border
  3. Clear your goods through customs

You will need to the reference generated though GVMS if you’re a UK or non-UK based haulier in order to book your ferry/shuttle ticket in all cases;

This includes if you’re:

  • an independent driver transporting goods and doing your own customs paperwork
  • a company that sub-contracts to pick up goods on behalf of another business
  • a logistics business, hired to transport goods and complete customs processes on behalf of another business
  • a large retail business, that transports and declares your own goods


The GVMS will enable hauliers, port operators and carriers to use a single GVMS reference for a vehicle or trailer to process it on arrival and departure at the port location that has chosen to implement the pre-Lodgement model, so that on arrival in UK or EU the majority of goods will flow without further intervention. When you use a customs agent for your clearance, it will be easy to generate the GVMS through them ad-hoc on the time of clearance, avoiding this way any mistakes in data input or delays in crossing the border. In order to generate correctly the GVMS reference, a customs agent will need the following data:

  1. MRN of the export or entry number of the pre-lodged import
  2. Port of entry and port of exit
  3. Trailer/truck/van registration plate
  4. Carrier (DFDS, P&O etc)
  5. Notification if vehicle contains goods or not and if vehicle is accompaniated


Each consignment needs a unique reference number that proves that a declaration has either been pre-lodged or is not needed. This can be a:

    • Transit Accompanying Document MRN (for goods moving via Transit)
    • ERN (for goods declared into CHIEF for import)
    • DUCR (for goods declared into CHIEF for export)
    • EORI (for goods where the trader is authorised to make declarations in their own records)

Hauliers moving goods through a port in GB that uses the goods vehicle movement service will need to register for the service to get goods through customs or use a customs agent to issue the GMR on their behalf.

The GMR specifies the truck/trailer license plate and links all these customs and transit declaration references and any Safety & Security declaration references, into one Goods Movement Reference (GMR) for each vehicle/trailer crossing the border. Each GMR contains details for a single crossing by one vehicle and can be used only once. The GMR can be generated by the trader’s customs agent.
The benefit is the haulier only needs to present the GMR to the carrier (ferry, shuttle train) at the frontier to prove that all of their goods have pre-lodged declarations. Without a GMR, vehicles will not be allowed to check-in for their crossing. At Dover Hamilton, we can take care of the GMR and GVMS on your behalf as we have been preparing for the upcoming changes from 1st of January.


  • the direction of the crossing
  • the registration number of the vehicle making the crossing (unless the movement will be unaccompanied)
  • the trailer numbers of all trailers attached to the vehicle
  • details of the planned crossing, if available, including the departure and arrival port, carrier, and departure time
  • whether the vehicle arriving at check-in will accompany the movement on the crossing
  • MRNs for all goods within the vehicle and its trailers that require them
  • safety and security declaration references for all goods within the vehicle and its trailers that require them
  • transit declaration references for all goods within the vehicle and its trailers that require them
  • EIDR, ATA, and TIR declaration references

Depending on whether a movement is import, export, or transit, there are different requirements to get a GMR reference. Get in touch with us if you have any concerns or need help with your UK imports or exports.