Building Your Business

15 January 2021

As you are aware, the transition period came to an end at 11pm on 31st December 2020, with the UK leaving the European Union’s Customs Union and Single Market. New processes for goods crossing the border, as set out in the Border Operating Model, came into effect at that time. 

Covid-19 testing for HGV drivers using Dover or Eurotunnel

Reminder: the Department for Transport has published guidance for HGV drivers requiring a Covid-19 test before entering France. Guidance can be found here. The Department recommends reviewing the guidance prior to making a journey as it may be subject to change/update. All HGV drivers should also have registered on the Check an HGV is ready to cross the Border service to apply for a Kent Access Permit. The driver could be stopped and fined up to £300 for entering Kent without having a Kent Access Permit, or for making false declarations when travelling to the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel.


If you have any enquiries, please visit: or use the following helpline numbers:

  • HMRC Customs & International Trade Helpline - 0300 322 9434. Opening hours here
  • HMRC VAT / Imports and Exports General Enquiries - 0300 200 3700. Opening hours here
  • Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
    • Vehicle operator licensing enquiries - 0300 123 9000. Opening hours here
    • International Road Haulage Permits - 0330 678 1117. Opening hours here.  
  • Animal, Plant and Health Agency (APHA) - 0300 1000 313. Further details here


Presentation of Local Reference Numbers
It has been identified from industry and French customs officers that hauliers are arriving without the correct transit or import documentation. What seems to be happening is that hauliers are presenting one Local Reference Number (LRN) when starting transit movements at GB Offices of Departure. This is fine if a vehicle is travelling with all of its consignments captured under one Transit declaration. However, if a vehicle is carrying multiple consignments under different transit declarations but does not present all of their LRNs, the goods will be held on arrival in in the EU.

Office of Transit ‘Box 51’
French authorities have advised that several vehicles have arrived in France either without an Office of Transit listed in Box 51 or with an incorrect OoT. If a trader arrives in France without the correct Office of Transit listed, SI Brexit – their new digital border system – will hold the goods. This is because the local NCTS will not have a record of the transit movement or be able to complete Office of Transit digitally, unless this location is declared at the Office of Departure. The French system will need to manually request this data from the original Office of Departure and then process the movement. To avoid this issue, traders are asked to ensure that they are declaring every Office of Transit en route – this means listing the port of entry into every new customs territory.  

Export Accompanying Documents
Across both the French (SI Brexit) and UK systems (GVMS) some traders have been inputting Movement Reference Numbers (MRNs( from Export Accompanying Documents, rather than from Transit Accompanying Documents. This means that the Office of Transit cannot be completed on arrival into the new customs territory and is creating systems errors which may result in goods being held. For transit arrivals in GB, GVMS requires that traders moving goods under transit must submit a Goods Movement Reference at the EU port of departure – this must contain all transit accompanying document MRNs and should not contain EU EAD MRNs. As per the French leaflet, goods arriving in France or the EU must submit an import declaration, transit declaration or logistics envelope, and must not submit UK EADs.


If you have any enquiries, please

  • Cavan
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghon