These changes have been incorporated into the guide below.
If you are moving goods into or out of Belgium, you will need an EU EORI number. If you do not already have one, you can obtain it from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first customs declaration. If your business is also responsible for completing the import declaration when the goods are imported into the UK, you will also need an UK EORI number - you can apply here. You only need to register once for each.
Determine whether you will submit import and/or export declarations to each customs authority yourself or whether you will use a forwarder or customs agent for this. You must decide with your supply-chain partners as to who is responsible for the relevant declaration documentation.
Make your initial booking in the same way you always have. Please inform us if you:
Depending on the type of goods you may need to submit additional information about your booking, consignment and goods. If you have made your booking online or via the FBO, you will need to submit this information via the P&O Ferries Freight Portal. If you have made an EDI booking, this information will be automatically sent to the relevant P&O Ferries system without needing to be input into the P&O Ferries Freight Portal.
To add or change Multiple Load Lines (MLL) to a booking this can be done using the latest version of EDI or through the P&O Ferries Freight Portal. Please note that the weight in the initial booking must be the same as the cumulative weight of multiple load lines and all hazardous goods must still be booked through the relevant Freight Booking Office (FBO).
You will need to pre-lodge an export declaration with Belgian customs and an import declaration with HMRC. You can either do this directly or via a nominated customs agent on your behalf. If you are moving goods via the Transit Convention, you will need a Belgian export declaration and a transit declaration.
Exports from Belgium to the UK must receive export clearance in Belgium and must be pre-declared for importation into the UK via the Belgian Port Community System of RX Seaport. Please also ensure that you or your nominated agent notify all customs documents via RX Seaport.
If you have not already done so, register with RX Seaport and familiarise yourself with the process for exporting goods. When this information is submitted to RX Seaport, P&O Ferries will then automatically receive the relevant EU documents and reference numbers. .
The UK Government is phasing in border controls following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
If your vehicle contains any animal or plant products, including high-risk animal or plant products, you should ensure that the driver has the necessary health certificate(s). For more information, please see the UK Government’s guidance on moving animals and animal products and plants and plant products post-Brexit.
There are 2 possible Border Operating Models. If you are shipping Driver-Accompanied, or Transit Unaccompanied, you will need to use GVMS. If you are shipping Unaccompanied you can choose whether to use GVMS or Temporary Storage.
Please choose which Border Operating Model you require the step-by-step guide for on this route:
In order to use GMVS (which is required for Driver Accompanied and Transit, and optional for Unaccompanied) you must complete a one-time registration for GVMS.
For each shipment, you will need to create a UK import declaration with HMRC. You can either do this directly or via a nominated customs agent on your behalf, on the gov.uk website here. For each shipment, you will need to obtain a Goods Movement Record (GMR) from the GVMS system.
Your Entry Reference Numbers (ERNs) for Full UK Import Customs Movements will need to be linked together within the single GMR. Or, if you are shipping under Transit, your Movement Reference Numbers (MRNs) will need to be linked together within the single GMR.
You can create your GMRid’s up to 28 days before your shipment date in GVMS. Each GMR contains details for a single crossing and can be used only once.
Units will not be permitted for loading onto the ship if required declarations have not been submitted in RX Seaport.
All drivers must have all the necessary documentation as outlined in the pre-travel section above, including the necessary plant/animal health certificates if applicable. All drivers and cargo without the necessary documentation risk delays or refusal of entry.
The GMRid will be validated at the entry gate, and if successful, the vehicle will be given permission to board by HMRC and will be checked-in for shipment by P&O Ferries.
Note – the vehicle details entered in the GVMS system must be the same as the vehicle which arrives at the port, or the GMR will not be able to be validated. For Self-Drive this is the Vehicle Registration (cab/plate number), for Unaccompanied this will be the Trailer Id or Container Id.
Vehicles which cannot be successfully validated will not be able to board and may be refused entry to the terminal.
To help avoid validation issues at the port please verify the GMRid on the portal, this will check that everything is in order and that validation will be successful when it arrives.
Drivers should then complete our standard check-in process and move to the loading lanes in preparation to board the vessel (accompanied) or take the trailer where instructed within the yard (transit unaccompanied) prior to loading.
Upon commencement of the voyage, P&O Ferries will compile an import manifest, which will in turn initiate the UK import clearance process.
During the crossing the HMRC risk assessment will be completed and GVMS will be updated with a Free to Proceed or Hold message. Destin8 (Port Community System) will be updated to show a Release Note when GVMS provides a Free to Proceed message. Customers can view the status of the GMR via the same method it was created, or via gov.uk service. Vehicles/units without a release note will not be able to leave the terminal.
If an inspection is required, the vehicle/unit must be presented to Border Force, otherwise (assuming no other agencies have placed a hold on the shipment) is free to leave the port.
Any units which are carrying a mix of Transit goods, or Transit and non-Transit goods will only be cleared to leave the port when all of the formalities for the whole unit are completed.
If required, health inspections of animals and animal products, and plants and plant products, will take place prior to exiting the port.
For each shipment, you will need to create a UK import declaration with HMRC on the gov.uk website, here. You or your agent will be required to claim the goods on arrival in the UK.
Prior to arrival at Zeebrugge
Units will not be permitted for loading onto the ship if required declarations have not been submitted in RX Seaport. Please also ensure that the driver has the necessary plant/animal health certificates if applicable.
All drivers must have all the necessary documentation as outlined in the pre-travel section above. All drivers and cargo without the necessary documentation risk delays or refusal.
Drivers should complete our standard check-in process and then take the trailer where instructed within the yard prior to loading.
Upon commencement of the voyage, P&O Ferries will compile an import manifest which will in turn initiate the UK import clearance process.
You or your nominated agent (the declarant) will then be able to self-nominate the import consignment using the transaction CSN (Consignment Self-Nomination) function within the Port Community System of Destin8. There are two ways of claiming the goods:
Once the vessel arrival has been notified to Destin8 by the terminal operator, Destin8 will send all entries to HMRC’s CHIEF system relating to that voyage. CHIEF then returns a route and subject to their checks, clears the consignments, with Destin8 generating a release note authorising the goods can depart from the Terminal.
If you are unsure and you would like some further guidance post Brexit, check out our Brexit FAQs.