P&O FERRIES

Calais - Dover

However you transact with us today, the objective is to get the necessary documentation and information onto our system, which will then be passed on to the correct authorities for you.

A full step by step walkthrough of this process is below.


Initial Steps


  1. Register for an EORI number
  2. If you are moving goods into or out of the UK, you will need a UK EORI number – if you do not already have one, you can apply here. If your business is also responsible for completing the import declaration when the goods are imported into the EU, you will also need an EU EORI number which you can obtain from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first customs declaration. You only need to register once for each.

  3. Responsibility for the import and export declarations
  4. 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.

  5. Make your booking with P&O Ferries
  6. Make your initial booking in the same way you always have. Depending on the type of goods you may need to submit additional information about your booking, consignment and goods. 

  7. Pre-lodge declarations
  8. Please pre-lodge an export declaration with French Customs and an import declaration for Transit movements only with HMRC, as well as the necessary safety and security declarations. 
    If you are transporting an empty unit, then for the French export, this can be declared at check-in, there is no requirement for a formal declaration into French Customs systems to be made. For multiple consignments please create an envelope of declarations, or ‘enveloppe logistique’, here.
    If you are importing standard goods into the UK, you will have six months to complete import declarations. Imports of controlled goods will have to be declared immediately. 

  9. Animal or Plant Products
  10. If your vehicle contains high-risk animal or plant products, you should ensure that the driver has the necessary health certificate(s). From 1 April 2021, any animal or plant products must have the necessary health certificate(s). 


Before arrival at Calais

Exports from France to the UK receive export clearance in France and must be pre-declared for importation of Transit movements into the UK with a Goods Movement Reference - Goods-movement-records-and-references.

Goods moving under the transit procedure must be accompanied by a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD), which can be printed out at the customs office of departure or any printer that can accommodate barcodes. The Transit declaration should be digitally placed within the GMR on the Goods and Vehicle Movement System (GVMS).

Drivers must have all the relevant documentation before reaching the port or their goods will not be able to enter the terminal. P&O Ferries will not be able to process emails containing customs information at check-in.


Day of Travel Process

The Port of Calais has created a user-friendly diagram to follow. You can download it here.

Port of Calais image


At check-in in Calais

Drivers of empty trailers should complete our standard check-in process including border exit checks and move to the loading lanes in preparation to board the vessel.

Drivers of all loaded trailers must present the correct declaration documents; MRN(s) for French export and GMR if appropriate for UK import to our check-in staff on arrival. 

Drivers should inform check-in staff if their vehicle contains live animals, animal products, fish or plant products.


Arrival in Dover

Drivers should follow the appropriate signs on disembarkation. All relevant checks on goods will be performed inland.

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