P&O FERRIES

Calais - Dover

1 January 2022 Changes to Process


  1. A GMR is required for all vehicles, including empties - For a step-by-step guide on using GVMS to create GMR’s go here.
  2. The French MRN(s) or Envelope Logistique reference number and the GMR ID will be required in order to check-in.

For more information on how to complete your customs declarations for ‘standard goods’ (Non- Transit) when you ship under GVMS, please visit gov.uk.

These changes have been incorporated into the guide 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 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.

    All customers should submit appropriate declarations and populate their GMR with the resulting reference numbers. More information can be found here.

    You can use BEEMS Pre-lodgement to obtain your GMR. It is a purpose-built online product, which you will find on our parent company, DP World’s, CARGOES Community platform. The easy to use tool connects direct to the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) and offers users real-time status updates and notifications on your GMR.

    Alternatively you can use the UK government’s free (GVMS) system to create a GMR.

  9. Animal or Plant Products
  10. All products of animal origin (POAO) and Animal By-Products (ABP) consignments coming from the EU to GB (except from Ireland), must now be pre-notified on IPAFFS, and all plants and plant products categorised as ‘regulated and notifiable’ will need to be pre-notified on either  IPAFFS or the PEACH system.

    If your vehicle contains high-risk animal or plant products, you should ensure that the driver has the necessary health certificate(s). From 1 July 2022, 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. All declarations 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.


At check-in in Calais

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

Drivers of empty trailers must present a GMR.

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

The GMRid will be validated at check-in, and if successful, the vehicle will be given permission to board by HMRC and will be checked-in for shipment by P&O Ferries.


On board our vessel

Customers using BEEMS Pre-lodgement can view the status of the GMR through the tool and users will be sent status notifications by (via SMS and Email). This will indicate if Goods require an inspection at arrival.

Customers using GVMS can view the status of the GMR via the gov.uk service.

Vehicles/units without a release note will not be able to leave the terminal.


Arrival in Dover

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

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