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.
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.
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 booking in the same way you always have, whether this is via: EDI, an online credit account, an authorised auto list, the new Pay ‘n Go web and app or whether you just turn up at the port. Depending on the type of goods you are carrying, you may need to submit additional information about your booking, consignment and goods.
Pre-lodge an export declaration with HMRC and an import declaration with French Customs, as well as the necessary safety and security declarations. If you are transporting an empty unit, then for the French import, 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 despatching a lorry that contains animal or plant products, you should ensure that the driver has the necessary health certificate(s).
Exports from the UK to France must receive export clearance in the UK and must be pre-declared for importation into France with MRN (Movement Reference Number) barcodes, issued by French customs. Barcodes can be in physical paper form or digital form (via a smart device).
If drivers have multiple MRNs these must be grouped together using the Envelope Logistique service. This means they will then have one master MRN which will speed up the check in process. This service can be found here.
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. The image below from French customs shows which documents will need to be scanned in order to be able to enter France.
Drivers will also need to have at least six months left on their passports to be able to enter into France.
To help hauliers and HGV drivers understand if they are carrying the right documentation, the UK Government is developing a new web service called “Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border” (also known as the Kent Access Permit). All HGVs over 7.5 tonnes exporting freight from GB to the EU from 1 January 2021 will need a Kent Access Permit – additional information can be found here.
For rules on carrying pets, read below:
If a customer is carrying pets (up to 5) then the following health checks must be done on the animals in advance of travelling:
For rules on carrying horses, read below:
If a customer is carrying horses then the following steps must be taken prior to arrival at the port of Dover:
The Port of Calais has created a user-friendly diagram to follow. You can download it here.
Please also download the very useful mobile app the Port of Calais have created to help guide you and keep you updated.
Drivers will be asked a series of questions to establish the contents of the vehicle and supporting documentation.
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 MRNs to our check-in staff on arrival (including for transit documentation where applicable).
Drivers should inform check-in staff if their vehicle contains live animals, animal products, fish or plant products.
Drivers should check the TV screens in the Freight Drivers Lounges which will indicate whether each vehicle has been cleared by French authorities to exit the port immediately on arrival (green/VERT) or has been selected for examination (orange).
The on-board display will show ORANGE-DOUANE for customs checks and ORANGE-SIVEP for animal and plant health controls, see below:
Port of Calais has developed an app called "e-border Calais port", allowing drivers and hauliers to check the customs status of the goods transported, in the lorry or the trailer during the crossing. You can find it here.
Drivers should follow the appropriate signs on disembarkation - take either the orange or green lane depending on their clearance status.