P&O FERRIES

Europoort - Hull

1 January 2022 Changes to Process

  1. The Ending of Staged Customs Controls and EIDR
  2. ALL Driver Accompanied shipments entering the UK on our North Sea Routes, will require ‘Pre-Lodgement’ using GVMS (The Goods Vehicle Movement Service).

The Dutch authorities guide to these changes is here - Get Ready For Brexit.

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 Netherlands, 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. Please note this is a one-off process. 

  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. Please inform us if you:

    • are shipping an empty vehicle;
    • intend to make a full customs declaration; or
    • intend to ship with GVMS.

    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 also 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).

  7. Pre-lodge customs declarations
  8. You will need to pre-lodge an export declaration with Dutch 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 Dutch export declaration and a transit declaration.

    • Dutch export process
    • Exports from the Netherlands to the UK must receive export clearance in the Netherlands and must be pre-declared for importation into the UK via the Dutch Port Community System of Portbase. Please also ensure that you or your nominated agent notify all customs documents via Portbase.

      If you have not already done so, please register with Portbase ahead of the end of the transition period and familiarise yourself with the new process for exporting goods from the Netherlands. When this information is submitted to Portbase, P&O Ferries will then automatically receive the relevant EU documents and reference numbers.

      When making declarations in Portbase, a PONF prefix should be applied to your P&O Booking reference. For example, P&O Ferries booking reference HU012345678 must be quoted as PONFHU012345678 when making Portbase declarations.  

      Shipment ID’s (also known as Consignment ID’s) must be quoted as the P&O Booking Reference plus a 3 digit number for the Consignment ID. So Consignment ID 1 for Booking Reference HU012345678 must be quoted as HU012345678001 when making Portbase declarations.

      All customs information must be completed and provided within the current booking cut off times and prior to your Accompanied/Un-accompannied unit arriving at the port. The cut-off for bookings information and the supply of Customs details/documentation is 1200hrs on the day of departure. This is to ensure that all information is provided so that your vehicle/unit is shipped on your booked departure if clearance is authorised.

    • UK import process
    • The UK Government is phasing in border controls following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

      • From 1 January 2022: Full import controls on all goods.
      • From 1 July 2022: There will be additional requirements for Products of Animal Origin, such as the introduction of Health Certificates. If your vehicle contains high-risk animal or plant products, you should ensure that the driver has the necessary health certificate(s).
  9. Provide UK customs information to P&O Ferries
  10. 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 will need to use Temporary Storage.

    GVMS - For a full step-by-step guide to shipping with us under GVMS on our North Sea Routes, click here.

    Temporary Storage - For each shipment, you will need to create a UK import declaration with HMRC. You or your agent will be required to claim the goods on arrival in the UK.

  11. Animal or Plant Products
  12. If your vehicle contains high-risk animal or plant products, you should ensure that the driver has the necessary health certificate(s). Any animal or plant products must have 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.


Prior to arrival at Europoort

Units will only be permitted to enter the Terminal if the required export declarations have been submitted in Portbase. Please ensure that your Unit ID is also correctly entered into Portbase as you will not be permitted into the Terminal unless this matches your declaration. Please also ensure that the driver has the necessary plant/animal health certificates if applicable.


Upon arrival at Europoort

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 (unaccompanied) prior to loading.

Once P&O Ferries notifies Destin8 that the consignment has entered the port, Destin8 will notify CHIEF of the arrival. If all declarations have been lodged correctly for UK export, your goods will be granted permission to progress meaning that your vehicle can enter the vessel or your unaccompanied trailer will be loaded onboard.


During the sailing

Upon commencement of the voyage, P&O Ferries will compile an import manifest which will in turn initiate the UK import clearance process.

For Temporary storage, 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:

  • CSN Option 1: You can claim via inputting a Unit ID, Bill of Lading (P&O Ferries Booking Reference) or UCN. If multiple consignments share the same P&O Ferries Waybill/
    Booking Number, then all will be displayed for you to select appropriately.
  • CSN Option 2: If you are looking to claim multiple consignments you can use this option to enter the UVI and/or the cargo broker badge code. This will list all consignments matching these criteria for you to view and select. Please note that you can use transaction TRC to gain the UVI and cargo broker code.

For GVMS, 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 the gov.uk service . Vehicles/units without a release note will not be able to leave the terminal.


Upon arrival at Hull

For Temporary storage, 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.

For GVMS, 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.

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