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Brexit: from 1 January 2022 new customs rules

From 1 January 2022, the new customs procedures for import/export operations between the European Union and Great Britain will come into force. The measure was launched by the British government to avoid the difficulties in supplying goods that characterized the first year of Brexit, leading to the lack of goods on the shelves of British stores.

The new rules provide, in particular, for the complete control of goods through a digital pre-registration necessary to be able to access UK ports and airports.

Let’s find out in detail what are the news concerning the transport of goods to and from the UK.

Brexit: new procedures for goods control at customs

About a year after the start of Brexit, the British government updates customs rules to facilitate the fluidity of goods traffic in trade with the European Union. To simplify customs clearance of goods, the new provisions include a number of pre-registration activities, which are necessary for importing goods into the UK.

Specifically, the logistics company in charge of the transport of goods (the transport company or the haulier) will have to register on the English digital platform GVMS (goods vehicle movement service), the service dedicated to the circulation of goods vehicles. The telematic procedures provide that the sending of data relating to the shipment has to be done before arriving at the port or airport, through the digital generation of a GMR code, mandatory for each incoming truck.

GMR code: what is it?

The GMR code – Goods Movement Referenceis the unique reference number associated with each vehicle transporting goods to the UK.

The transporter must submit the GMR generated on the GVMS platform at the time of boarding. In the absence of the truck’s identification document, the driver will not be able to board the ferry or pass through the Eurotunnel, and therefore cross the border between the EU and the United Kingdom.

Rules Brexit

Customs checks: from the green channel to goods verification

Following obtaining the GMR number, the shipper sends a customs pre-lodge on the electronic system containing all the data contained in the customs declaration. Consequently the carrier receives a return message containing information relating to the outcome of the customs clearance, to any type of verification required and to the place to go for customs control.

The customs pre-lodge can receive three different outcomes, which are:

  • green scanner, e.g. no control necessary,
  • automated control of the truck with scanner,
  • physical inspection of the truck and goods. In the latter case, the driver is escorted to the inspection site in one of the dedicated external points (Inland Border Facility).

For those who trade food products, it is also necessary to present the health certificates required by law during the pre-lodge phase.

The logistic partner for import/export to UK

It is important for a logistics company that manages commercial exchanges with Great Britain to be structured with a forwarder in the UK in order to be able to monitor the entire handling and thus better manage the related bureaucratic aspects.

Relying on a third-party logistics company such as MWM for trade with Great Britain allows you to make use of a competent partner, always updated on new procedures and able to follow the shipment in all its operational and administrative phases.

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