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Queues in Dover and Calais over GVMS confusion

3 weeks after the real Brexit, delays continue at Dover and Calais as operators, hauliers and customs agents struggle to find a way to quickly and correctly process GVMS clearances.

(If you aren’t clear on what the new processes are, download your free Brexit pack now)

Queues up to 9 miles long have been reported at Dover this week due to delays. In addition to the 10-20 minutes that each vehicle takes to process customs checks, confusion over the Goods Vehicle Movement Service continues to cause rejection of vehicles whose Goods Movement Records (GMR) have not been completed correctly.

The problem is mirrored in Calais for vehicles that are coming into the U.K.

What changes were made to customs clearances in Dover on January 1st?

One year after the original requirement for all of your EU shipments to have a customs clearances after Brexit, the phased rollout of restrictions reached a significant milestone. 

All of your shipments now require clearance before crossing the U.K. border, whether importing or exporting.

Container and air shipments have already been following this practice, due to the nature of port movements and inventory systems. However, the process has been less rigid for road movements until now.

During 2021, import customs clearances could be delayed for up to 6 months from the date of arrival using the EIDR process. From 1st January, these delayed import declarations are no longer an option – customs clearances must be completed on arrival.

To process road freight shipments, the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) system has been introduced so that customs clearances can be managed through Dover, and other Ro/Ro ferry ports, when the vehicle embarks from the origin country.

All documents, the import and export clearances, and crossing details must be uploaded to a Goods Movement Record (GMR) before the vehicle arrives at the border. This will then be processed when the vessel leaves origin.

(For full details on the GVMS process, and other important changes to customs clearances in 2022, download a free Brexit Pack)

Why are there issues with customs clearances?

Ferry operators, hauliers, and customs agents are still adapting to the introduction of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service and the pressure it puts on the industry. 

Where your import customs clearances for road shipments could be completed on arrival before, they are now required well before the vehicle embarks so that the haulier can generate a Goods Movement Record. Any delays in paperwork mean that the vehicle can be left waiting.

There is some confusion from hauliers when creating GMRs. Earlier this month, HMRC sent out a list of common errors that were being reported on Dover movements and how to fix them. You can view the list here: Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

Ferry operators are still getting used to the system and reporting back errors to drivers, so it is expected that processing times should go down over time. Once these paperwork turnaround times and user experience improve, the queues at Dover and Calais should be reduced.

Do you need help with clearances in Dover?

UK Customs Solutions and Customs Support Group provide customs clearance services on both sides of the Dover/Calais border. If you need advice, please contact one of our experts or download a free Brexit pack today.

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