Once again, the UK is staring down the barrel of a significant logistics crisis. In just a few short weeks, on the 1st January 2022, another hurdle of the “Brexit” process awaits. With the potential to cause delays in Calais and grind imports to a halt, the introduction of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) presents a number of risks to UK industry and European exporters.
To better understand the impact GVMS will have, we need to look more closely at what has been happening over the past 12 months and the efforts of Evolution’s customs team in navigating a period of dynamic geopolitics.
The lead up to the start of 2021 was fraught with concern over the fallout from Brexit. Now, almost a year later, many of the fears were allayed reasonably quickly – Northern Ireland being the possible exception. Concerns of long port delays were generally unfounded and in our own experience, imports went smoothly with minimal disruption. Exports faired similarly, minus the need to raise transit documents for anything other than direct movements, which added time and cost to the process.
At all non-inventory linked ports, there has, essentially, been no frontier. This means that the goods have either been allowed to pass through without the need for a customs entry – either prior to arrival or at the time of arrival. Traders, or their customs agents, have had up to 6 months after the goods have arrived to make a full customs entry.
There has, in essence, been no direct link between UK Customs clearance and a specific truck movement. At the same time, exports have not benefitted from this approach, instead requiring a submission in advance. Without a doubt, this “soft” approach from HMRC has significantly assisted the flow of imports and minimised potential disruptions.
From the start of next year, however, this is changing. From 1st Jan, GVMS records must be completed prior to arrival at the port of export. Vehicles will not be allowed to board a ferry or train if there is no record or if the record is incorrect. For imports, a customer entry must be shown for each individual shipment within the vehicle.
Additionally, drivers must have access to smart technology to use GVMS. This includes the presentation of records upon arrival at the port as well as receiving instructions in the event a record is incorrect or a vehicle is selected for examination during the crossing.
So, how can logistics managers and drivers access this system? GVMS is a web-based platform that can be accessed via www.uk.gov.uk using a Government Gateway I.D. obtainable by any company with an EORI number. Fortunately, this includes non-UK EORI numbers.
Critically, it is the responsibility of the vehicle operator to ensure that a GVMS record is created for each individual movement, with only one record per movement allowed. Full details of how to register, complete records and exactly what is required can be found at:
So, as the UK prepares to lose one of its most significant advantages of the past 12 months, awareness of obligations and what will change is crucial. While the exact impact of GVMS on imports remains to be seen, our team has proven time and again the importance and effectiveness of an experienced customs partner. Looking to meet your GVMS timeframes? Our customs team aims to complete and make available all customers documentation within just 30 minutes.
Preparation is everything, do what you can now to prepare and minimise the disruption to your business by working with a specialist to ensure the smoothest communications between shipper, haulier and the final delivery point and making sure that the correct paperwork is ready and available before the driver arrives at the border.