TIR easing burden of new UK customs rules for European operators

Moving goods between the European Union and the United Kingdom is still causing post Brexit headaches for transport firms. TIR is helping ease the pain.

While Brexit took effect on 1 February 2020, a transition period allowed changes in customs procedures to be gradually implemented. 

However, since 1 January 2022, full customs controls apply. Any transport of goods from the European Union into Great Britain must now be registered in the British government’s electronic platform, the goods vehicle movement service (GVMS,) and a corresponding goods movement record (GMR) number must be generated. 

Without a valid GMR number, trucks cannot board a ferry or train between the EU and Great Britain. This major change is affecting not only UK traders, but also transport operators from the EU and beyond. In practice, this new trading arrangement means that carriers must obtain the import clearance number in the UK and enter it into the GVMS before the goods can leave the EU. 

These new rules and procedures have already caused delays for trucks and confusion for drivers and transport workers at Channel crossing points in January 2022. 

However, TIR, the world’s only global transit system, is helping transport firms deal with the administrative complexity and facilitate border crossings into and out of the UK. 

The TIR carnet number for the shipment can easily be declared into GVMS in advance to ensure smooth border procedures and timely pick-up and delivery of goods in Great Britain, even if the truck carries multiple consignments.

Belarusian company MotorLand-Transit is successfully using TIR procedures for UK movements, and has already declared several TIR transports into GVMS in January 2022. The company confirmed to IRU that the registration process was easy, and that only the TIR carnet number is required to obtain a GMR number. After that, crossing the border is smooth and trouble-free. 

Romanian transport operator VIOMARGROUP also found the GVMS system to be easy to use. The TIR data was entered by a broker, who quickly received a GMR number so that the driver could board the ferry without any issue.