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Q&A: What do hauliers need to know about new rules for moving goods from the EU to Great Britain?

Promotional feature from HM Government

Stepping into the new year brought new changes to the way we import, export and transport goods. From 1 January, hauliers have adapted to new rules implemented by the UK Government after Brexit.

Yahoo Finance spoke to Adam Johnson, a director of independent freight company Tudor International about the changes that came into effect this year, what it means for hauliers and how it’s not too late to take action.

Q: What do hauliers need to know about the new rules?

From the start of 2022, most ports use something called the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS). Hauliers coming into these ports must register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to transport goods between Great Britain and the European Union. After they have registered, they then need to get a Goods Movement Reference (GMR) every time they move goods.

The GVMS system has been designed to enable fast and efficient movement of goods and will be used by many UK ports. If you are not registered and attempt to move goods through a GVMS port, you will not be able to board the ferry or shuttle, cross the GB/EU border or clear your goods through customs.

A full list of GVMS ports is available at: gov.uk/goods-vehicle-movement-ports.

Q: How have businesses you work with found the changes so far?

A lot of people that primarily deal with shipments from the EU into the UK are not used to the terminology and what makes up a customs entry. For example, they are being asked what their commodity codes for the goods are, or if they have a deferment account.

Some people don’t know because they’ve never had to know before. They’ve had to have a lot of education on it over the last few months. There is a wealth of guidance and support available on gov.uk to help businesses navigate through these changes.

Q: Do you have any additional advice for hauliers?

Communication between all elements of the supply chain is very important. Specifically, hauliers need to get to grips with incoterms when they are trading with the EU. Incoterms basically define the responsibilities of each person in the transaction, when goods are moving from one country to another. So, if someone is importing a pallet of books from France to Great Britain, the incoterms will specify which part of the process the buyer in Great Britain and the seller in Europe have agreed to be responsible for.

Is the seller just going to get the box prepared and leave it at the warehouse, or is the seller responsible for arranging the delivery as well? Some people may decide the importer is responsible for arranging the collection in Europe and bringing it to Great Britain while others agree the seller is responsible for the actual transportation.

It is the latter scenario where there is the challenge. You might find that if the EU seller is not familiar with the new UK rules for imports and has not completed a UK customs declaration correctly, then the goods may not be allowed to cross into the country.

Communication needs to increase significantly between the buyer, the seller, the haulier and the customs brokers.

Q: How is it best for hauliers to get organised if they haven't yet taken action?

Adjusting to the new processes might seem daunting at first. But once you’ve started it gets simpler and you become more familiar with the new rules and accustomed to the new ways of doing things.

We have seen this when the first phase of changes were introduced in 2021. But once the first couple of shipments came through successfully, hauliers got into a routine, understood their responsibility and things moved like clockwork. It won’t take long for people to work out what is needed this time round.

Some of the smaller haulier businesses may be most affected if they are not set up in time. To get set up for GVMS, it is not an “instant complete a form and submit”, and you get the papers straight away. You have to make sure you are registered, you have access to an online gateway account, and then you need to create a GMS account.

Time is really of the essence. Hauliers need to act now to avoid any delays.

The information in this article was correct at the time of publication

Read more in our Post Brexit Trade section on Yahoo Finance