GVMS guide

Subject: New GVMS procedures from 1 January 2022 and common errors

Who should read: Hauliers, Carriers, Intermediaries and Border Locations

1. Introduction
This guide is designed to provide additional detail to supplement gov.uk guidance. It brings together the key aspects of using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service to move goods between Great Britain and the EU and is not intended to replace any guidance on gov.uk.
As this information will support the transition to new customs procedures from 1 January 2022, it will not be updated with any future changes to customs. Therefore, we strongly recommend you check gov.uk guidance in all circumstances before moving your goods.

2. Who needs to create a Goods Movement Reference (GMR)
You need to register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) if you're a haulier who will be moving goods through a border location which is operating GVMS for customs control purposes. This includes if you're:

  • an independent driver transporting goods and doing your own customs paperwork
  • a company that sub-contracts to pick up goods on behalf of another business
  • a logistics business, hired to transport goods and complete customs processes on behalf of another business
  • a large retail business, that transports and declares your own goods

You need to register for GVMS if you're a customs agent, freight forwarder or other third-party who has been employed or contracted by those mentioned above, to complete customs procedures on their behalf, which will include creating and monitoring GMRs.
Check gov.uk for a list of all of the locations using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

3. Using GVMS from 29 December 2021, before Go-Live on 1 January 2022
Imports to Great BritainHauliers moving goods from the EU into Great Britain from 00:00 (GMT) on 1 January 2022 can start to prepare their GMR in advance. This means you can create a draft GMR and add declarations to it as you get the reference numbers.
Intermediaries acting on behalf of hauliers can also start to prepare GMRs in advance

Exports from Great Britain
A trader/intermediary will be able to submit a pre-lodged or arrived declaration and create a GMR for any export movements taking place on or after 00:00 (GMT) on 1 January 2022. 
Hauliers, drivers or logistics companies must:

  • make sure your customers/supply chain know which border location you are planning to export the goods via, and the applicable customs control model being used
  • check with the trader/intermediary that they have submitted the correct declaration for the goods and your planned departure border location 
  • make sure you have included the declaration reference numbers for all of the individual consignments in the unit, in a GMR before you arrive at the border location

Traders, exporters, intermediaries, or customs agents must:

*For more information on what you need to include in your arrived export declaration, see the Arrived Exports Customs Information Paper. You can also find completion notes for CHIEF and CDS here on gov.uk.

4. Which references need to be included in a GMR
There are a number of declaration references that must be included in a GMR and they are slightly different depending on the direction of travel.

Imports into Great Britain

  • Common Transit Convention (CTC) = Movement Reference Number (MRN) plus Entry Summary (ENS) MRN*
  • Import declaration = Entry Reference Number (ERN) plus ENS MRN*
  • Entry in Declarants Record (EIDR) = EORI number** plus ENS MRN*
  • ATA Carnet = Carnet Number
  • TIR Carnet = Carnet Number

Exports from Great Britain

  • CTC = MRN plus Exit Summary (EXS) Declaration Unique Consignment Reference 
  • (DUCR)***
  • Export declaration = DUCR
  • ATA Carnet = Carnet Number
  • TIR Carnet = Carnet Number plus EXS DUCR***
  • EXS DUCR***

* Declaration is not required until 1 July 2022

** Must be the EORI number of the person authorised to use Simplified Customs Declaration Procedures (SCDP) (previously known as Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP)) This may not actually be the importer of the goods, but the person contracted to declare the goods on their behalf.

*** EXS required only where there is no full customs declaration which includes the safety & security information.

Note: If you have a TAD MRN and an export DUCR, we advise you enter the export DUCR into the GMR to avoid any delays whilst awaiting confirmation of the TAD being released into Transit from the Office of Departure.
There are, however, some occasions whereby the TAD MRN must be used instead of the export DUCR. These are explained below.

Arrived Export locations or if the trader is approved for Customs Supervised Export (CSE) 
In these circumstances only the TAD MRNs need to be included within GVMS for any export movement which is followed by transit. There is no need to input the export DUCRs separately within GVMS.
Standard Export locations (where the declarations are submitted as pre-lodged) using GVMS or if the trader is not approved for CSE
Export DUCRs must be included separately within GVMS. The TAD MRNs will not be required within GVMS for these movements.
For Rest of World movements starting transit in Great Britain.
The TAD MRN needs to be included in GVMS as there will be no Great Britain export declaration for these movements.

Note: For locations operating the standard export procedure and non-CSE approved traders, an "arrived" declaration cannot be submitted. Declarations must be submitted as pre-lodged. 
The "arrival" of the declaration in the system and "risking" of the declaration will be carried out once the goods reach the frontier and are presented to Customs. As the NCTS system does not link with CHIEF/CDS directly, the export declaration would not be "arrived" and "risked" in the system if they were not included separately within GVMS. Thus, the presentation element of the export procedure would only be achieved if the export DUCRs are included separately within GVMS.
For more information on movements not using Transit but where the trader is approved for CSE, please see the Arrived Exports Customs Information Paper.
What does a declaration reference number look like?
Most declaration reference numbers are 18 digits and are usually made up of numbers and letters. Some examples are:
Import declaration Entry Reference Number (ERN)

  • First 3 numbers are the Entry Processing Unit (EPU)
  • Then 6 numbers and 1 letter which are the CHIEF entry number (ENO)
  • The final 8 numbers are the date from your ERN in the format DDMMYYYY

Example: EPU 123 – ENO 123456A – DOE 01/11/2022

Export Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR)

  • Year – the year the DUCR was generated i.e., '9' for 2019, '0' for 2021 etc.,
  • Country – where the DUCR was allocated
  • EORI – EORI number of the trader (12 characters)
  • Dash '-'
  • Reference – unique to the trader to enable an audit trail within the commercial 
  • records.

Example: 9DCR9GB123456789012-ABC1234
Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) Movement Reference Number (MRN)

  • 2 numbers
  • 2 letters
  • 14 numbers or letters

Example: 12AB12345678910111
Who receives the cleared/held notifications?
The declarant who created the customs declarations will receive notifications from HMRC systems such as CHIEF, CDS, NCTS etc., to advise if their goods have received customs clearance or if any checks are required.
The person who created the GMR will receive notifications to advise if any checks are required these will be updated on the GVMS dashboard and can be found in the 'status' column.
Business processes required for checks
The haulier/logistics manager, intermediary or third party who creates the GMR can print it and hand it to the driver, or they can save it as a .pdf and send it to the driver.
The creator of the GMR will need to ensure the driver in control of the goods knows when they need to report for an inspection. They can either: 

  • Enable the driver to check for an inspection themselves by providing them with a smartphone or internet-enabled device and the relevant GMR; or,
  • contact the driver before they leave the destination port to advise if an inspection is required.

They will need to ensure there is a business process in place for any errors or issues with a GMR outside of standard office hours, so they can:

  • Contact the driver to advise when any checks are required; and,
  • receive contact from the driver in the case of any errors or the driver being turned away at check-in.

The carrier will need to have a process in place for ensuring GMRs are not checked-in if they are in an 'unfinalisable' state; and, to disallow check-in for any movements that are not 
accompanied by a valid GMR.
Who can check for an inspection required notification?
Whoever created the GMR and has access to GVMS can check the status of the movement via the GVMS dashboard.
The driver, haulier manager or intermediary who has access to GVMS will be able to check on the GVMS dashboard, whether there are any checks required.
The driver will be able to check the status of the movement via the 'check if you need to report for an inspection' service.

Where and how to check if an inspection is needed
The GMR contains a link to the 'Check if you need to report for an inspection' service. 
Anyone with the link can use a smartphone or internet-enabled device to access the service. 
You do not need to be registered for GVMS to be able to use the service. However, you do need the GMR to be able to access the correct information.
Anyone who is registered for GVMS can check if an inspection is required by accessing the GVMS dashboard and viewing the status of the GMR.

Where to go for an inspection
Most border locations have space within their boundary which is designated for customs checks.
Drivers need to check where they need to go, within the border location, for an inspection.
Operators of border locations need to have clear processes for drivers to follow, to help them to understand where to go for an inspection.
From 1 January 2022, drivers who bring goods into Great Britain through Dover or Eurotunnel will need to use the check if you need to report for an inspection service to see if they need to take their goods to an Inland Border Facility (IBF) for customs checks. From 1 January 2022, drivers who take goods out of Great Britain through Dover, Eurotunnel and Holyhead will need to use the check if you need to report for an inspection service to see if they need to take their goods to an Inland Border Facility (IBF) for customs checks.
There are IBFs located across the country where drivers moving goods between Great Britain and the EU can take their goods for customs checks away from Border locations. The Attending an inland border facility page on gov.uk has a full list of IBF locations.

Visiting an IBF
When an 'inspection needed' message is displayed on the GVMS dashboard, the driver must go to an IBF as soon as they leave the terminal. 
You only need to attend an IBF if you're travelling through the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead and moving goods that fall within certain categories. 
To speed up the journey and processing time when attending an IBF, drivers, haulier/logistics managers or intermediaries should: 
1. Use the online service to tell HMRC you're attending an IBF. Drivers can also use the 
app to check how busy each site is before they travel so they can avoid delays. 
2. Ensure the driver has all the information and documents they will need to present when they arrive at the IBF.
To download the app, search 'Attend an Inland Border Facility' on the App Store or Google Play Store.
When exporting goods, you must have the Local Reference Number (LRN). LRNs can be entered into the 'Attend an Inland Border Facility' app where they can be associated with a 
vehicle registration number when booking a vehicle into an IBF. 
Consequences of not reporting for an inspection
The haulier and/or driver may be liable to a penalty of up to £2,500 if they fail to follow HMRC instructions.
When importing goods from 1 January 2022, you must follow HMRC instructions about whether you need to get your goods checked on arrival in Great Britain.
You may be directed to an IBF for documentary or physical checks if they cannot be done at the border. This currently applies for the border locations at Dover, Eurotunnel (Cheriton terminal) and Holyhead.
The person who created the GMR should ensure that the goods arrive at an IBF if instructed to do so and that their drivers are made aware or have the means to check if an inspection is needed.

Common GMR errors and how to correct them
There could be a number of reasons why a GMR might not be valid when you check-in. The most common reasons and how to correct them, are as follows:

  • Customs status entered is not applicable for Pre-Lodgement Booking
  • Customer needs to add the appropriate Transit Customs Status to the booking information via the Carrier Booking System.
  • Vehicle ID provided does not match the GMR ID
  • The vehicle registration does not match the vehicle registration on the GMR. You will need to update the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to show the correct vehicle registration.
  • Trailer ID provided does not match the GMR ID
  • The trailer ID does not match the trailer identifier on the GMR. You will need to update GVMS to show the correct trailer ID.
  • Container ID provided does not match the GMR ID
  • The container ID does not match the container identifier on the GMR. You will need to update GVMS to show the correct container ID.
  • Do Not Proceed – The GMR ID is not ready for entry to the port
  • The GMR is not in the correct status to be checked in. You will need to update the GMR in GVMS before returning to the Port
  • The GMR ID is already checked in with HMRC
  • The GMR has already been checked in. It cannot be re-used. You will need to update GVMS with a new GMR before returning to the Port.
  • The GMR ID could not be found at HMRC
  • The GMR is not found on the GVMS. You will need to check the information provided to your Carrier is correct.
  • No GMR has been presented to the Carrier
  • You cannot board the vessel without a GMR. You will need to contact your Haulage company and ask for a copy of the GMR.
  • Short Straits Dual location codes
  • To ensure flexibility when moving goods out of Great Britain via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel there is a dual Freight Location Code (FLC) that should be used. This will help 
  • to avoid errors within the GMR.
  • For example:
  • If the export declaration is created using Dover's FLC but the driver then travels through Eurotunnel using a GMR with the Eurotunnel FLC, it will contain errors.
  • If the driver checks-in without correcting the errors, the GMR will be invalid, and the driver will be turned away until these errors are corrected. 
  • Hauliers, drivers, or logistics companies must: 
  • Ensure your supply chain and, in particular, the trader, intermediary or declarant, know which border location you will be leaving from
  • Make sure you check that they have used the dual FLC if you're exiting via Dover or Eurotunnel.
  • Make sure you have a process in place to contact the declarant, in case of an error within the GMR so they can correct the declaration.
  • Traders, exporters, intermediaries, or customs agents must: 
  • Ensure you know which border location your haulier, driver or logistics company will be using to exit Great Britain with your goods
  • Use the dual FLC if your goods are leaving via Dover or Eurotunnel.
  • Check the correct location codes for RoRo ports for use in CDS or for use in CHIEF.
  • When making import declarations, you should check if the arrival port is using GVMS. If there's a chance the driver may change their routing after the declarations have been created, we suggest using the dual FLC for Dover/Eurotunnel to avoid any potential errors or delays.

Help and support 
HMRC's Customs and International Trade (CIT) helpline is available 7 days a week. Our customer service advisors are available to help you from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm at weekends. You can contact them on 0300 322 9434. 
The standard opening hours for the CIT helpline over Christmas and the New Year are as follows:

  • 24 December: 8am to 10pm
  • 25-28 December: closed
  • 29-31 December: 8am to 10pm
  • 1-3 January: 8am to 4pm
  • 4 January onwards: normal opening hours

You can also contact a specialist adviser using the live chat function on the UK government's haulier website. The service is available in five languages: English, Romanian, Polish, Bulgarian, and Hungarian and can be found here: https://transport-goods-to-and-from-eu.dft.gov.uk/
Out of hours service
We understand that there may be times where goods are stuck at the border and you need urgent, out of hours help. To provide support for these situations, HMRC has already introduced a 24/7 critical care service, through our Customs and International Trade (CIT) helpline. 
The helpline will also be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the Christmas period. Our advisers are on hand to help with emergency queries on importing and exporting

and for urgent issues progressing goods through the border.
From 1 January 2022, the helpline will cover the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) as well. To access this out of hours support, call the CIT helpline on 0300 322 9434 and choose option 1.