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The government has revealed that one of its major IT systems for overseeing customs controls on goods entering and leaving Britain is experiencing “ongoing issues” and that interim measures have been put in place until midday Thursday (7 April).

The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) allows hauliers carrying goods through certain UK ports to pre-lodge customs declarations in advance of their crossing the British border.

The haulier usually generates a Goods Movement Reference (GMR) using GVMS, which is then presented to the ferry operator before their vehicle boards the ship heading towards or out of Britain.

‘Interim measures’

While the issues with GVMS are being resolved, hauliers can provide one of the following if they do not already possess a GMR for their goods movement:

  • Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) for goods moving under Transit procedures
    • if unable to provide this, the haulier can provide print or digital copies of copy 4 of the single administrative document (SAD)
  • Movement Reference Number (MRN)
  • Entry Reference Number (ERN)
  • Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR)

Hauliers driving empty vehicles will be able to provide just an EORI number beginning GB.

Arriving declarations

If the goods land in Britain during the interim period, the importer, exporter or intermediary that completed the declaration will need to login on to the customs IT system it was submitted on to send an ‘arrival’ message to confirm the goods have entered Britain.

The arrival message is usually done automatically on the system used – either CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight system) or CDS (Customs Declaration Service) – but this will need to be done manually until GVMS is back in operation on Thursday.

Stay up-to-date

IOE&IT Academy director Aimee Maltman told the IOE&IT Daily Update that traders need to ensure their hauliers have the required information and to stay up to date with government updates about the situation with GVMS.

“Traders should review today’s guidance from government and keep an eye out for any further announcements,” she said.

“It’s also important that all parties involved in the goods movement communicate with each to ensure that the person who submitted the declaration is aware that they will need to manually send the arrival message in CHIEF or CDS,” she added.

Traders and hauliers can check the latest government guidance regarding GVMS’s availability and planned downtime periods here.