Updates on GVMS, the Border Target Operating Model and alcohol import procedures

Mon 15 May 2023
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Black keyboard with amber symbol of moving lorry in place of 'enter' sign

The IOE&IT Daily Update often provides summaries about the government’s customs-related announcements, particularly pertinent rule changes and IT systems updates.

This week this includes an update to the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), reminders about the ongoing public consultation on the draft Border Target Operating Model (TOM) and a note from HMRC warning about the abuse of alcohol import procedures.

GVMS enhancement

From tomorrow (16 May), HMRC is updating GVMS to enable users to upload up to 2,500 import movement reference numbers (MRNs) for EU-to-GB goods movements.

This is an enhancement of the service, as users currently have to upload multiple MRNs individually, though users will continue to be able to upload MRNs individually if they so choose.

To upload multiple MRNs, users will need to upload a file with the following criteria:

  • Must be in .csv, 2007-present .xlsx or .ods format
  • Have one MRN per row
  • Column 1 used for MRN reference
  • Column 2 for Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), or ‘Safety and Security’, MRNs

HMRC’s Joint Consultative Committee (JCCC) has said the web UI will provide onscreen upload instructions.

TOM survey

The government’s public consultation on TOM ends later this week (19 May). The IOE&IT is conducting its own survey on the changes the model will introduce for importers here, which is closing on Wednesday 17 May.

Anna Doherty, a senior customs and trade specialist at the IOE&IT, last week urged traders to have their say on the draft border plan.

“The Border Target Operating Model will have significant implications for traders, especially those moving goods subject to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls.

“Traders have a great opportunity to influence the government’s direction on the border plan through the IOE&IT’s survey, so make sure to complete it before Wednesday 17 May.”

TOM webinar

The IOE&IT is also running a free 90-minute webinar about TOM on Tuesday next week (23 May), which you can sign up to here.

The webinar will include an update about the new ‘risk categorisations’ that were recently announced for businesses moving goods that are subject to SPS controls.

Abuse of alcohol import procedures

The JCCC has written to industry stakeholders with a warning about criminals who are “trying to deceive customs agents into submitting incorrect import entries for alcohol”.

The committee’s regular border bulletin explains:

“False or misleading information is being supplied by importers or their representatives, leading to loss of UK excise duty and VAT.

“Some of these importers claim to be genuine businesses whose identities have been hijacked, others are bogus firms who default on payments due to HMRC.”

Customs agents representing alcohol importers have been warned to be diligent to not “unwittingly” support this activity as it is a “crime that hurts both genuine businesses and the public purse”.

JCCC has warned that the main areas of concern are “alcohol described as zero strength, low strength or subject to reliefs”. You can read more about tax types to look out for here.