Since 1 January 2021 a range of new steps must be completed in order to move goods under the transit procedure via the UK. Depending on the model used by operators to manage the transit (e.g. in-house or via a customs agent), there is flexibility as to who completes a number of steps. It is therefore vital that all actors in the transit chain (e.g. traders, logistics companies, customs agents, hauliers etc.) understand and agree in advance who is responsible for each of the steps along the route. Failing to clarify this will disrupt your trade and lead to possibly severe delays including not being given permission to enter Ports or board ships.
The term “Responsible Operator” is used below to cover all relevant actors within the transit chain (e.g. traders, logistics companies, customs agents, hauliers etc.) who, depending on circumstances, may complete the required processes and steps.
Set out below is an overview of the steps traders should take when moving goods under transit between Ireland and Belgium. The example is for illustrative purposes and should be taken as broad advice only. It is up to the responsible operators to ensure that they understand the precise steps required to move their specific consignments across their chosen transit route and who will be responsible for completing the various steps.
Where vehicles containing Union animal products (excluding consignments of animal by-products which must be sealed) are consolidated during transit of Great Britain with non-Union animal products, the vehicle can no longer benefit from the flexibilities provided for EU-EU transits on re-entry, as the presence of UK goods will require the vehicle to be presented to the border control post for official controls including the necessary identity and physical checks.
Note in addition, that transiting consignments of Union animal products are not permitted to be unloaded in warehouses in GB as, if the goods are unloaded, they will require to be certified by the UK authorities for export to the EU.
The list of Belgium’s designated BCPs is available here.
Ireland – Great Britain
1. Live animals and germinal products must always be accompanied by the relevant intra-EU trade certificate. The Responsible Operator must give 24 hours prior notification by submitting Part 1 of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED) in the TRACES NT
Note: The Belgian authorities do not require prior notification in TRACES NT of consignments of products of animal origin, composite products, animal by-products and derived products, and hay and straw.
2. Consignments of animal by-products must be sealed by the responsible operator.
3. The Responsible Operator submits a combined exit summary declaration and transit declaration onto the NCTS system.
Where required, the CHED reference number generated at step 1 above must be included on the transit declaration. This generates a S(TAD) – a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) that contains safety and security information - with a unique Movement Reference Number (MRN).
4. Create a Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) on the Customs RoRo service. The PBN must include the MRN of the (S)TAD. If the vehicle contains several consignments, the MRNs of all the declarations must be included in the PBN.
5. Once the PBN is completed, the driver can check if they may proceed to Dublin or Rosslare Port using the Customs RoRo Service. The hard copy (S)TAD must travel with the goods. The driver provides the PBN details to the Ferry Operator at check in. If all is in order, the vehicle will be allowed to board the ferry.
Note: If you are moving animals/ SPS goods as part of the transit UK transit requirements also apply. These are detailed in the table here.
7. Clarification is being sought from the UK authorities regarding the date that the requirement for pre notification of consignments of animal products transiting the Landbridge and Transit Health Certificates will be introduced.
The process of getting a Transit Health Certificate is the same as getting an Export Health Certificate and depends on your commodity type. More information on getting a Transit Health Certificate is available from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The UK will also introduce the requirement for Safety and Security declarations for all import consignments on 1 July 2022.
In Great Britain
8. Upon arrival in Great Britain, if all is in order, the driver does not have to interact with Border Force as the office of transit function will be completed digitally using the GVMS information. GVMS is in operation at Holyhead, Liverpool and Fishguard. If GVMS is not operational, a call at an Office of Transit is required to have the (S)TAD stamped.
9. From 1 October 2021, safety and security declarations will be required for goods leaving Great Britain, including in RoRo vehicles, and for empty containers, pallets and vehicles moving to the EU under a transport contract.
Goods moved under common transit procedures from Great Britain to Ireland, where the goods are destined for Northern Ireland are permanently exempt from these UK safety and security export requirements.
10. Hauliers moving goods through the UK may wish to be aware of the operation of a number of UK Government haulier advice site locations
throughout the UK where hauliers can check their documents prior to travelling to the port. Hauliers can also take a free covid-19 test at some locations.
As of 20 April, there is no longer the requirement to obtain a ‘Kent Access Pass’ prior to travelling to ports in Kent.
Great Britain - Belgium
11. Transit details will be shared electronically with Belgium’s Customs Declaration System through NCTS. The haulier may need to provide MRN of TAD and/or the paper TAD at check in at the UK port of departure. The ferry operator will submit an entry summary declaration for all goods on board the ferry.
12. Prior to arrival in Belgium, any accompanying drivers should check the status of the lorry to confirm whether it is required to call to Belgian customs.
13. Once no issues are noted by the Belgian authorities, the responsible operator(s) have completed all the stages correctly and the load is moving under transit, the driver should be given a 'green' routing and will be allowed to leave the port without interacting with Belgian customs and proceed to close the transit.
14. If the goods are being delivered to an Authorised Consignee, the goods can proceed directly to the trader’s premises. The Driver hands over the TAD with the delivery to allow closure of the Transit. If the customer is not an authorised consignee, the Driver must call at an Office of Destination to complete the transit formalities. Once all the steps are performed, the transit is closed on the NCTS system and the financial guarantee is automatically released.