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Guidance: Transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU by RoRo freight: guidance for hauliers

Guidance for haulage companies and commercial drivers moving accompanied (self-drive) RoRo freight and unaccompanied RoRo freight between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union.

Guidance: Transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU by RoRo freight: guidance for hauliers

Published: 29 April 2024
By Chris Haycock



Section 1: Introduction and background

This guidance is for hauliers and commercial drivers who move goods or pick up/drop off trailers between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union (EU).

It explains:

  • what documents you need
  • how to follow new rules to manage traffic heading to ports
  • new border control processes

Guidance on moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be published separately.

Goods: Personal allowances

If you travel to Great Britain (GB) from outside the UK, there are new rules on goods you can bring in for your own use without paying tax or duty.

Find out about bringing personal goods into the UK and know if you need to declare them.

Rules for drivers and personal food and drink

Drivers travelling to and from the EU should know the rules about what personal food, drink and plants they can take with them. These rules apply to items carried on their person, in luggage or in the vehicle.

Taking food and drink into the EU

The highest risk plants and plant products, including some fruits, vegetables, flowers and seeds, require a phytosanitary certificate before being allowed into the EU.

Drivers cannot take meat or dairy products (for example, a ham and cheese sandwich or coffee with milk) into the EU.

If drivers have banned items with them, or they are not carrying the necessary certification, they will need to use, consume or dispose of these items at or before the EU border. Failure to do so may result in them being seized and destroyed. You may also be fined or face criminal prosecution.

Find out about taking meat and dairy products into the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Bringing food and drink into Great Britain

New rules for bringing animal and plant products from the EU into GB will be announced shortly and we will update the guidance then.

In the meantime, you must not bring over 2kg of pork or pork products from the EU into GB unless they meet EU commercial production standards. Failure to do so poses a risk of spreading African swine fever.

If you have banned items or do not carry the necessary certification, you will need to use, consume or dispose of the banned items at or before the GB border.

Failure to do so may result in the banned items being seized and destroyed, and you could face prosecution.

Find out about personal food, plant and animal product imports.

Securing a vehicle when travelling to and from the UK

UK, non-EU and EU haulage companies and their drivers must secure vehicles coming into the UK to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Drivers crossing the UK-EU border should be aware of the potential threats to vehicles and loads and how they can help stop ‘clandestine entrants’. A clandestine entrant is a person who hides in or on a vehicle to avoid going through UK border control.

If a driver does not secure a vehicle, and is found carrying clandestine entrants into the UK and UK controlled zones, the vehicle’s driver, owner or hirer can each be fined up to £10,000 for each person found (also known as a ‘civil penalty’).

If you are driving a goods vehicle, and it is not adequately secured, you could also get a fine, even if no clandestine entrant is found. You may face a fine of up to £6,000 if you drive a goods vehicle that is not adequately secured. This applies whether you are entering or departing the UK.

A vehicle’s owner, hirer or driver can be fined. For detached trailers, a vehicle’s owner, hirer or operator can be fined. Companies may be liable for fines imposed on their drivers.

The law applies to all arrivals into the UK or UK control zones, including from European ports and via the Eurotunnel.

Keeping vehicles secure

For haulage companies, an effective system includes:

  • written instructions for drivers on how to use the system
  • robust security devices to effectively secure the vehicle, load and load space
  • evidence of training for drivers on how to use the system and security devicesproviding vehicle security checklists to drivers

For drivers, an effective system includes:

  • application of security devices (for example, a padlock, uniquely numbered seals and tilt cord) to secure vehicles after loading
  • checking the security devices and vehicle thoroughly after each stop and before entering the UK
  • recording comprehensive checks on a vehicle security checklist, to show compliance, and have available to present to a Border Force officer

Drivers should follow the guidance on preventing clandestine entrants, and carry this with them throughout their journey.

If someone hides in a vehicle?

If a driver suspects someone is attempting to enter their vehicle or has entered their vehicle, they should contact local police as soon as it is safe to do so. In the UK call 999 or in the EU call 112 before you enter the port.

Inland border facilities

Inland border facilities (IBFs) are UK government sites where customs and documentary checks can take place away from port locations.

IBFs act as an Office of Departure (for outbound journeys) and as Office of Destination (for inbound journeys).

Checks for the following movements are carried out at IBFs:

  • Common Transit Convention (CTC), also known as Transit
  • ATA Carnet
  • Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Carnet
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  • other forms, for example, C108, duplicate lists, etc – check with your trader what you need to carry

An IBF app is available for smartphones on the Google play store and the App store.

Note: Not all hauliers will need to attend an IBF unless required to undertake an Office of Transit check. For example, if you are starting or ending a CTC movement at the premises of an Authorised Consignor or Authorised Consignee and already have a validated Transit Accompanying Document (TAD), you do not need to attend an IBF.

It is important to note that IBFs are not:

  • truck stops/rest points for drivers – drivers should check the amount of driving time left on their tachographs when entering an IBF to minimise risk of having to find a place (elsewhere) for the mandatory rest breaks while also wanting to attend the IBF

Highways England news licensed and reproduced under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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