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UK border changes see trucks delayed for days

Changes to the operation of the EU/UK border came into force on the 1st January 2022, with the full customs clearance of imports from the EU, but the crashing of HMRC’s new IT system left trucks stranded at Calais for four days.

The 1st January 2022 imposition of full customs declarations for imports from the EU, got off to the rockiest of starts when HMRC’s new IT system, the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), crashed on day one, with trucks stuck at Calais for four days.

HMRC quickly restored the crashed GVMS system, but hauliers have been experiencing additional delays around the production of the Goods Movement Reference (GMR), which is required before trucks can enter the loading port.

Queues of up to eight hours continue to be reported by drivers, who complain about long delays at Calais, with queues stretching to the A16 motorway outside the town, which they attribute to the new rules, with 20% to 25% of trucks sent to the inland border park at Calais for extra checks because of incorrect paperwork.

Our European operations continue to run smoothly, with full compliance from our haulier partners and while we were expecting to see some ‘issues’ at the border, we have been surprised how many importers have been caught out.

While some customers have been concerned about compliance with the new EU/UK border processes, delays and additional red tape, our customs expert, Michelle Redman, has been supporting and guiding them through easement and regime changes, to ensure that their EU/UK movements continue to flow smoothly across the border, in full compliance with all controls.

If you would like to discuss your situation, review your options for imports from the EU, or simply learn how we can simplify customs declarations for businesses of all sizes, please contact Michelle directly and she will take you through your best options.