Forth Ports is Ready for Final Brexit Implementation Phases in 2022

Border Control Requirements from 1 January 2022 for European Union and Rest of World Goods

The UK left the European Union (EU) Single Market and Customs Union 31 December 2020. Despite the UK entering into a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU which includes a Free Trade Agreement, all goods passing to and from the EU now require a Customs declaration and have been subject to customs controls since 1 January 2021.

On 14 September 2021, the government announced a revised timetable for introducing import border control processes, in recognition of the impact the global pandemic has had on supply chains.

The controls for export movements were fully implemented on 1 January 2021.

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The remaining controls on imported goods will be introduced in 2 stages and can be found in the updated Border Operating Model. The changes in relation to inventory linking also impact rest of the world goods.

• Importing from 1 January 2022

Import Declaration Requirements
From 1 January 2022, all goods will require either an import customs entry number and customs cleared status, or a transit accompanying document (TAD) before the goods can be released from the port. The importer is responsible for making these declarations, although it is common for the process to be outsourced to a customs agent.

Delayed declarations for EU goods which could be made up to 175 days from arrival in the UK in the form of Entry In Declarants Records (EIDR) will no longer be available.

Inventory Linking Requirements
Forth Ports operate temporary storage and as a result, all import and export movements must be inventory linked on either Destin8 or CNS from 1 January 2022, although Forth Ports are looking to adopt this process from 1 December 2021, to ensure new process is embedded in. This change impacts both movements from the EU and the rest of the world.

It is important the UCN is claimed before transmitting the customs declaration to ensure the port has visibility on the customs status of each consignment. The UCN is a Unique Consignment Number generated by either Destin8 or CNS when the carrier creates the manifest within the system. Click here to view a summary of the inventory linked systems at Forth Ports facilities in the UK.

• Importing from 1 July 2022

Import Safety & Security Declarations
Import safety and security declarations will be required from 1 July 2022 for movements of goods from the EU. The carrier is responsible for making these declarations in the S&S GB service system. For Ro-Ro movements these must be made 2 hours in advance of arrival. For bulk and short sea containerised cargo, 4 hours before arrival.

Sanitary & Phytosanitary Requirements
Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) documentary, physical and ID checks will take place at designated Border Control Posts (BCPs) at the port, instead of at Places of Destination. All regulated plant and plant products will need to be accompanied by phytosanitary certificates, and animal origin goods will need to be accompanied by a certified Export Health Certificate.

Forth Ports are currently working closely with local authorities to expand the BCP coverage and categories available at our facilities by 1 July 2022. Click here to view the current and applied for BCP status at Forth Ports locations across the UK.

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Forth Ports Approvals & Facilities

Forth Ports was the first multi-purpose port group to obtain Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status and has worked closely with government departments, local authorities, agencies and industry to prepare for the changes in trading arrangements. Forth Ports already has extensive experience in handling non-EU goods – as such all our ports have existing Temporary Storage approvals and I.T. systems in place to handle goods subject to Customs and border controls. Whereas only unitised cargo handled is currently inventory linked, legally from 1 January 2022 all cargo arriving at all Forth Ports facilities must be inventory linked. Forth Ports has existing Border Control Posts (BCP), CTC Transit and Border Force facilities and has finished constructing enhanced and new BCPs  facilities which will become operational as and when required during 2022.

As the ports have designated Temporary Storage areas, legally the goods can remain within these areas up to 90 days before the goods need to be Customs cleared, but cannot leave the port’s control until a Customs declaration has been submitted and cleared by HMRC.

Please note in respect of bulk products, goods that have not been customs cleared cannot be stored with cleared goods.  We are therefore requesting that where bulk products are being imported that the customs clearance for these goods are pre-lodged with HMRC so the goods should customs clear on arrival of the vessel in most instances.

Common Transit Convention and Transit Facilities

The UK became a member of the Common Transit Convention in its own right on 1 January 2021, and is now a Common Transit Country. Transit is a Customs procedure that allows goods to move between the EU and Common Transit Convention (CTC) countries with duty and VAT being accounted for in the country of final destination. CTC countries are UK, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia, as well as the EU.

Port of Tilbury, Tilbury2 and Port of Grangemouth are registered as Offices of Departure, Transit and Destination, and can handle any unitised Transit cargo. A Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) is required to travel with cargo and must be presented to the local Border Force Transit Office. If you are interested in moving cargo under Transit please contact our team (details below), prior to shipping:

Port of Tilbury including London Container Terminal and Tilbury2: Neil Davis can be contacted at

Port of Grangemouth: Craig Torrance can be contacted at

Are you ready to import and export?

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All goods entering the UK must be accompanied by a customs declaration. In order to make a Customs declaration, or ask and agent to complete one on your behalf, you will need to:

  • Make sure you have a GB EORI number
  • Identify the correct 10 digit Commodity codes for goods being imported, using the UK tariff
  • Check if your goods are subject to additional import controls such as licensing, certificates or sanitary and phytosanitary checks
  • Establish the country of origin of goods being imported, alongside any applicable preference statements or certificates if there is a trade agreement in place
  • Decide on Customs entry method based on cargo type i.e. Full declaration, CFSP entry, Transit movement
  • Appoint a Customs intermediary to handle your Customs declaration
  • Obtain or have access to a deferment account for settlement of any import duty/VAT

Further information on Customs declarations for imports can be found here.

Forth Ports are CFSP authorised and can offer a Customs intermediary service in respect of your Customs declarations. For more information please click here.

1 January to 31 December 2021 (ports operating mixed models)

For inventory-linked ports
All rest of world goods require an import customs declaration and clearance before they can leave the port.

EU goods can be removed from the port with either with an import customs declaration or a simplified EIDR release. This simplified procedure is only available within Destin8 and CNS until 31 December 2021.

For non-inventory linked ports
For non-controlled goods, traders must either complete an import declaration or create an EIDR record. Goods can leave the port without further customs control until 31 December 2021.

For controlled goods, traders must pre-lodge their import declarations in advance of arrival in the UK, and should be cleared before leaving the port. For excise goods moving under suspension, an EMCS movement should also be raised before the goods leave the port.

1 January 2022 onwards (all ports inventory linked)

From 1 January 2022, all goods imported from the EU as well as rest of the world will be subject to standard Customs control. There are two main Customs models that ports are required to choose from in order to manage the movement of goods through their facilities at the border; Temporary Storage model or the newly developed Pre-Lodgement model, which is supported by a new I.T. platform called the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS).

Forth Ports will be using the Temporary Storage model at all our ports. Our I.T. systems have been developed to handle Temporary Storage cargo and have the capabilities to offer the GVMS Pre-lodgement model in the future, however, this is subject to the services offered by shipping lines. GVMS can currently be used for Transit movements and accompanied traffic at Tilbury2.

All of our ports will be inventory linked from 1 December 2021 in preparation for 1 January 2022, meaning both vessels and cargo shall need to be manifested in the relevant system (Destin8 or CNS). All declarations need to include the relevant UCN in the Master Unique Consignment Reference (MUCR) field when transmitting to CHIEF or CDS.

Please note that any delay in submitting your Customs declarations after 31 December 2021 will prevent goods being released by the port, as the port can only release goods imported via Temporary Storage that have been Customs cleared by HMRC. The port will check in Destin8 or CNS to confirm the live clearance status of the goods prior to release.

All goods leaving the UK require an export customs declaration, and cannot be loaded until permission to progress (P2P) status is granted. In order to make a Customs declaration, or ask an agent to complete one on your behalf, you will need to:

  • Have a GB EORI number
  • Establish correct 8 digit Commodity codes for goods being exported using the UK tariff
  • Appoint a Customs intermediary to handle your Customs declarations
  • Check if your goods are subject to any export licence controls
Exporting Goods from UK from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, Customs declarations have been required when you export goods from the UK to the EU – there was no phased approach in respect of exports from the UK.

Ports obligation in respect of exports from 1 January to 31 December 2021

For inventory-linked ports
Please note the port cannot load any goods to a vessel unless a Customs declaration has been submitted and accepted by HMRC and Permission to Proceed has been granted. This information should be reflected against the export manifest in Destin8 or CNS Compass.

For non-inventory linked ports
Traders exporting goods from the UK to the EU need to submit an Arrived export declaration for all goods. The declaration is instantly risk assessed by HMRC and a routing provided. If a physical check is required, the goods are directed to a site for a check. Once all checks have been completed, or if Permission to Proceed (known as P2P) has been issued straight away, the goods can then be moved to the port and continue their journey (subject to checks for Strategic exports). If goods are brought to the port before export declaration is submitted to HMRC, the export declaration must be submitted and Permission to Proceed granted before the port can load goods to vessel.

Ports obligation in respect of exports from 1 January 2022

There are no changes to the customs requirements for exports in 2022. The only impact will be that all export movements are now inventory linked. Please note the port cannot load any goods to a vessel unless a Customs declaration has been submitted and accepted by HMRC and Permission to Proceed has been granted which is visible in Destin8 or CNS Compass.

Guidance for Hauliers

As Forth Ports has operated the Temporary Storage model since 1 January 2021, there will be no changes to the current Vehicle Booking System (VBS) process to drop off or collect unitised cargo at any of our unitised terminals.

The only change for hauliers is if they are carrying goods that are moving under Transit. Where the port acts as an Office of Departure these cargoes require a TAD to be processed by Border Force, or where the port is acting as an Office of Transit in respect of Export, the TAD accompanying the cargo must be presented to Border Force before they deposit the unit at the relevant terminal.

Please see contacts listed under Common Transit Convention and Transit Facilities for site specific requirements.

Guidance for Shipping Agents

You are required to register the vessel and manifest the cargo in advance of arrival, unless otherwise agreed with the carrier and port. This will require obtaining a specific role within Destin8 and / or CNS Compass which enables you to perform these functions.

We would encourage you to create the manifest for the cargo at the earliest possible stage to ensure the customs agents have sufficient time to pre-lodge declarations where possible. Please ensure the manifest information is accurately recorded on the community systems (CNS/Destin8), as this information is shared with HMRC, and any discrepancies will prevent the customs clearance for the goods being obtained. Particular attention should be given to the following being correctly manifested:

  • Container/Trailer number
  • Description of cargo (sufficiently detailed to identify i.e. Groupage not acceptable)
  • Number of packages (important for unitised cargo)
  • Weight (Gross and net where required)

Bulk cargo and products cannot be unloaded from vessels without confirmation of customs clearance in most instances, due to the nature of the goods.

Guidance for Customs Agents

If you are an agent involved in making customs declarations at any Forth Ports facilities in the UK, you will need to ensure you have access to Destin8 and / or CNS Compass. The UCN must be claimed and included in the MUCR field of the declaration.

We would encourage you to pre-lodge declarations wherever possible, which ensures the declaration is routed upon arrival.

With respect to bulk cargo and products, we require clearance prior to unloading in most instances, due to constraints with our temporary storage terms and conditions for bulk goods. Any delay in obtaining customs clearance will prevent the vessel discharge.

If you do not hold a badge for the relevant port environment, please contact Destin8 or CNS using the details below. Note this is a commercial arrangement between yourselves and Destin8 and/or CNS.

Inventory System Contacts

Destin8 CNS Compass

The Chapel

Maybush Lane


IP11 7LL

Tel: +44 1394 600200

CNS Limited

204/207 Western Docks



SO15 1DA

Tel: +44 (0) 23 8079 9601

Brexit Downloads

  • Brexit Customer Leaflet
  • Brexit Ready Poster
  • Forth Ports European Routing Map & UK Rail Routes

Key Contacts

Neil Davis
Business Analysis Manager
Port of Tilbury London Limited
Leslie Ford House
RM18 7EH

+44 (0) 1375 852302

Lynsey Yeoman
Group Projects & Tax Manager
Head Office
1 Prince of Wales Dock

+44 (0) 131 555 8746


Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) – An internationally recognised quality mark that provides quicker access to some simplified Customs procedures and, in some cases, the right to fast-track shipments through some Customs and safety and security procedures.

Border Control Posts (BCPs) – From July 2022, infrastructure will be needed to meet the further requirements of full border controls on EU goods, including Customs compliance checks and SPS checks which will need to be carried out at BCPs.

Commodity Code – All goods being imported and exported shall need a commodity code. Please see here.

Controlled goods – From 1 January, traders moving controlled goods must submit a Full Customs declaration (or use Simplified Customs declaration procedures if they are authorised to do so); they must use the Customs process currently applicable at the location that they are using to move their goods, and ensure that any specific licensing requirements are fulfilled. The list of controlled goods is available here.

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) – An HMRC authorised procedure that allows a Simplified Frontier declaration to be submitted to HMRC at the time of import and allows the goods to flow through port, and a Supplementary declaration to be undertaken by the 4th day of the month following the date of import.

Delayed Declaration – For standard goods being imported from the EU with EU origin from 1 January to 31 December 2021, the trader can use Entry In Declarants Records (EIDR) to record the import of goods, and appoint a CFSP registered Customs intermediary to complete the Supplementary declaration within 175 days of the date of import. An authorised CFSP Customs intermediary needs to be appointed before the Supplementary declaration is completed.

Entry In Declarants Records (EIDR) – There is a minimum requirement for the Importer to record in their records to enable them to use this method. For full details of requirements please click here. From 1 January 2021, the importer would need to hold CFSP and move goods under T1 to an HMRC approved premises to continue to use EIDR.

EORI number – An Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is required for all businesses moving goods into or out of the UK. You can find further information and register for an EORI number here.

Full Declaration – These are required to be submitted to HMRC for all Controlled goods from 1 January 2021, and for all goods from 1 July, unless authorised for Simplified declarations under CFSP.

Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) – An I.T. platform which supports the Pre-Lodgement model. The GVMS will allow: declaration references to be linked together so that the person moving the goods (e.g. a haulier) only has to present one single reference (Goods Movement Reference or GMR) at the frontier; the linking of the movement of the goods to declarations, enabling the automatic arrival in HMRC systems as soon as goods board vessels so that declarations can be processed en route and notification of the risking outcome of declarations in HMRC systems can be sent to the person in control of the goods by the time they physically arrive in UK ports.

Inventory Linking – refers to a Community Service Provider (CSP) system being used within a temporary storage environment. The system is used to generate unique references for cargo which is recognised by the customs declaration systems CHIEF, CDS and NES. This enables multiple parties operating within a temporary storage environment such as a port to have visibility on the customs status of specific goods at any time. Parties include the port, HMRC, Border Force, Port Health, Customs Agents, Ships Agents, Carriers and Hauliers.

Pre-lodgement – An alternative for ports that may not have the space and infrastructure to operate Temporary Storage. Border locations receiving goods that are moving into the UK from the EU will be able to choose to use a Pre-Lodgement model, where goods arriving will be required to have submitted a Customs declaration in advance of boarding on the EU side. HMRC is developing a new I.T. platform to support the Pre-Lodgement model. However, its use will not be mandatory and the choice between using a Temporary Storage and a Pre-Lodgement model will be a commercial decision for operators.

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) – Measures to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants. There is a detailed set of rules to reduce or eliminate the possible risks of animal, plant and public health threats as well as animal and plant diseases being introduced into country by imported goods, available here.

Temporary Storage – When goods imported from outside the UK are temporarily stored under Customs control before they are placed under a special procedure, released to free circulation or exported outside the UK.