Bulletin 14 – December 2021


Errors in transit declarations from Great Britain

In Bulletin 1 – January 2021, HMRC reminded you of the obligation to declare a transit office in departure declarations from January 1, 2021 once the UK has become a contracting party to the Common Transit Convention (CCT).

For goods in transit, comply with CCT and to avoid delays at international borders, declarations must be completed correctly. Some transit declarations are completed with the wrong country’s Transit Office (exit points rather than entry points) or not at all, resulting in border delays. This newsletter reminds traders of these changes and will help them avoid mistakes when making transit declarations.

You now have to declare an EU transit office when moving goods in common transit

As of January 1, 2021, import and export declarations are now mandatory for all goods transported between Great Britain and the EU. The UK is also now an independent member of the CCT. This means that there are new rules you must follow when making transit declarations for movements between Great Britain and the EU, or between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In this newsletter we explain the requirements which mean that you now need to:

  • declare an EU or Northern Ireland transit office in your transit declarations
  • declare an office of transit when your movement will continue beyond the EU and enter another CCT country
  • declare at least 2 transit offices when moving goods between 2 locations in Great Britain across the EU
  • declare an Office of Transit when moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

We will also cover:

  • divert your movement to another transit office
  • where to find Office of Transit codes
  • information for carriers on how to visit a transit office in Great Britain or Northern Ireland
  • where you can get more information

Declare an EU or Northern Ireland transit office on your transit declarations

If you move goods to a new customs territory, you must go to an office of transit when entering that territory. The transit office is the closest customs office to the point of entry of your goods into the new territory. All ports and airports in Great Britain and Northern Ireland which are able to receive transit movements will act as transit offices.

You must now go to an Office of Transit when entering the EU or Northern Ireland for all transit movements from:

  • Mainland Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Isle of man

You will also need to go to another transit office if you are leaving the EU or Northern Ireland and moving to another customs territory.

When making a transit declaration, you must enter the details of each office of transit that your goods will need to visit between the office of departure and the office of destination. This includes each transit office that you intend to use to enter each Customs territory that your goods will enter or pass through on their journey. It is important that you use the correct reference code for the transit office that you intend to use in your transit declarations, otherwise your goods could be delayed in their journey.

The transit office you indicate on the transit declaration is first the one the driver intends to cross in the next customs area (the point where he will enter either the EU or any other CCT country after leaving Great Britain). The Office of Transit is not the port from which the movement leaves Great Britain.

Further information on the obligations of the Office of Transit can be found in the Supplement to the Transit Manual.

Plan your route before moving goods using public transit.

Overview of guidelines: Supplement to the transit manual, section 3.5 Formalities at the transit office.

Declare an office of transit when your movement continues beyond the EU and enters another CCT country

If your transit movement leaves the EU and enters another CCT country (eg Norway, Switzerland or Turkey), the goods will have to go to another transit office. The office of transit that you indicate on the transit declaration must be the first through which you intend to pass in this CCT country.

If your transit movement leaves the EU, enters a CCT country, then re-enters the EU – for example, goods crossing from France to Switzerland and then entering Italy. Then the goods will have to be routed to a transit office where the movement enters Switzerland and another on the Italian side of the border when entering the EU.

Declare at least 2 offices of transit when moving goods between 2 locations in Great Britain across the EU

Transit can also be used to move goods between 2 locations in Great Britain but travel across the EU. In these cases, the goods will now have to be routed to one transit office when the goods enter the EU, and another when they re-enter Britain.

A transit declaration for a shipment of vegetables from Jersey to Great Britain via France should indicate a transit office for the port where the goods are to enter France, and a second transit office for the port where the goods are due to enter Britain.

Declare an Office of Transit when moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

If you are moving goods in transit between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the goods will need to be routed to a transit office. You will need to enter the Office of Transit where your goods will enter Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

Customs office codes for all UK transit offices (both those in Great Britain and Northern Ireland) can be found on the UK Customs Office List.

Moving your goods to common transit countries or to the EU.

Movement of goods to or through Northern Ireland using common or Union transit.

Referral of your movement to another transit office

All transit movements entering the EU or Northern Ireland from Great Britain must now pass through a transit office upon entry into Northern Ireland or at the EU border. If you are unsure which transit office you or your carrier will use to enter the EU or Northern Ireland, you should use the one you think is most likely to arrive.

Unless you chose certain prescribed route restrictions for your movement when you made your transit declaration, it is possible that your transit movement will arrive at an office of transit other than the one declared on your transit declaration.

Guidance overview: Transit manual supplement, section 3.5.2 Diversion to another transit office.

Transit Codes Office

We have provided a list of some transit offices and their reference codes for the most commonly used routes.

France

The Passage Offices available in France for goods from Great Britain have been published by the French customs authorities and are:

  • Dunkirk Ferry (FR590002)
  • Calais port tunnel (FR62001)
  • Rouen (FR003920)
  • Caen (FR000720)
  • CREPS port of Le Havre (FRD02300)
  • Cherbourg (FR000950)
  • Saint Malo (FR004060)
  • Brest office (FR000690)

You can download more information on French transit offices published in English by the Customs authorities in France.

Entering France in places with a smart border

If you enter France at a place with a “smart border”, and it is not the transit office indicated in your declaration, you may be directed to the orange lanes for manual intervention, which could cause delays in your trip. It is important for all traders to indicate the correct transit office in their declaration to avoid any risk of delay.

Vehicles departing from Dover

For vehicles departing from Dover, which can arrive either at the Calais Port and Tunnel Passage Offices or at Dunkirk Ferry, it is no longer necessary to enter the two Transit Offices in the declaration. Instead, you must declare the transit office where the vehicle is most likely to arrive.

Netherlands

Europort (Rotterdam) (NL000510) (NL000511)

Belgium

Zeebrugge (BE343000)

Ireland

Dublin (IEDUB100) Port of Rosslare IEROS100

Spain

Santander (ES003911)

For all other routes you can find the transit office codes in the list of Europa customs offices.

Information for carriers on how to visit an Office of Transit in Great Britain or Northern Ireland

Goods in transit entering Britain from the EU or Northern Ireland must now go to a transit office upon entering Britain.

Goods in transit will also need to go to a transit office if they leave Great Britain and pass through another customs territory, including on their way back to the EU or to Northern Ireland.

This means that the goods must be brought to an office of transit for each transit movement that enters:

  • Great Britain from the EU or other CCT country
  • Great Britain from Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland from a non-EU country CCT country
  • Northern Ireland from Great Britain

When transit movements arrive in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, the goods and the accompanying transit document (TAD) must be presented to an office of transit. The UK government allows the Office of Transit process to be completed digitally, using the new freight vehicle movement service (GVMS).

More information on how to complete the Office of Transit can be found in section 5.b of the Carrier Handbook.

Where you can get more information

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