4.1.1 Overview

This section describes the Stage 3 Core Model for exports – the processes that all goods movements must follow from 1 January. The Core Model is not exhaustive, and further requirements applicable for particular goods movements are outlined in Additional Requirements.

The Stage 3 Core Model consists of the following processes, set out in this section:
• (4.1.2) Export Preparations
• (4.1.3) UK Customs Declarations
• (4.1.4) UK Safety & Security Declarations
• EU S&S and Customs requirements – SEE ANNEX B.

Various (4.1.5) Export Facilitations exist to reduce the impact of these processes. The facilitations available are also set out in this section. There is also additional information on (4.1.6) Non-Freight Exports. Most businesses use an intermediary when dealing with customs requirements. Businesses can either hire an agent or may want to recruit or train someone in the business to deal with customs for the company.
In order to mitigate potential traffic and flow issues around ports handling exports to the EU, the UK Government is considering introducing a new (4.1.7) Smart Freight System – details can be found in the following section.

4.1.2 Export Preparations

In order to fulfil the export process, traders will need to ensure they have:
 A GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

 Access to the S&S GB system will be required to submit exit summary declarations (if not submitting combined export declarations), and access to CHIEF and a CHIEF badge will be required to submit export customs declarations. An intermediary will handle this on the trader’s behalf in the majority of cases.

 Traders should make use of the new tool ‘Check duties and customs procedures for export goods’ on GOV.UK. The service provides tailored information for exporting goods to over 160 markets across the world, including the EU. The tool also provides information regarding paperwork required to move goods over the border, as well as what tariffs and quotas are applicable.

4.1.3 UK Customs Declarations

UK-based business sending goods from the UK will have to complete a UK customs export declaration after the end of the Transition Period.
Most RoW declarations are currently submitted by an intermediary, such as a customs agent. Alternatively, exporters can submit declarations through the National Export System (NES) or by using commercial software. The declarant (exporter or person acting on their behalf) is responsible for the accuracy of the information.
There will also be a requirement for an EU import customs declaration for goods being exported from the UK to the EU. Further information will be provided in due course.


Completing a customs declaration requires:
• A GB EORI number
• The Commodity Code of the goods. More information is available here.
• Access to HMRC systems either directly, or via an intermediary with the access. Traders not using an intermediary and declaring onto CHIEF will require a CHIEF badge.
The trade tariff tool shows if a license is needed to move the goods, and whether the goods are covered by additional duties.
Traders can also apply to HMRC for an advance ruling on:
• the commodity code that must be used for their goods
• the origin of their goods
Simplified Declaration Procedures are in place to enable a faster clearance at the border by allowing traders to use a simplified customs declaration or entry in business records upfront, followed by a supplementary declaration up to 4 weeks later.

Transport options

From January 2021 to the end of June 2021 for goods moving via locations without existing customs control systems, including RoRo listed locations and other non-inventory linked locations, an arrived declaration must be submitted before the goods have left the trader’s premises. From July 2021 only goods moving via specified locations can submit an arrived declaration. After the declaration is submitted the declarant will receive ‘Permission to Progress’ (P2P) or a specific routing in order to be checked. From January 2021 hauliers will need to carry evidence that a declaration has been made.
The UK Government is developing a capability to request any consignment changes its routing or to not proceed at any point of its journey from loading (notification of intent to proceed to port) to arrival at the port. This will enable the UK Government to prioritise flow of consignments as required (e.g. Class 1 goods/perishable goods) in response to any unplanned event.

If a physical check is required, the haulier or declarant will be instructed to move to a specified location for a check. From July 2021 all goods which are checked at an inland site must be presented again to customs when the goods arrive at the frontier, to allow for any further checks to be completed.

From January 2021 to the end of June 2021, if you are exporting excise duty suspended goods via locations without existing systems, you will need to manually confirm to HMRC that your goods have left the UK.

While responsibility for customs border formalities rests with the traders, the haulier must ensure the driver is given all necessary customs documentation and other paperwork so they can be carried in the vehicle for the duration of the journey, and ensure the haulier is informed of their responsibilities re inspection points.
From July 2021 at locations using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) hauliers will need GVMS to link export declaration references together into one single Goods Movement Reference (GMR). The driver will be required to present the GMR at the port or terminal of exit.

Groupage loads

Groupage refers to a mixed load of consignments of different importers goods contained within one vehicle. It can also refer to a scenario where multiple product lines are brought together into a single consignment.

For individual exports within a groupage load, this does not negate the need for each individual consignment to have cleared the relevant requirements for those goods to be exported. This means that each individual consignment will need to have met both the ‘core’ model requirements, and where goods within a groupage load are subject to additional requirements, these will also need to be met.

The clearance of the entire groupage load is dependent on this, and therefore traders, intermediaries, and hauliers will need to ensure that the relevant declarations, permissions, and where necessary, paperwork, is in place to ensure groupage loads are not subject to delays or compliance action due to customs or other requirements not being met. The core export requirements are detailed in SECTION 4.1 and the key export additional requirements are detailed SECTION 4.2.
There is also further information about export groupage loads relating to Defra commodities later in this document.

4.1.4 UK Safety & Security Declarations

All exports will require a Safety and Security (S&S) declaration from January 2021.

The UK’s approach to S&S is underpinned by the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) SAFE framework, which requires the pre-arrival or pre-departure information and risking of all consignments entering or exiting a territory. It protects the UK against potential threats such as terrorism and the trade from illicit goods such as guns and drugs while facilitating the movement of legitimate trade into or out of the UK.

Carriers have the legal responsibility to ensure that the UK customs authority is provided with pre- arrival or pre-departure information. The requirement for S&S information on export can be fulfilled via a combined fiscal and S&S export declaration. Where an export declaration is not submitted pre-departure, a standalone exit summary declaration may be needed.

The data required for an exit summary declaration includes consignor, consignee, a description of the goods, routing (country by country), location of goods and customs office of departure.
Declarants are able to amend a safety and security declaration after the initial submission if certain information (e.g. ferry company used, or time of arrival) changes up until the point of customs clearance. However, it is important to note that the declaration must be submitted with the most accurate information available at the time of submission.

For accompanied goods, the haulier will be told if the goods need to be presented to a UK Customs Office, and then whether there is permission to progress onwards.
The UK Government reserves the right to conduct checks for prohibited and restricted items at the port of departure.

Transport Options

The way the goods are transported impacts on how far in advance of leaving the UK custom control S&S information must be provided. S&S information must be submitted a specific number of hours in advance of the goods leaving a UK port. Declarants are able to amend a safety and security declaration after the initial submission if certain information (e.g. ferry company used, or

The declaration must be submitted with the most accurate information available at the time of submission.

An EORI number
To lodge a standalone exit summary declaration on CHIEF will require a CHIEF badge.

Systems For joint exit summary declarations and customs export declarations, or standalone exit summary declarations, the submission is made on CHIEF/CDS and data is shared with the UKS&S system, ‘S&S GB’. There will still be the option to submit declarations through CSP systems/third party software providers.

4.1.5 Export Facilitations


The UK has successfully negotiated membership of the Common Transit Convention (CTC). CTC is a facilitation that may provide benefits to traders by allowing some customs processes to be done away from the border. Traders will only have to make customs declarations and pay import duties when the goods arrive at their final destination. Safety and security requirements will still need to be met.

Office of transit processes only occur on entry to GB and are not covered in this section. When exporting, traders will need to ensure they are familiar with the office of transit process for the customs territory they are entering after leaving GB. Traders moving goods out of GB are therefore not required to use GVMS for transit processes. Please see SECTION 1.1.5 for details on the process for office of transit when moving goods into GB.

Starting Transit Movements

Before a movement can start, an export declaration will need to be submitted as well as a transit declaration. Completing a transit declaration requires: the details of the planned journey for the goods, the guarantee reference number or details of the guarantee waiver and the local reference number. The master reference number from the export declaration and safety and security declaration may also need to be included.


The most efficient way to start transit movements is to become registered as an authorised consignor, which enables movements to start at an exporter’s own approved premises. Details on how to register to use premises to start transit movements can be found here. Alternatively, goods can be taken to a government office of departure. Once the Customs Officer or consignor is content with the export and transit declaration and have conducted relevant checks, they will issue a Transit Accompanying Document. This must accompany goods throughout the movement.

Traders exporting goods under transit need to provide a guarantee to cover any potential customs duties and import VAT. Businesses using transit should apply to be authorised to use Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) and once approved, obtain a guarantee from a bank or financial institution.


To lodge a transit declaration the exporter or their agent will need access to the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS).

Other Export Facilitations

HMRC offer a range of customs authorisations and facilitations that make trading across borders quicker, cheaper and easier for businesses.

Exporters can make a single export declaration that effectively combines customs and safety and security data. This must be made before the goods are exported.
Exporters may submit export declarations through HMRC’s National Export System. One route allows exporters to make declarations themselves without the need for an agent or commercial software.

Under Customs Supervised Exports (CSE) and Designated Export Places (DEP) (which are located outside of an airport or port) business premises can be authorised to consolidate and clear goods inland prior to the removal of goods to the point of departure. Under normal export procedures they would be required to re-present the goods at the UK Border. CSE typically facilitates certain airport traffic or high-volume movers.

For exports through RoRo locations, exporters will be required make a declaration and wait for permission to proceed before moving to the location of exit, to minimise the risk of congestion at ports. Checks on strategic exports (e.g. goods with potential military applications) will continue to take place at the border.

Exporters can be authorised for simplified export declaration processes which can allow them to make a simplified export declaration or an entry in the declarant’s records (EIDR) followed by a supplementary export declaration. If a simplified export declaration has been made and the goods are of low weight or value nothing further is required. In many cases, an exit summary declaration will still be required.

4.1.6 Non-Freight Exports

Travellers with commercial goods in accompanied baggage (Merchandise in Baggage)
Traders can make a simplified declaration if carrying standard (non-controlled) goods with a value not exceeding £1500. These declarations can be made using either a simple online declaration available on GOV.UK before arriving into Great Britain, or an oral declaration using a Red Channel if it exists at the GB port. For goods over £1500 in value or controlled goods then a standard electronic customs declaration must be submitted to HMRC.

Post and Parcels

The customs export declaration requirements currently in place for the movement of goods by post and parcel between the UK and non-EU countries will extend to movements between Great Britain and the EU after the end of the Transition Period.

For postal consignment exported by the Royal Mail Group (RMG) – the UK’s designated universal postal service provider – the use of the CN22/CN23 customs forms will apply for standard (non- controlled) goods not exceeding £900 in value. For goods exported by parcel operators (other than the RMG) a standard electronic customs declaration will need to be submitted to HMRC for goods over £900 in value, controlled goods, or where the parcel operator is not authorised by HMRC under a memorandum of understanding to submit a simplified declaration for standard (non-controlled) goods not exceeding £900.

Cash Controls

From 1 January 2021 individuals travelling out of the UK carrying £10,000 or more will be required to declare this. These requirements will also fall on couriers who are transporting cash on behalf of business.

Declarations can be made either online, by phone, or via a paper C9100 declaration submitted to Border Force officials at the border.

Exporting through locations with Inventory Linked Systems (or ports with existing systems from January to July 2021)
This diagram summarises the core export process at ports with inventory linked systems, or those with existing systems from Jan to July 2021.

Exporting through locations without Customs Control Systems
(January to July 2021)
This diagram summarises the core export process at ports with no customs control system, from January 2021 to July 2021.

Exporting through border locations with Pre-lodgement Systems
(July 2021 Onwards)

This diagram summarises the core export process at ports with pre-lodgement facilities, from July 2021.

4.1.7 The Smart Freight System

When the transition period ends, it is expected that the EU will implement full import controls on goods moving from GB to the EU.

This means that Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers will need to have evidence that EU import requirements have been met for the goods they are transporting. These include customs or transit declarations and any other commodity-specific approvals such as Export Health Certificates.

This will be true regardless of the outcome of negotiations and whether the UK and the EU conclude a Free Trade Agreement.

While in most instances it is the responsibility of the trader to provide the necessary documentation to the HGV driver, it is the driver who must carry and present this when requested.
HGV drivers without the correct documentation risk being stopped from boarding services departing the UK or on arrival at the EU port, fined, or sent back to the UK. This could also lead to significant queues and delays on the roads approaching ports in the UK if a high volume of HGVs do not have the correct documentation.

As part of plans to help hauliers and HGV drivers understand if they are carrying the right documentation, the UK Government is developing new technology, known as the Smart Freight Service (SFS), for the Roll on Roll off (RORO) Freight Industry.

For the end of the Transition Period the service would be introduced for RoRo freight travelling from the UK to the EU and would help ensure that only vehicles carrying the correct documentation for Member State border controls travel to ports.

We anticipate that the SFS would include a web-based portal that provides support to the wider Border Industry, by signposting information related to exporting goods from the GB to the EU. The web portal would require that details of the HGV being used to transport goods to a particular port are submitted in advance of the journey commencing.

These details would be individually submitted for every HGV leaving Great Britain, and could include the Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) as well as the destination and time/date of travel details for the consignment(s), and a declaration that the appropriate documentation required at the ports are in place and carried with the vehicle.

We anticipate that haulage firms could submit these details, or alternatively staff within the haulage company or the trader could use the web-portal on their behalf.

If deployed, further information regarding the type of data to be submitted to the web portal will be provided as part of UK Government guidance to industry in future.

Where an HGV was deemed ‘border ready’ (in other words, carrying the necessary documentation) the web portal would tell the user that the vehicle could travel to the port, while HGVs that are not border ready would be advised not to travel until the missing documentation had been provided by the exporter. This would help HGV drivers become ready and reduce disruption at GB and EU ports.

In addition, provision of the data in the web portal could help the relevant authorities know that consignments on an HGV have been declared as border ready and thus more likely to get across the GB/EU border. The UK Government, working with the Kent Resilience Forum, is also exploring making the use of the SFS enforceable in Kent.

The SFS could, potentially, be utilised as part of the Operation Brock traffic management plans for the end of the Transition Period. One option could be to fine HGV drivers in Kent who had not used the SFS, or who had travelled in contravention of advice from SFS not to travel to the port.

The UK Government is planning to consult on the use of the Smart Freight Service in Kent this summer, and we would encourage the border and haulage industry to participate in it.
For the longer term, HMG is looking at how systems required for different purposes but capture similar information can be aligned, to minimise data requests that are made on industry.

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