Revenue provides important Customs advice to hauliers and truck drivers moving goods from Great Britain (GB) into Irish ports

Today (5/1/2021) Revenue provided important advice to hauliers and truck drivers moving goods to, from or through, Great Britain (GB) into Ireland by ferry in relation to the following:

  • creating a correct Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN)
  • the importance of checking your customs channel prior to disembarking.

Following Revenue’s advice will, firstly, ensure that vehicles carrying goods to and from GB will be able to board their scheduled ferry without any difficulties and, secondly, will mean truck drivers can present goods for customs controls, if any, on arrival with the minimum of delay.

Creating a correct Pre-Boarding Notification

Those responsible for transporting goods to or from Great Britain by ferry are required to create a Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) on the Customs RoRo Service before the goods start their journey, and in advance of vehicles moving to the departure port.

Revenue continues to support trade and business in adapting to the new customs formalities arising from the UK’s departure from the EU. In this regard, a detailed step by step guide on how to create and correctly populate a PBN  will be published on later this morning. Revenue has also set up a dedicated email support service to deal with all PBN related queries at

Additionally, Revenue put a temporary arrangement in place that allowed for the creation of a PBN for goods movements that began before the end of the transition period (31 December) and ended after that date. This temporary arrangement was facilitated by allowing whoever was creating the PBN for a goods movement into Ireland to select an option of ‘Other’. This ensured the continued movement of goods as 1 January approached by providing the necessary details required to board the ferry.

As the overlap period for such goods movements has now passed, Revenue confirmed this temporary arrangement will no longer be available for all sailings departing GB on or after 18:00 hours on 5 January 2021.

Highlighting this change to reflect the end of the overlap period, head of customs at Dublin Port, Tom Talbot, said:

“We had put a short-term arrangement in place to help trade in the initial days post 1 January to avoid movements getting caught between 2020 and 2021 requirements. However, this was of necessity a time limited arrangement which will come to an end later today. As such, it is important to note that in order to create a correct PBN, and ensure the efficient movement of the goods, it will be essential that the MRNs for each customs declaration for all consignments in a vehicle are included when creating the PBN. Ensuring this will avoid an unnecessary call to customs.”

Customs Channel Look Up

Drivers travelling on ferries from Great Britain to Ireland are reminded to check their customs channel on the Customs RoRo Service 30 minutes out from arriving into Dublin or Rosslare ports. The customs channel will not be available before that as Revenue’s risk analysis process will be running while the ship is travelling between GB and Ireland.

The Customs RoRo Service provides a range of trade facilitation services that minimise delays, in so far as possible, for goods coming into, and moving out of, Irish ports and involving Great Britain. The Channel Look-up service enables truck drivers to check if their vehicle can ‘Exit the Port’ or is required to ‘Call to Customs’ on arrival.

Revenue reminded truck drivers today of two key things to keep in mind to ensure they can access their customs channel:

  1. Have the Pre-Boarding Notification Identification number (PBN ID) for the vehicle or trailer
  2. Check the customs channel no earlier than 30 minutes prior to disembarking.

Stressing the importance of truck drivers checking their customs channel before the ferry docks in Ireland, Mr. Talbot, said:

“While a ferry is sailing to Ireland, Revenue systems complete the necessary risk analysis of the particular goods on board. This means that, in advance of arrival, Revenue can notify the outcome of that risk analysis to the driver by providing a customs channel of either ‘Exit the Port’ or ‘Call to Customs’. To ensure that Revenue’s risk analysis is complete, and the customs channel routing is available, we are asking truck drivers to check their channel no earlier than 30 minutes prior to disembarking but the channel will be available right up to disembarkation.”

“A customs channel of ‘Exit the Port’ means the truck driver can immediately leave the port on arrival. If a driver gets a ‘Call to Customs’ channel this will be accompanied by details of which customs terminal to go to in the port. This means the driver can engage speedily with customs to resolve any outstanding matters and get the goods cleared as quickly as possible. This will be of huge benefit to the haulier or truck driver and will also assist the flow of traffic for all those using the port.”

Detailed customs advice for truck drivers using Irish ports, including the steps to follow on how to use the Customs RoRo Service and how to look up the customs channel, can be found here. This information guide is available in 11 languages (Irish, English, Dutch, Estonian, French, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Russian).

{Ends 5/1/2021}

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