Today, to complete a ferry booking all Hauliers need is
A way to make a booking e.g. direct account / booking website
Length of vehicle
It’s that easy and if you use a service worth its salt, you should get your booking reference back in less than one or two minutes.
During 2021 all that will change. There will be a significant increase in additional steps which will need to be completed to trade with the EU, so let's ignore phase one and two* and look at phase three.
From July 2021 you will need to successfully complete the following to access a port and leave GB.
1. Prove a customs declaration has been completed
Depending on the customs regime the goods are travelling under, probably a C88, Export Accompanying Document (EAD) and Transport Accompanying Document (TAD).
2. Complete and enter a Safety and Security Declarations (SSD)*
For all accompanied vehicles this will be the responsibility of the haulier, consisting of nineteen pieces of data, mainly taken from the same dataset as a C88, but with the additional port of arrival and the vessel’s IMO number (that’s like the ship’s registration number). For unaccompanied traffic it’s looking like the crafty ferry companies will also push this back to the haulier to make sure the declaration has been made. All products (commodities) being transported need to be declared on the SSD, the same as any export or import declaration. More products equal more tariff code lines on the SSD.
3. Goods Movement Reference (GMR)
This is a new platform being introduced by the UK Gov and will allow hauliers to declare the goods they are carrying before reaching the border. Each separate declaration will have a unique reference. The GVMS allows all these references to be grouped under one Goods Movement Reference (GMR). Hauliers will need to present this reference when they get to the port to prove all the necessary declarations have been pre-lodged. The ferry company will verify the GMR at check-in. If this is rejected, you won’t be allowed to enter the port*
To continue making successful ferry bookings in 2021 you need to start speaking to your your customers, the importers and exporters of the goods, and make sure they have started to prepare for the changes. They need to:
Classify all the products they intend to import or export in 2021
Upload their product catalogue to a software platform for customs, so they can easily create a C88.
Have full access and training of a customs platform
Ideally, their software solution should also be able to produce a Safety and Security Declaration (SSD) and a Goods Movement Reference (GMR)
CustomsLink is a digital platform, allowing all contributors from the supply chain to enter data for the successful creation of customs paperwork.
This data can then be transmitted to the necessary authorities and platforms such as HMRC and the GVMS. Its step by step process is simple and easy to use for both SME’s and larger businesses alike, with a dedicated haulier's dashboard providing access to free SSD’s and the GVMS platform. CustomsLink also gives hauliers and couriers the opportunity to create customs paperwork for their customers, providing an additional service and revenue stream to their business.