Goods Vehicle Movement Service

From January 2022, GVMS will be used by HM Revenue & Customs and Border Force to control imports and exports via the roll-on roll-off ferry ports, e.g. Dover, and the Channel Tunnel. Each movement across the UK border will require a pre-lodged customs declaration, the details of which must be recorded in GVMS against the vehicle that is being used to transport the goods.

It will be the responsibility of the haulier to ensure that all of the declarations associated with a goods vehicle are pre-notified within GVMS. The haulier must obtain the import/export entry reference numbers or the transit movement reference numbers (MRNs) for all the consignments carried by the vehicle, which will be combined into a single goods movement record (GMR).

Each GMR contains details for a single crossing by one vehicle and can be used only once.  The haulier will need to present the GMR to the carrier at the frontier to prove that all their goods have pre-lodged declarations. GVMS can also be used for transit.


GVMS Process

Managing a Movement

Each part of the load, associated with its own CMR (Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road), must have a pre-lodged UK import or export. In addition, there must be a complementary pre-lodged export or import on the EU side. The UK export or import MRNs for each part of the shipment must be obtained and uploaded to GVMS by the haulier.

Check-in at the Port

The carrier will use GVMS to verify the GMR presented to them and cross-check the details to the vehicle.  Vehicles will be turned away if a valid GMR cannot be presented.

Import Clearance

GVMS allows for automatic arrival in HM Revenue & Customs’ declaration system CHIEF.  This happens as soon as the vehicle boards at the EU side. UK import declarations can be processed by UK Customs while the vehicle is in transit. When inbound goods are successfully cleared before they arrive in the UK, they will be allowed to quickly pass-through the border.


Potential Inspection

If the GVMS determines that an import movement requires inspection, a notification will be sent within 30 minutes after embarkation.  If selected, the vehicles must report to a Customs Inspection Post on arrival.  Border Force will update GVMS once the vehicle has been cleared.


GVMS was introduced in January 2021, but only for transit movements from the EU and for goods moving to Northern Ireland.

From January 2022, GVMS will be in place for all imports and exports at UK port locations that have opted to use it.  This includes Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

Potential Difficulties

Hauliers will need to ensure that they have all the MRNs necessary to allow their vehicle to embark. Where there is a single load, there will be one UK import or export and only one broker to provide the necessary MRN.

In the case of multiple consignments, for example four shipments on the same vehicle as pictured above, this might require four different MRNs from four different agents which is bound to lead to difficulties and delays.

Outsourced Management of GVMS


The Custom House offers a 24/7 service whereby we manage our client’s GVMS movements. This can be based on the MRNs that are provided to us by the haulier direct. Alternatively, we can bring together the MRNs associated with each part of the consignment from the diverse brokers that are employed by the haulier’s customers.

Where we are responsible for the creation of all of the UK imports or exports associated with the movement, we do not charge a fee to the haulier. In other circumstances, our fees are highly competitive.