Brexit – The Border Operating Model

Hello, its David here,

I hope you remain safe and well in these troubling times.

Lots of releases from the UK government recently concerning how the UK-EU border will operate from 1.1.21 onwards.

Having ploughed through 206 pages of technical mumbo jumbo, I managed to produce a precis. Trouble is, the precis is still 14 pages and packed with acronyms.

So I did a precis of the precis and came up with the following:

Border Control

  • The port will choose either ‘Pre-lodgement’ or Temporary Storage; list yet to be published
  • Pre-lodgement – declarations must be made before boarding and ‘GVMS’ system being phased in
  • Temporary Storage – clearance after arrival, but cargo held until cleared


  • cargo may not be loaded until export declaration has been completed
  • possible fines for drivers entering Kent who don’t have ‘arrived’ export documents
  • control via new ‘Smart Freight System’ technology which helps drivers understand if they have the necessary paperwork
  • full export Customs declarations from 1.1.21
  • Safety & Security Declarations from 1.1.21 – usually combined with the export customs declaration
  • probably Transit forms under Common Transit Convention from 1.1.21 – depends on the EU
  • ‘GVMS’ for transit goods
  • who will complete EU import safety and security declaration? Seems unaddressed, perhaps because the UK authorities don’t regard this as their problem

GVMS – Goods Vehicle Movement Service

  • new IT platform to issue a single Goods Movement Reference [GMR] per truck
  • associates Customs declarations, safety and security declarations and transit references to a single GMR
  • GMR must be presented by driver or boarding will be denied
  • EU RoRo ports are operating similar systems


  • three-stage approach: 1.1.21 ‘standard’ goods must record arrival and make a declaration within 6 months ‘controlled’ goods must be cleared on arrival at frontier (includes alcohol) physical checks on live animals and plants 1.4.21 products of animal origin must be pre-notified and have health certificates

1.7.21 all goods must be cleared on arrival at the frontier any relevant tariffs must be paid on arrival safety & security declaration required haulier to complete – seems wishful thinking GVMS for all imports, exports and transit movements


It is probable Transit forms will be required to guarantee the movement of the goods to customs. They bear a guarantee. The Border Operating Model fails to properly address how transit will be ended on import and how these will documents get discharged. GVMS allows for ‘office of transit’ functions to be automated, but this need to be extended to include ‘office of destination’ functions.

For the full text, please visit:

Meanwhile, the UK government has issued new step by step guides a follows:




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