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Operational Processes Across UK Ports

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Operational Processes Across UK Ports

Understanding operational processes at UK ports is crucial for efficiency. Inventory-linked and non-inventory-linked ports have specific procedures, with HMRC-approved electronic inventory control systems being mandatory for temporary storage.

Inventory Linked, Non-Inventory Linked

In the dynamic landscape of UK ports, streamlining operational processes is key to maximising efficiency and minimising delays. Ports in the UK can be categorised into two distinct types: inventory-linked and non-inventory-linked. Each type operates under specific procedures and requirements, necessitating a clear understanding before choosing a port for your shipments.

Inventory-linked ports encompass two models: Temporary Storage (TS) and the Mixed model (TS/GVMS). Under the Mixed model, RoRo terminals at the port adopt the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), while other terminals utilise the Temporary Storage model. Temporary Storage involves customs declarations closely tied to the port’s inventory system, which seamlessly interfaces with Customs Declaration Service (CDS) for electronic customs clearance.

In order to make use of temporary storage facilities, it is mandatory to use a HMRC approved electronic inventory control system that seamlessly links to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). These specialised systems are provided by companies known as Community System Providers (CSP). Temporary Storage serves as a vital means of customs control, particularly within Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI), where inventory systems play a central role in the control of goods movements authorised through CSPs. These CSPs have received authorisation from HMRC to effectively manage the movement of goods in and out of Temporary Storage.

CSPs are commercial entities that have direct interfaces with HMRC frontier systems, including the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). Among the CSPs, five notable entities are Destin8, Compass, CCS-GB, DHL, and Pentant, each of which caters exclusively to Temporary Storage facilities. These CSPs play a crucial role in facilitating seamless customs operations within the temporary storage framework, ensuring efficient goods movement and compliance with relevant regulations.

The GVMS, an integrated system with CDS and the inventory system, offers significant benefits. For imports, the pre-lodgement model is employed, ensuring automatic goods release from the inventory, regardless of whether they are accompanied or unaccompanied goods. Export processes through GVMS can take the Arrived or Standard route, depending on the port of exit, with the added advantage of facilitating the departure message.

In contrast, non-inventory-linked ports have distinct import and export procedures. Imports at these ports require pre-lodged declarations, while exports may opt for either the Arrived or Standard process. Notably, customs declarations in non-inventory-linked ports necessitate a badge, although it is not specific to a particular location or Community System Provider (CSP). Customers of tradePhlo can leverage their badge for RoRo shipments through non-inventory-linked ports. Additionally, CDS declarations can be directly submitted without the need for a badge.

Specifically, two prominent ports—Newhaven and Sheerness—operate under the Standard export process. Here, a pre-lodged export declaration containing the RRS01 AI Statement Code is submitted to CDS before goods depart from the trader’s premises. The combined export and Safety and Security declaration negate the requirement for an Exit Summary declaration. In GVMS, the DUCR (Unique Consignment Reference) of the pre-lodged declaration, along with pertinent details such as crossing route, vehicle, trailer, and container registration numbers, are entered. Upon release, the lorry proceeds to the port of exit, where selective documentary and/or physical checks may occur. The export declaration gains “goods arrived” status at the port, and “Permission to Progress” (P2P) is granted. GVMS seamlessly communicates updates on the status of the Goods Movement Reference (GMR) to tradePhlo.

When determining the most suitable ports for your customs flows, thoughtful consideration of the port type and location is paramount. Such strategic decision-making directly impacts costs, operational efficiency, and processing speed. Rest assured, tradePhlo’s team of customs experts stand ready to provide comprehensive guidance and assistance in establishing or optimising your customs flows, ensuring smooth operations and enhanced productivity within tradePhlo’s ecosystem.

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