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Take advantage of trade opportunities between the UK and France

Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and France was £98.1 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023, an increase of 34.2% or £25.0 billion in current prices from the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022.


Total UK exports to France amounted to £44.8 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023 (an increase of 30.1% or £10.4 billion in current prices, compared to the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022). Total UK imports from France amounted to £53.3 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023 (an increase of 37.8% or £14.6 billion in current prices, compared to the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022).

France was the UK’s 5th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023 accounting for 5.6% of total UK trade. (Trade data sourced from the latest ONS publication of UK total trade: all countries seasonally adjusted data)

Customs Requirements for Trade Between the UK and France

In the dynamic landscape of international trade, the exchange of goods between nations serves as the lifeblood of economies. In the year 2022 alone, the bilateral trade between the United Kingdom and France reached a staggering £94.5 billion (€109.8 billion). This remarkable figure underscores the robust economic relationship between these two nations. However, as trade volumes surge, so do the complexities of customs regulations that govern these exchanges.

The trade routes connecting the UK and France stand out as some of the most strategically important for transporting goods between the UK and mainland Europe. Yet, over the past years, the ease of these routes has been compromised by additional customs requirements. These enhanced regulations have, in turn, brought about new layers of intricacy to what was once a convenient process.

For businesses operating across Europe, a clear understanding of the required customs documentation has become paramount. Adhering to current regulations is not only essential for the seamless flow of goods but also crucial for preventing costly delays at ports.

Exporting from GB to FR

The specific customs documents needed can vary depending on the nature of the goods being transported. For instance, the documentation required for empty vehicles may differ from that for livestock transport.

When exporting goods from Great Britain into France, the following documents might be necessary:

Export Declaration (GB to FR)

Import Declaration (FR to GB)

SI BREXIT Documentation

GMR (Goods Movement Reference)

ENS (Entry Summary Declaration)

However, in cases where the vehicle is empty, the required documentation could be simplified to an EXS (Exit Summary Declaration) and a Port Pass. For instances where the goods are being cleared within France or are in transit, a transit document might also be necessary.

Importing into GB from FR

Similar to the export process, the required documentation when importing into Great Britain from France is contingent on the nature of the goods. Depending on the type of goods in question, the following documentation may be required:

Export Declaration (FR to GB)

Import Declaration (GB from FR)

SI BREXIT Documentation

GMR (Goods Movement Reference)

ENS (Entry Summary Declaration), or S&S GB (Safety and Security GB) from 2024 onwards.

Again, in cases where the vehicle is unladen, a simplified requirement could involve a GMR Port Pass.

Streamlining the Process

In the ever-evolving landscape of international trade, customs documentation stands as a vital bridge between nations. Navigating this terrain effectively is the key to ensuring the seamless flow of goods, strengthening economic ties, and fostering prosperity for all stakeholders involved.

Customs procedures can prove to be a bottleneck in the trading process. To alleviate this, tradePhlo offers innovative solution that facilitate smoother customs clearance.

tradePhlo platform offers two distinct approaches. The first allows you to take control by using our user-friendly digital customs platform to navigate the process yourself. Alternatively, opt for our managed customs solution, where our experts take care of the intricate customs procedures on your behalf.

tradePhlo team of experts is available to provide guidance and support seven days a week, including bank holidays. With an in-depth understanding of customs requirements, they can offer tailored advice based on the specific nature of the goods being transported.

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