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GVMS vs Temporary Storage

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Common problem spotted in the early stages of GVMS.

We're nearly a month in to GVMS being live for all shipments coming to and from the UK, and as you may be aware there are some teething problems with this system.

There is one specific problem we are seeing regularly which is causing delays and costs which we wanted to bring your attention to this in the hope that you may be able to solve the problem.

We now have 2 main systems in UK for Import Customs Clearance. “Pre-lodgement” where the goods are cleared whilst on the ferry, and “Temporary Storage Model” where the goods are cleared after arrival.

The pre-lodgement model is supported by the GVMS system.

We have noticed that if a driver arrives at the ferry either without a GMR, with a GMR problem or simply doesn't get the barcode scanned, the ferry companies are automatically assuming they are shipping on the Temporary Storage Model.

What does this mean in practice?

If our file shows the driver is shipping using GVMS, ACT have no extra steps to take in the completion of the customs clearance after we have completed the “pre-lodged entry” unless we or the driver are alerted by Customs of the need for an inspection.

This means that if our file shows it's a GVMS shipping, and then the ferry company manifest the trailer as Temporary Storage, the import declaration has to be re-done after arrival. We may not find this out for some time after arrival when the driver realises they have a problem and are stuck at the port which is unfortunately something we have seen a few times already.

What can I do to help?

We are asking if you can take whatever steps possible to ensure that the ferry companies register the drivers GMR on boarding.

If the ferry company query the GMR the driver should make a point of solving the GMR problem before boarding. In our experience, it is much easier to solve there and then rather than after arrival.

We hope this is clear but remain at your disposal for further clarification if needed.


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