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Travelling to the EU: information for hauliers

Changes to accepted travel documents

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can only travel to the UK using a valid passport, unless they have:

  • applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, or have an application pending.
  • or otherwise have protected rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements.

Until this date, European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens can currently travel to the UK with a valid passport or a national identity (ID) card.

The change from 1 October means an ID card will no longer be accepted for travel to the UK, unless the exemptions apply.

Anyone travelling to the UK on an invalid travel document is liable to be refused entry at the border.

You must test negative for Covid-19 before you cross the border into certain countries. Check if you need to get a test, and when you should get one at GOV.UK.

In addition, from April 6, hauliers arriving in England from abroad will need to take a Covid-19 test if they are staying for more than 2 days. They need to take the first test within the first 2 days, then further tests every 3 days. Find out more.

This will apply to drivers and crews of HGVs and drivers of vans and other light goods vehicles. It applies to both UK-based and non-UK hauliers.

If you are a haulier heading to the EU from Portsmouth International Port, you must ensure that you are ‘border ready’ to avoid delays.

Operation Transmission has now ended, so EU-bound hauliers can now drive straight to the port.

If you are bringing a trailer to the port that will be shipped unaccompanied, you will also need to have the correct documents. This is because the paperwork is for the load, not the driver.

If you are a haulier carrying freight considered a special load, you need to notify us in advance - please see the checklist towards the bottom of this page.

The documentation you may need is listed below. You can also download a government leaflet showing examples of the documentation required here.

  • a valid ferry booking reference number, (no booking, no entry)
  • a valid passport
  • any applicable Movement Reference Numbers (MRN)
  • any applicable Transit Accompanying Documents (TAD)
  • any applicable Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA ) or Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) carnets
  • any applicable required documents for animals, plants, firearms, or other specialty goods
  • hauliers heading to France need a negative Covid-19 test, taken within 72 hours before you board your ferry. Please use one of the official government sites to get a test - a full list of sites can be found here. If you arrive without a valid Covid-19 test result, you will have to go back and get one.

Hauliers heading to the port for services to the Channel Islands, or to Portico, are not affected by these changes to paperwork and can carry on as normal.

Unaccompanied, hazardous and 'out of gauge' abnormal loads

There are specific guidelines for unaccompanied, hazardous and abnormal loads arriving at the port. You can find full information here.