Export to the UK

Prepare for the Brexit


Booking sea transport


  • Booking sea transport with shipping company (shortsea or ferry)


  • Haulier (or a third party like a forwarder)


  • Shipping company


  • Secure a place for the transport of the goods on a certain sailing to a particular place in the UK. In addition, the necessary information must also be provided (eg MRN number, ENS data, etc.);
  • No booking will result in a red light, i.e. without booking the haulier will not be allowed to proceed to the terminal.


  • Depending on the cut-off times of the shipping company


  • The booking of the sea transport is done directly with the shipping company (via their booking portal or via EDI)

From Zeebrugge there are various transport options to different places in the UK. Information about the possible routes can be found on the MBZ website. 

Shortsea traffic

For the transport via shortsea, little changes to the booking process to get goods into the UK. If you use liner services for RORO or containers, the necessary information is already available via the Bill of Lading (B/L). The conditions for the transport of goods by sea are laid down in this transport agreement. What changes are the extra customs formalities (see “step 2 – export declaration”).

Ferry traffic

For the transport via ferry, the booking process will not change initially. You can still make your booking with the different ferry operators like you do before Brexit.

This is a temporary situation. In the case of unaccompanied transport, the shipping company needs the necessary information to submit the safety and security declaration, the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS). However, the UK has suspended the submission of the ENS until July 1, 2021. After this period, the ENS will have to be submitted for all goods that are on board of the vessel and brought into the UK. It therefore does not matter whether the goods are unloaded or in which UK port the goods will be unloaded. Customs simply want to know what is on board of a vessel. The deadline for submitting the ENS is set at 2 hours before arrival at the first port in the UK. No B/L is available for ferry traffic. This means that the following information must be made available to the ferry company:

  • The shipper (= the shipper of the goods)
  • The recipient (= the recipient of the goods at destination)
  • The port of loading
  • The port of discharge
  • The outgoing customs document number (Movement Reference Number – MRN) and type of document
  • The marks and the numbers of the goods and / or the containers
  • The number and type of packages and a description of the goods
  • The gross weight of the goods
  • The sizes and / or volume of the goods