Network News

Mathez Freight Tips: 7 Easy Steps To Import Into EU

7:58am 11th March 2021





With Brexit in effect since January 1st, many companies and truckers are facing daily challenges with customs formalities. As a Registered Customs Representative, Mathez Freight - X2 Elite member - has a dedicated Brexit help desk team who have already helped dozens of Customers and hundreds of trucks perform their post-Brexit operations successfully.

Here you can get an idea of a Standard Operating Procedure created to help you understand basics and ease imports from Great Britain into the EU through France.  


Step 1: Get the Customs broker in Great Britain to issue an Export custom clearance

British Customs require an export declaration to be made for all goods departing the UK through the National Export System (NES) to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

If goods are of British origin, in order to have null or low import duties in the E.U.  your supplier must type the following sentence on the invoice and/or the packing list:

“The exporter of the products covered by this document (UK EORI # …) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of the United Kingdom preferential origin.“


Step 2: Get your T1/MRN in Great Britain (optional)

Ask your customs broker in Great Britain to issue a T1/MRN. This will enable you to handle customs in an inner Customs office in the European Union (for example in Marseilles, Warsaw, or elsewhere).
NB: Ask us for our customs office code to establish the T1.

If you can’t get a T1/MRN, we will have to sort an import customs clearance or issue a T1 on the European Community border


Step 3: Provide your French Customs broker (Mathez Freight) with all the documents

Send them a full set of documents:

  • Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Export customs declaration
  • Shipper’s EORI number
  • Consignee’s EORI number
  • A consignment note (also called CMR/lettre de voiture in French) (more later)
  • Trailer registration plate (not truck… trailer only). For vans: registration plate (more later).
  • If possible, have your HS code ready. 

Step 4: We handle customs transit or customs clearance on the entry border

If you have no T1 on step 2, Mathez Freight, as a registered customs representative in France will either carry out:

  • Clearance on the border:
    Please note: they can only handle customs clearance on the entry border for full trucks.
    It’s quick and easy. The other side of this procedure is when a customs check is required, it can take a long time with uncontrolled costs due to congestion. So far, it has been working pretty well.
  • Under bond transit: they put trucks under T1 (under bond) to leave the port of entry and be customs cleared elsewhere in an inner customs office (Bordeaux, Frankfurt, Shanghai) or delivered into a bonded warehouse (ask us for advanced customs solutions).

In case of congestion in Calais or sensitive products, Mathez Freight can set-up an anticipated T1 from the French border (Calais, Dunkirk, Cherbourg…) to one of their customs offices.

Their main customs office for Brexit is Lille. 

Mathez Freight can issue a T1 to another customs office or another customs broker if they have a guarantee that it will be cleared upon arrival (liability on full taxes and duties).


Step 5: We process an ENS in the ICS

  • Before the truck crosses the channel, you need to make a Declaration in the Import Control System (security and safety) called ENS. It links a trailer’s registration plate with its content summary import declaration.
  • It must be done at least 2 hours before the truck arrives at the checkpoint (port of departure).

Step 6: We carry out anticipated import customs clearance

If you have no T1 on step 2, we key in an import declaration to the French customs system, so we are ready to release the import declaration when the truck arrives either on the border or in an inner Customs office.

A truck can’t leave Great Britain without an anticipated import declaration or a T1.

And we are done with paperwork!


Step 7: Drive the truck!

In the UK, the truck will scan ENS and Anticipated Customs Declaration. This will grant it access to the ferry or the channel tunnel.

Upon arrival, truck registration plates will be scanned by the “smart  border” and Customs declaration will be automatically turned into a final status, and the traffic light will indicate:

  • Green channel: the truck is free to go, the customs process is completed.
  • Orange channel: the driver must go to the local customs desk and show documents (physical or electronic).
  • If there are more in-depth examination requirements by customs, our Mathez Freight customs team and local assistance will obviously assist and take the lead.

Contact them for more details: