The exciting world of Global Trade has many abbreviations behind which complicated concepts and constructs are to be found.​ We explain what they all mean and are gradually building a library of all important terms in the world of customs & global trade. Free for everyone to use.


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The Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) is the pre-lodgement declaration system used to accelerate border clearance when moving goods out of Great Britain (GB). It formally enters into operation on 1 January 2021 following the exit of GB from the EU's  Customs Union and Single Market. 

The system allows for data and information relevant to goods, consignment, haulier and carrier information (journey, truck, type of goods, quantities etc.) to be lodged and validated prior to a truck arriving in the GB ports. Without the green light of the GVMS, no truck should move to the ports.  GVMS is linked to the UK' Customs Declaration System (CDS) and can risk assess goods (so a customs declaration needs to have been lodged). The GVMS supports this model for both imports and exports and to facilitate transit movements.

The government asserts that the GVMS will, by July 2021, at the latest to link declaration and journey references together so that the person moving the goods (e.g. the haulier) only has to present one single reference (Goods Movement Reference or GMR) at the frontier to prove that their goods have pre-lodged all the necessary declarations.


GVMS can

  •  link of the movement of the goods to declarations. This allows the automatic arrival/departure (where applicable) of goods in HMRC systems so that goods boarding on the EU side can be processed en route.


  • automate the Office of Transit function, marking the entry of goods into the UK customs territory

  • allow notification of the risking outcome of declarations (i.e. cleared or uncleared) in HMRC systems to be sent to the person in control of the goods by the time they physically arrive in the UK, so that they know where they need to proceed.