Irish Exporters Association.


Learn more about our Business Centre by contacting our Commercial Team

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From 1st January 2021 the check-in or drop-off of equipment for Irish Ferries Freight Services on our Ireland/UK routes will be subject to Brexit customs related changes irrespective of any free trade agreement.

All vehicles will require both a validated PBN (IRL) and GMR (UK) number to access our Irish Sea facilities.

Further details are set out below. IT systems will be modified to enable easy entry of these details.

Our Dublin/Cherbourg/Dublin direct service will be unaffected by this process and offers a viable alternative route to Continental Europe.

We are committed to providing the most efficient services and will publish updates and information on the relevant upcoming changes as we receive them.
  • Irish Ferries Freight remains committed to assisting our valued customers through the upcoming introduction of Brexit customs related controls on export and import processes throughout our Irish Sea route network. Our systems are being developed to ensure that we comply with the new requirements whilst offering the most efficient solutions to assist your business maintain efficiency.
  • Essentially, without exception, all necessary declarations must be completed prior to checking in at the port of departure. This will have immediate impact on many of our current flexible and bespoke business arrangements. The relevant authorities continue to provide clarification on requirements and process change and we will endeavour to keep you updated with relevant information when it becomes available to us.
  • Based on current guidance however the following sets out some of the requirements of the post-transition period which comes into effect on 1st January 2021. It should be noted that this list, whilst indicative is not exhaustive as individual businesses may have different requirements and to this end, we have listed below some websites that may offer further information and clarity for your assistance.


  • Republic of Ireland – Dublin and Rosslare ports will operate under pre-boarding notification rules within the ROI Customs roll-on/roll-off service. A pre-boarding notification reference number or (PBN) will be issued by ROI Customs and will be required at check-in for all imports into ROI and all exports out of ROI.
  • UK – All Irish Sea routes to and from the UK will operate under the UK’s pre-lodgement customs model, UK Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS). A Goods Movement Reference number (GMR) will be issued by this authority. This will be required at check-in from 1st January 2021 for all CTC Transit goods entering the UK; and from 1st July 2021 for all imports into UK and all exports out of UK.
  • Prior to check in please ensure that Export and Import Customs Declarations have been lodged with the relevant customs authorities including all safety and security declarations, for both accompanied and unaccompanied shipments. This can be done directly or through a customs agent.
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods which include Animals, Plants, and Products of Animal and Plant Origin will require pre notification to relevant authorities 24 hours in advance of arrival.
  • In some instances authorities may require physical documents to travel with the vehicle (e.g. Health certificates, Transit Accompanying Documents or TADs). For unaccompanied shipments it will need to be considered how this requirement will be satisfied as Irish Ferries will not be in a position to handle any 3rd party physical documents.


  • Our booking processes will be adapted to reflect the additional PBN and GMR numbers both within freightengine® and through our EDI systems.
  • We will continue to accept and confirm bookings without these numbers however in order to prevent delays at check in, please update this data pre-check in as without both a validated PBN and GMR number entry to the port for the purposes of check in or vehicle drop will not be permissible.


  • In advance of the 1st January 2021 deadline the following websites may provide more specific information for your business requirements.


United Kingdom


  • Our Dublin/Cherbourg/Dublin route provides a direct service to Continental Europe offering an unaffected alternative to the Brexit customs related controls. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Commercial Team to explore viable additional options for your business.

    As always, the Commercial Business Team is available to assist, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Telephone – +353 (0) 818 22 15 30 e-mail –