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Global Container Services

Union Customs Code / Authorised Economic Operator

The new Union Customs Code (UCC) will come into force on 1st May 2016 and it will replace existing EU Customs rules. The new rules are essentially designed to simplify and modernise procedures, where all communication is electronic. Any importer who has current Customs guarantees in place for processes such as Inward Processing Relief (IPR) for example, are recommended to check with their authorising Customs department as these companies will need to re-apply for authorisation.

Although not compulsory for Customs Clearance / Freight Forwarding Agents, being an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) will become much more important from 1st May.

Global Container Services Limited have held the official EU status of AEO accreditation at the highest level (AEOF - Customs simplifications/security & safety) since August 2012, and have recently been inspected by HMRC to ensure that we remain compliant. AEO plays a key part to a worldwide initiative to have a safe & secure international supply chain. Companies who hold the accreditation have also demonstrated their ability to handle Customs controls competently. As an AEO approved company, you can therefore be assured that our procedures are verified and accepted by HMRC, giving our customers the benefits of using a compliant business partner.

Key benefits for our customers are:

  • AEO’s are considered a low risk service provider, and are therefore subject to less documentation checks.
  • Where physical examinations are required, AEO’s are given priority treatment.
  • Competent and experienced staff working on your behalf, who have passed HMRC checks.
  • Operate a safe and secure supply chain, therefore increased transport security of your goods.


If you require more information on UCC or AEO, please contact us.

Verified Gross Mass

New regulations will come into force from 1st July 2016 (SOLAS VI Regulation 2), which will expand on how the gross mass of cargo and container tare weights must be verified. The changes in the rules are as a result of incidents, reports and concerns from the carriers that the actual weight of cargo is often different to the declared weight, thus putting lives and equipment in danger whilst at sea and in port. From 1st July, the Shipper will be responsible to provide the carrier/forwarder with a Verified Gross Mass (VGM), and therefore can no longer estimate to give an approximate weight.

For UK exports, there are only two methods which will be allowed:

Method 1: Weighing a packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment, for example weighbridges.

Method 2: Weighing all packages and cargo items, including any pallets and packing material, and then to add the tare mass of the container. Using method 2, can only be accepted if the shipper has been approved by the regulating authority.

For certain types of cargo items, such as scrap metal, unbagged grain and other bulk cargo, is not suitable for method 2, as they do not easily lend themselves to individual weighing of items. In these cases, only method 1 should be used instead.

Under the new regulations, containers without a verified gross mass cannot be loaded onto a ship.

If you require any further information on any of the above or need assistance to ensure that your supply chain will not be affected, please get in touch.

Global Containers takes delivery of a new truck

Global Containers takes delivery of a new truck, which will be utilised for container deliveries from Felixstowe on Monday 5th October.

Global Container Services - New Truck

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