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Kent Access Permit: A Quick Guide for Transport Companies

kent access permit

Brexit Customs Procedures: The Kent Access Permit is designed to reduce traffic congestion after the brexit transition period.

Written by
Transport Solicitor
Chris Powell
Senior Associate Solicitor

This article is now out of date and may not reflect the current law

Who should read this guide?

This guide should be read by UK and EU transport companies who will operate trucks from Dover to the EU after the 1st January 2021 when the Brexit transition period ends.

What is the Kent Access Permit?

The Kent Access Permit (KAP) is a mandatory UK permit scheme designed to reduce traffic congestion at the port of Dover after the Brexit Transition Period ends on the 1st January 2021. To get a permit, hauliers using the Dover to Calais crossing or Eurotunnel must declare that they have all the required customs paperwork before they enter the county of Kent. This is done using the Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border website. Trucks making the Dover to Calais crossing after 1st January 2021 without a Kent Access Permit can face a fine of up to £300.

Important: The Kent Access Permit is an entirely separate system to the UK’s Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS).

Do I need a Kent Access Permit?

A Kent Access Permit is needed for all driver-accompanied RoRo (Roll on, Roll off) freight travelling to the EU from the port of Dover or Eurotunnel. It applies to both UK and EU trucks registered trucks over 7.5 tons.

How do I get a Kent Access Permit?

To apply for a Kent Access Permit you will need to go to the Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border website which will go live in December 2020.  The website will ask you questions about the expected EU import controls, and what documents you have.

You will be asked about any:

  • Movement Reference Number (MRN)
  • Transit Accompanying Document (TAD)
  • ATA or TIR Carnet
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Certificates, etc

Depending on the information you declare, the website will give you a score of either Green, Orange or Red. Unsurprisingly, a Red score means you do not have the documents you need and should not enter Kent or go to the port until this is corrected.

If you have all the documents you need you will be given a Green score and your vehicle will be issued with an electronic permit allowing you to go to Dover.

Remember: You must get a Kent Access Permit before you enter the county of Kent en route to Dover. A permit only lasts 24 hours and will only cover a single vehicle for a single journey.

What happens if I don’t get a Kent Access Permit?

The Kent Access Permit system is enforced by Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR). This means that any truck entering Kent without a Kent Access Permit can be detected and can face a fine of £300 and sent away from the port.

Do I need a Kent Access Permit if I am delivering to Kent and not crossing to the EU?

You do not need a Kent Access Permit to enter Kent unless you are transporting a load to the EU. UK operators carrying out domestic deliveries within Kent are not affected.

What is a Kent Local Access Permit?

A Kent Local Access Permit is entirely separate to the Kent Access Permit scheme and the two should not be confused. A Kent Local Access Permit only applies to transport companies based in certain areas of Kent close to Dover. It is a paper based permit system which allows the holder to avoid some of the prescribed traffic management routes in place under Operation Brock. Holders of a Kent Local Access Permit will still need to apply for a Kent Access Permit if they are transporting goods to the EU via Dover or Eurotunnel.

Further information

At Rotheras we have many years of experience assist UK and EU hauliers on a wide range of cross-border matters including appealing clandestine entrant and migrant penalties and reclaiming seized vehicles and goods. You can find out more about our services here:

More information on transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU by road from January 2021 can be found on the UK government advice site:

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