External Temporary Storage Facilities

Mitigate delays through UK Ports with an ETSF (External Temporary Storage Facility) 

Now that the UK has left the EU we are in a transition period until 31st December 2020.  

Whilst the future trading relationship between the UK and EU has not been finalised it is already clear that Customs Declarations and checks will be required for goods entering UK ports from the EU. 

Now is the time to act!  

The Approval process for an ETSF can take many months

Contact us to find out more

The Scale of Impact


UK VAT registered businesses that trade with the EU only

>200 Million

Additional customs declarations are anticipated in each country 

>4.6 Million

number of units entering UK major ports per year by lorry

Find out how Descartes can help mitigate delays through ports due to Customs Declarations.

Delays are inevitable

The significant increase in customs checks and declarations through UK ports for roll-on roll-off (RoRo) traffic will create delays in goods being released by UK Customs. 

This will impact anyone involved in just-in-time delivery of goods such as fresh produce, fast parcel deliveries, parts for manufacturing and service, medicines and large groupage loads.  

ETSF's will mitigate delays

Many companies are now looking at setting up their own External Temporary Storage Facility (ETSF) to mitigate potential delays through UK customs. 

ETSF’s are often located further inland away from the port or frontier.

 RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off) traffic can exit the port quickly and the customs declarations can be conducted at the ETSF avoiding unnecessary delays.

Now is the time to act

It can take several months to set up an ETSF so now is the time to act.  

Descartes Pentant Community Service Provider (CSP) software is an approved CSP with an interface to HMRC’s CHIEF and the new Customs Declartion Service (CDS) for customs declarations. 

Descartes Pentant software will speed up the process of getting your ETSF approved by HMRC. 

The Descartes Pentant ETSF solution has been specifically designed for road transport operations into inland temporary storage facilities anywhere in the UK.

The HMRC and Border Force approved Pentant CSP Inventory system delivers control and compliance to your ETSF. By moving your customs clearances away from the congested border to your inland premises, under the same controls, rules and regulations, it brings all operations in-house rather than at remote port clearance sites.  

Based on Pentant’s many years of experience, with inventory-linked Ro-Ro movements through the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel, the software provides the same level of detail and granulation required at a truck level for the clearance of goods, but at your own site.  

Find out how you can take advantage of an External Temporary Storage Facility

The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020, the transition period is set to finish at 11pm on 31st December 2020.

This means that import and export declarations as well as security filings will need to be submitted for goods moving between the UK and the EU. Businesses need to be ready to handle customs processes from 1st of January 2021.

Be Brexit ready with Descartes Systems software solutions.  

Days remaining before 11pm 31st December 2020 when new procedures may start


Find out how Descartes can help you comply with the revised customs declaration procedures and minimise delays through UK ports. 

Get more information in our Brexit Resource Centre

Contact us to understand how our Pentant software can help your business be ready for Brexit by setting up an ETSF for customs declarations.

Discover how Descartes software can help you make the transition to Brexit?

Our team is standing by to answer your questions and to guide you through the customs, logistics and supply chain changes that will occur.

This includes the UK HMRC's transition to CDS and setting up an ETSF to mitigate delays at UK ports.

Union jack and EU flag as jigsaw pieces