Port of Dover
The Port of Dover is sometimes referred to as the Gateway to Europe. Processing up to 10,000 Freight vehicles and 200+ coaches on a busy day, the Port is a bubbling 'hive' of activity and is a community in its own right. Keeping the wheels in motion and maintaining the highest safety standards is a huge task and one that is a credit to the staff and agencies employed within the port.
For those operators and drivers who are considering venturing into Europe and using the port for the first time, these pages are an aid to assist in a problem free experience.
Export Freight Clearance If your load requires customs export clearance, do not enter Eastern Docks. Proceed directly to Dover Western docks Freight Clearance Facility before travelling, which is clearly signposted. (For further information concerning the Freight Clearance Services and facilities, visit the Freight Clearance page).
- Leaving the UK
- Hazardous and Abnormal Loads
- Unaccompanied Trailers and Containers
- Ferry Operators
- Facilities within the Port
- Arriving from France
- Further Reading
Leaving the UK
Safety - Upon entering the Port, Safety is paramount. Drive safely and carefully at all times and obey all road traffic laws, they apply in the Ferry Terminal (Eastern Docks) and Freight Clearance Facility (Western Docks) as well as on the road you used to enter the port. The speed limit within the port is 20mph unless otherwise stated.
Protect yourself and wear high visibility clothing if you get out of your cab. Park only in authorised bays and do not obstruct pedestrian walkways. When walking, use the black and white pedestrian walkways provided.
Hot work, welding or gas cutting is not allowed without a permit. Permits for authorised operators can be obtained from the Freight Services Agency. 'Naked flames' and 'cooking' are not permitted in the Ferry Terminal (Eastern Docks) or Freight Clearance Facility (Western Docks).
Security and Frontier Controls - All persons and vehicles entering the Restricted Area are subject to security checks.
Security systems and measures are in place throughout the port, including entry security checks.
You may also be asked to show your passport to an officer of the French Police aux Frontières to validate your permission to enter France. After that, you could be checked by an officer from one of the UK's agencies, such as HM Revenue & Customs or Special Branch. Please comply with any instructions you are given.
When you enter the Ferry Terminal (Eastern Docks), follow the signs for check-in. You may be asked to stop for a check on your way to
the ferry. If you are selected for a check, your co-operation and assistance will be appreciated in order that it can be completed
with minimum delay to your journey.
Your route will take you to the port weighbridges where your vehicle must be weighed before shipment under Maritime Regulations. You can use any weighbridge - they are all 'self-service' and display instructions on how to use them. Take the weight ticket and drive to your chosen ferry operator's check-in. The ferry operator will take the weight ticket, check you in and tell you which assembly lane (1 to 237) to head for.
Hazardous and Abnormal Loads
Hazardous Goods - The Dangerous Substances in Harbour Area Regulations 1987 require you to notify us if you are carrying hazardous goods before you bring them into the Ferry Terminal (Eastern Docks) or Freight Clearance Facility (Western Docks).
At the Port of Dover, details of hazardous goods should be notified to Terminal Control by fax. The number is: +44 (0) 1304 215793.
All hazardous goods must also be declared to your ferry operator.
Vehicles carrying hazardous goods must be correctly labelled and drivers must have appropriate documentation.
Abnormal Loads - An Abnormal Load for the Port of Dover, is any vehicle that has:
- a height exceeding 4.8 metres (15' 9")
- a width exceeding 3.2 metres (10' 6")
- a length exceeding 22 metres (72') or
- a weight exceeding 45 tonnes (45,000kg)
Loads that exceed these limits can generally be accommodated through the Port of Dover on a special route, providing advance approval has been obtained. Freight operators wishing to transport Abnormal Loads through the Port of Dover should supply details of their Abnormal Load to their Ferry Operator in advance of their arrival. Ferry operators will help to confirm whether the load can be shipped and will seek port approval for transport through the terminal.
Unaccompanied Trailers and Containers
For delivering and collecting trailers/containers you will need a Dock Pass. If you are a regular visitor to the port you may apply for a permanent pass (photo identification required). Application forms can be obtained from the Pass Office just inside the entrance to the Ferry Terminal (Eastern Docks).Temporary single visit passes can be obtained from West Gate where you will need to produce a passport, European ID card or photo driving licence.
Follow the freight vehicle route into the terminal and stop at the weighbridges to weigh your vehicle. Then follow the signs to the Cargo Terminal. After passing through East Gate security, visit the Driver's Reception Building on your right, obtain release from the appropriate ferry operator and then follow the signs to the Unaccompanied Trailer Park (UTP), past assembly lane 237.
To enter the UTP and Container Terminal, you must use your Dock Pass. Trailers are left in the UTP in accordance with Dover Harbour Board's Terms & Conditions, a copy of which can be obtained on request. Trailers left in the UTP for long periods or trailers which are not unaccompanied shipments may incur charges.
After leaving the UTP follow the Exit/Sortie signs to leave the Ferry Terminal.
Dover Cargo Terminal - You will need a Dock Pass to enter the Dover Cargo Terminal, which is situated in the Ferry
Terminal (Eastern Docks). If you are a regular visitor to the port you may apply for a permanent pass (photo identification required).
Application forms can be obtained from the Pass Office just inside the entrance to the Ferry Terminal (Eastern Docks).
Temporary single visit passes can be obtained from West Gate where you will need to produce a passport, European ID card or photo driving licence. Follow the Cargo Terminal signs (there is no need to go over the weighbridges) and use your pass to gain access through West Gate and East Gate. On arrival, report to George Hammond's office on the quayside. After leaving Dover Cargo Terminal follow the Exit/Sortie signs to leave the Ferry Terminal.
Ferry Information Services are operated by:
|Ferry Operator||Contact Information|
Dover & Dunkerque Freight
Tel: +44 (0)1304 218416
Fax No: +44 (0)1304 218420
Freight Sales Dover
Tel: +44 (0) 1304 862539
Fax: +44 (0) 1304 862577
Freight Sales Calais
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 46 10 20
Fax: +33(0)3 21 00 32 00
Facilities within the Port
Freight Drivers' Services can be found in the Passenger Services Buildings, which is situated on assembly lanes 40 and 180. The services available to freight drivers are:
- Cafes and Fast Food Outlets
- Shops selling snacks, drinks, newspapers and maps etc
- Travelex Desk for currency exchange
- Toilet & shower facilities
- Pay phones with internet access
- Cash point machine (£ sterling)
- Gaming area
- Seating facilities
- Vending machines
In the Passenger Services Building situated on assembly lane 83 you will find toilet and shower facilities.
Arriving from France
On leaving the Ferry Terminal at the Eastern Docks you will be directed towards the overhead roadway. Be aware of the Give Way signs for traffic priority on the overhead roadway. Follow the Exit/Sortie signs above the two freight lanes. Continue past the Freight Selection Booth where you may be selected for a check by one of the border agencies such as HM Revenue & Customs or VOSA. If you are, please comply with their instructions. To continue your journey, at the dock exit you may join the A2 (M2) or A20 (M20) from the roundabout.
Import Freight Clearance - If your load requires customs import clearance, do not continue your journey onto the UK road network. Proceed directly to Dover Western docks Freight Clearance Facility before travelling, which is clearly signposted. (For further information concerning the Freight Clearance Services and facilities, visit the Freight Clearance page).
For further information at Dover, please use the link below and visit their website.