UK to Spain

There are a number of freight ferry crossings departing the UK and arriving at Spain each week. However…

The right one for your business might depend on the vehicle you are transporting your goods in.

In fact, the right freight ferry route for your business might not go directly into Spain at all.

Here’s how to transport your goods from the UK to Spain.

UK to Spain for van drivers

Whilst there are a number of direct freight ferry routes to Spain, the most popular way to get to Spain for vans is usually to just travel on the Dover to Calais route and then drive through France. This tends to be the most popular choice because it is normally the most cost and time effective way for couriers to get into Spain.

As van drivers are not tied to tachographs they are able to get across France much quicker than drivers of rigid or articulated vehicles (and who are subject to driving restrictions).

DFDS sail 10 times a day from Dover to Calais, taking around 90 minutes. For those in even more of a hurry, Folkestone to Calais on Eurotunnel is also a popular option. These crossings are all open tickets making them great for flexible requirements.

Van drivers can even avoid peak travel times on Eurotunnel with the Freight VP service.

UK to Spain for truck drivers

For artics and rigids to get to Spain, the best and most popular routes are usually the direct ones.

Taking you from the South Coast of England into Northern Spain is Brittany FerriesPortsmouth to Santander route. Direct freight ferries to Spain such as this will normally take upwards of 24 hours, allowing for a long rest period on board.

Of course, there are also great onboard facilities such as cabins, restaurants and bars allowing for a complete journey in relaxation rather than more time (and fuel costs) spent on the road.

Some other fantastic options for transporting goods directly into Spain by ferry includes the Finnlines-operated Tilbury to Bilbao route and the CLdN- operated Liverpool to Santander.

Other routes

Other ferry options for travelling to Spain include taking a ferry from England to Brittany, and driving through the west of France into Northern Spain. This is a good option if you do not wish to sail all the way to Spain, but still want a good overnight rest, and access to on board facilities such as a cabin etc.

Examples of such routes, great for all types of freight vehicles (vans, lorries, and artics), are Portsmouth to St Malo and Portsmouth to Caen.

Both of these services are operated by Brittany Ferries and take between 6 and 11 hours - depending on how calm the seas are.

What customs paperwork do I need for transporting goods from the UK to Spain?

Businesses exporting goods from the UK and importing into Spain may require the following customs documentation:

  • Export declaration (export from GB)
  • Import declaration (import into ES)
  • GMR
  • ENS

Please note, this information is correct at time of publication. Customs legislation can change quickly, so please contact CustomsLink for up-to-date customs requirements.

CustomsLink, our sister company, is a leading customs broker. Based in Northern England, the CustomsLink team of experts support business across the UK and EU with their import and export declarations.

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