Ferry Crossings: A useful guide on the rules and regulations associated with the ferry operators and port authorities in Europe & North Africa

When taking the ferry a whole host of questions and doubts can pop into your head. In this latest Overdrive post, we attempt to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions that our Services Department encounter on a day to day basis. Hopefully these will help you plan for a more relaxing trip.

Can I drive a HGV in Europe on weekends or bank holidays?

It depends on which country you are driving in and what you are carrying. Many countries on mainland Europe impose bans on the driving of commercial vehicles over a specified weight on Sunday’s and public holidays.

Some countries will extend these on popular summer weekends, whilst others have commercial traffic prohibitions on specified roads at certain times. There are not normally restrictions on vans. It is always worth checking the details for the country you are planning on visiting. Information for some popular destinations is included here:

FRANCEGross weight over 7.5t, throughout the road and motorway network, from 22:00 Saturday and the eve of public holidays until 22:00 Sundays and public holidays. There are exceptions for trucks carrying perishable produce or refrigerated produce, trucks servicing sporting events or trade fairs, and a few other cases.
GERMANYGross weight of over 7.5t, plus any vehicle with a trailer, regardless of weight, on Sundays and public holidays from 00:00 to 22:00.
BELGIUMThere are no restrictions on goods vehicles on Sundays or public holidays
NETHERLANDSThere are no restrictions on goods vehicles on Sundays or public holidays
ITALYGross weight over 7.5t, from 08:00-22:00 on Sundays between October and May, and from 07:00 to 24:00 from June to September. Also applies on public holidays and days of heavy traffic. There are exceptions for trucks carrying perishable produce or fuels.
SPAINGross weight over 7.5t, except those transporting livestock or fresh milk, on certain roads and on certain dates. Regional and date restrictions can be extensive so it is important to familiarise yourself with national driving restrictions as fines can be very severe.

What customs paperwork do I need for certain ferry routes?

Certain ferry routes require particular paperwork to clear customs. There are also specific operator requirements related to a No-Deal Brexit.

Norway, Sweden & Denmark

Any allowed freight moving from Immingham to Norway, Sweden or Denmark (and vice versa) must clear customs.


Despite being in the EU, A T2L customs document is required.

Guernsey & Jersey

If travelling from or through the EU, A T2 customs transit document is required.

If travelling to/from the UK, only a consignment note is required.

Canary Islands

The name and contact details of your customs agent must be declared when making your booking with us. Also, you are not authorised to travel until the customs agent has stamped your customs paperwork.

Morocco & North Africa

The name and contact details of your customs agent must be declared when making your booking with us. Also, you are not authorised to travel until the customs agent has stamped your customs paperwork.

I don’t understand transport of ADR cargo from Italy to Greece, can you help?

Always take into account the restrictions affecting passenger ferries in the both ports of Igoumenitsa and Patras.

For example, Classes 1, 2, 6.2, 7 regardless of packing group and also from the other classes packing group I & II ARE NOT ALLOWED to be shipped.

Please bear in mind this information and remember that on the route Brindisi – Igoumenitsa and the Patras Grimaldi Line sailings are passenger ferries only, so it is not possible on this route to accept cargo belonging to above mentioned classes of ADR.

As an alternative Grimaldi Lines can offer travel on a cargo ship (with only 12 driver spaces available) sailing ONLY TO PATRAS from Genoa, Venice, Ravenna and Bari.

Remember that the documentation to get the ADR authorisation from Italian port authorities must be submitted with enough advanced warning and 3 working days prior departure are recommended.

For example, booking on Friday morning an ADR booking for a Saturday departure will be most likely refused.

What are the daily charges when a trailer is left / stored on the quay at port?

Once an unaccompanied trailer has been discharged from the ferry, the following daily storage charges on a port quay apply –

PortOperatorFree Storage DurationAdditional Storage Charges
KillingholmeCobelfret72 hours4 – 7 days : £8.50 /day

8 – 10 days : £14 /day

11 + days : £24 /day

PurfleetCobelfret72 hours4 – 7 days : £8.50 /day

8 – 10 days : £14 /day

11 + days : £24 /day

RotterdamCobelfret72 hours4 – 7 days : €6 /day

8 – 10 days : €12 /day

11 + days : €24 /day

ZeebruggeCobelfret72 hours4 – 7 days : €6 /day

8 – 10 days : €12 /day

11 + days : €24 /day

ALLColor Line2 days2 – 5 days : €39

6 – 10 days : €56

11 – 15 days : €72

16 + days : €89

ImminghamDFDSUnaccompanied –

 4 days

Accompanied –



1 – 7 days : £32 /day


5 – 7 days : £32 /day


8 + days : £64 /day

HelsinkiEckero Line, Finnlines, Tallink & Viking Line3 days1 – 4 days : €3.28 /day

5 – 6 days : €4.21 /day

7 – 8 days : €4.92 /day

9 – 12 days : €6.30 /day

13 + days : €7.70 /day

Hull, Teesport, Tilbury, Rotterdam & ZeebruggeP&O Ferries7 days8 – 14 days : £6 / €7.50 /day

15 + days : £12 / €15 /day

HeyshamSeatruck & Stena Line7 days8 – 11 days : £15.89 /day

12 + days : £31.76 /day

CuxhavenDFDS5 days6 – 10 days : €19.00 /day

11 + days : €23.00 /day

Birkenhead, Cairnryan, Holyhead, Dublin & FishguardStena Line3 days4–10 days : £15.00 / day

11-15 days : £30.00 / day

16-29 days : £50.00 / day

30 + days : £100.00 / day

Shunting Charges : £15.00 / unit

What if I am running late?

If you are running late for a time-specific booking please let us know as soon as possible. A 1 hour check-in time only applies to some routes not all freight ferry routes.

Therefore in some instances it is acceptable that you arrive at quayside 1 hour before departure. Our Customer Service Team are able to advise the ferry company that you will be late, and the operator may still be able to accommodate you. Our Customer Service Team can be contacted on 0845 313 2212.

If you are going to miss the sailing altogether or the ferry company are not able to accommodate your late arrival then we will be able to discuss alternative options for you.

 What are the charges for booking ‘No Shows’ and Late Cancellations?

If you fail to notify us that you are not going to show for your booking (a ‘No Show’) or cancel a booking late, charges can apply. Here are the current charges for ferry and tunnel operators.

OperatorCancellation ChargeNo Show Charge
100% booking cost100% booking cost
Condor Ferries
Cancelled and re-booked within 24 hours : £25

Cancelled less than 48 hours, but more than 12 hours before departure : £25
Cancelled within 12 hours of departure : 100% booking cost

100% booking cost
Corsica Ferries
100% booking cost100% booking cost
Destination Gotland
100% booking cost100% booking cost
Eckero Lines
Within 1 hour of departure : €40Within 1 hour of departure : €40
Eurotunnel VP
100% booking cost100% booking cost
P&O Ferries North Sea: Hull-Zeebrugge/Rotterdam
P&O Ferries North Sea: Tilbury-Zeebrugge
After 12:00 for same day evening departures or after 14:00 for next morning departures : 100%

Weekend departures cancelled after 14:00 Friday : 100% booking cost

100% booking cost
Stena Line
Cancellations or amendments within 2 hours of departure : £43.50 / €50£43.50 / €50
Tallink Silja
Within 1 hour of departure : €75€75
Viking Line
Within 1 hour of departure : €50€50
Unity Line
Within 12 hours of departure : €30€30
100% booking cost
Virtu Ferries
100% booking cost

Can I take my dog in my truck on a ferry?

It depends on the ferry operator. Unfortunately we can’t give a direct answer. We would suggest you contact the ferry operator directly or alternatively we can make the enquiry on your behalf.