Ready in 5 steps as an exporter

Our chain-wide solution comprises 5 easy steps for the customs obligations which arise in shortsea and ferry traffic after Brexit. Each link in the logistics chain has its own task and responsibilities in that respect. All information will precede the cargo. This allows for smart supervision on the part of Customs, with minimal disruption to the logistics process. As a result, all cargo will always swiftly travel through the Dutch ports after Brexit as well. Participation is mandatory at all ferry terminals and most shortsea terminals in the Netherlands.

Your checklist

As an exporter, will you make sure that you are ready in time for Brexit in the Dutch ports? Read here which actions are required on your part for transport via both shortsea and ferry.

Step 1: Register with Customs

No relationship with Customs yet? Then register for an EORI number with Customs as soon as possible. Every company in Europe involved in import or export requires such a unique identification number from Customs. Also if you are an exporter who uses a forwarder or customs agent for your export declarations.

Step 2: Establish who is responsible for the export declarations

Following Brexit, decide whether you will submit export declarations to Customs yourself as an exporter or whether you will use a forwarder or customs agent. If you submit declarations yourself, separate software and licenses will be required.

You may also need to arrange this:


*NVWA is Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority

Step 3: Determine who will pre-notify the customs documents

After Brexit, the pre-notification of customs documents via Portbase is mandatory at all ferry terminals and most shortsea terminals in the Netherlands. You can take care of this pre-notification yourself in your capacity as an exporter, but the forwarder, customs agent or, on occasion, transporter can do this as well. Make clear agreements about this! Without pre-notification, the transporter will not be granted access to the terminal.

Step 4: Subscribe to the Portbase services

You use Portbase to digitally pre-notify cargo at shortsea and ferry terminals.

For export: service Notification Export Documentation

After Brexit, you can use this existing service to pre-notify all export documents at shortsea and ferry terminals. Please note! If you are an existing customer already using a system link-up, then a minor adjustment is required. The message specifications necessary for this are available here.

Costs and registration Notification Export Documentation

As a new participant, the one-off connection costs are € 249.50 (excluding VAT). The day-to-day usage is free of charge.


Step 5: Check beforehand whether the terminal has the customs documents

After the pre-notification, you can use Portbase to track the cargo in real-time. If necessary, you can still take action should something not be correct with the pre-notification.

For export: service Track & Trace Export

Post-Brexit, this existing service will offer 24/7 insight into all export shipments at shortsea and ferry terminals as well: from the moment of arrival from the hinterland until the departure to sea. Your transporter is expected to use Track & Trace Export to verify whether the customs documents are known at the terminal prior to departing for said terminal. Without correctly pre-notified customs documents, the transporter will not be granted access to the terminal.

Costs and registration Track & Trace Export
Track & Trace Export is part of Notification Export Documentation and is a web-based service. After registration for Notification Export Documentation, the use of this service is free of charge.


Read all the details in the Get Ready for Brexit handbook

These terminals and shipping companies are participating

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