Ready in 5 steps as an exporter

All ferry terminals and shortsea terminals in the Netherlands make participation in our chain-wide solution for the actual-obligatory customs formalities mandatory. No pre-notified document at the terminal means no access. The checklist below helps you to continue to swiftly transport cargo to and from the United Kingdom as an exporter.

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Your checklist

As an exporter, will you make sure that your cargo flows smoothly via 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.
Pay attention! Have you worked with a British EORI number until now? Because of the Brexit you have to convert this to an EORI number from the EU.

Step 2: Establish who is responsible for the export declarations

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. On the website of the Dutch Customs you will find a list of software suppliers who can help you. Also read more on submitting import and export declarations on the website of Customs*.

You may also need to arrange this:


* Only available in Dutch
**NVWA is Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority

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

For transport from and to the United Kingdom, the pre-notification of customs documents via Portbase is mandatory at all ferry terminals and 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! These Dutch (customs) forwarders could help you. If you do the pre-notifications yourself, these software suppliers can create a system link if desired. 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 customs documents at shortsea and ferry terminals.

For export (cargo from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom): service Notification Export Documentation

The pre-notification of customs documents can be done via the web as well as (in the case of larger numbers) by means of a system link. These software suppliers can help you make such a system link. 

Take note! Additional information for existing customers of Notification Export Documentation
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.


Curious how the service works?

Notification Export Documentation

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 (cargo from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom): service Track & Trace Export

This service offers 24/7 insight into all export shipments at shortsea and ferry terminals: 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. His driver is then referred to a temporary parking location in the port area. In consultation with his planner or you as a client, the formalities can still be arranged.

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.


Curious how the service works?

Track & Trace Export

Read all the details in the Get Ready for Brexit handbook.

These terminals and shipping companies are participating

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