Ready in 5 steps as a forwarder

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 a forwarder.

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Your checklist

As a forwarder, will you make sure that your customers can transport smoothly via the Dutch ports? Read here which actions are required on your part for transport via both shortsea and ferry.

Step 1: Make sure your client is registered with Customs

Will your customer start importing and/or exporting for the first time as a result of Brexit? 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 they use you or a customs agent to perform their import and 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: Arrange the import or export declarations for your customers

Through your own customs department or a customs agent, you always arrange the import and export declarations in a timely manner.

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

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. As a forwarder, you can take care of this pre-notification, but the importer/exporter itself, the customs agent or, on occasion, the 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 customs documents at shortsea and ferry terminals.

For import (cargo from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands): service Notification Import Documentation

Take note! Additional information for existing customers of Notification Import Documentation

  • In order to prenotify import documents to shortsea and ferry terminals, existing customers of Notification Import Documentation have to sign a supplementary terminal contract. In consultation with these terminals, Portbase has drawn up a single umbrella contract. By sending an email to sales@portbase.com, you can request the umbrella contract and return the signed copy to Portbase.
  • If you are an existing customer of Notification Import Documentation using a system link-up, then please check with your IT department or software supplier that you are using the correct version of the service. The message specifications can be found here.

Costs and participation Notification Import Documentation
The use of Notification Import Documentation for the pre-notification of import documents at ferry terminals involves a one-off connection fee € 249.50 (excluding VAT) for new customers. For the day-to-day use, there is a monthly subscription fee (€ 6.34 for the web service and € 21.17 for a system link-up) plus a transaction fee of € 0.18 per message.


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

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 services work?

Watch the video Notification Import Documentation

Learn more about 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 import (cargo from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands): service Import Status

Service for real-time insight into the customs status of incoming cargo at shortsea and ferry terminals. You can immediately see whether the required customs obligations have been met and whether Customs might want to inspect the cargo. The transporter is expected to use Import Status to verify whether the customs documents are known at the terminal before the ship arrives. Without correctly pre-notified customs documents, the cargo is not permitted to leave the terminal. The driver who picks up the cargo, will then be referred to a public parking location. In consultation with his planner or you as client, he can still arrange the customs formalities here.

Costs and registration Import Status
Import Status is a free service.


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. The 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 will then be referred to a public parking location. In consultation with his planner or you as client, he can still arrange the customs formalities here.

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 completely free of charge.


Curious how the services work?

See how simple Import Status works

Learn more about Track & Trace export

These terminals and shipping companies are participating

This is how the Brexit services of Portbase work

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