Ready in 5 steps as a forwarder

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 a forwarder, will you make sure that your customers 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: 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.

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

After Brexit, the pre-notification of customs documents via Portbase is mandatory at all ferry terminals and most 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 cargo at shortsea and ferry terminals.

For import: service Notification Import Documentation

Updated service for pre-notifying all customs documents at shortsea and ferry terminals as well after Brexit. Take note! Existing customers also need to register again with Portbase for the usage of Notification Import Documentation at shortsea and ferry terminals.

Costs and participation Notification Import Documentation

The use of Notification Import Documentation for the pre-notification of import documents at shortsea and ferry terminals involves a one-off connection fee of € 249.50 (excluding VAT). For the day-to-day use, there is a monthly subscription fee (€ 6.12 for the web service and € 20.43 for a system link-up) plus a transaction fee of € 0.18 per message.


For export: service Notification Export Documentation

After Brexit, you can use this excisting service to pre-notify all customs documents at shortsea and ferry terminals as well. 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 import: service Import Status

New 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.

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


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. 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.

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.


Read all the details in the Get Ready for Brexit handbook

These terminals and shipping companies are participating

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