Ready for Brexit as a transporter

The Dutch chain solution for swiftly transporting from and to the United Kingdom after Brexit comprises 5 easy steps. The adjoining illustration shows you which these are. In this solution, each link in the logistics chain has its own role and responsibility. This applies to you as a transporter as well. Below, we will explain what is expected of you regarding both the transport via shortsea and via ferry. As a transporter, will you make sure that you are ready in time for Brexit in the Dutch ports?

Checklist for the transporter

Of the 5 steps, you must at least perform step 5 in your capacity as a transporter. Click on the steps below for more information.

Please note! If you are transporting via a ferry terminal, then the ferry operator will require more information from you during your booking after Brexit

You must always perform the following step

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

The Dutch shortsea and ferry terminals request that you always verify whether the customs documents accompanying the cargo have been pre-notified at the terminal before your driver starts his trip. If your client has not correctly pre-notified the customs documents, you will not be granted access to the terminal and you will not receive the cargo. If that is the case, your driver will be referred to one of the temporary parking locations in the port area. In consultation with you or with your client, he can still properly arrange the customs formalities here.

You use Portbase to verify the presence of customs documents in advance:

For import: service Import Status

This new, free service offers you 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. Customs might want to inspect the cargo as well. Only if both are in order – are ‘green’ – will you be welcome at the shortsea or ferry terminal. In all other cases, you will not be granted access. If this is the case, there is no point in still dispatching your driver to the terminal.

Costs and registration Import Status
Import Status is a free service which is web-based.


For export: service Track & Trace Export

By means of this existing service, you check whether the customs documents accompanying the cargo are known at the shortsea or ferry terminal prior to the driver’s departure. Without correctly pre-notified customs documents your driver 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. There is a one-off connection fee for the usage of Notification Export Documentation. The day-to-day use – including Track & Trace Export – is free of charge.


What many of your fellow transporters are also doing

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

As a transporter, you will not be granted access to the terminal without a pre-notification. In addition to step 5 – verification of the presence of customs documents at the terminal – many transporters therefore choose to perform steps 3 and 4 as well. As part of the service provision to your client (the importer, exporter or forwarder) you then use Portbase to submit the customs documents at the shortsea and ferry terminals on his behalf. Please note: this only concerns the pre-notification of the necessary customs documents for which your client himself has previously submitted the import or export declaration to Customs. Should you want to perform this pre-notification of customs documents, then make clear agreements about this with your client!

Step 4: Subscribe to the Portbase services

In order to be able to pre-notify cargo at shortsea and ferry terminals for your clients as a transport company, you need to subscribe to two Portbase services.

For import: service Notification Import Documentation

Updated service for pre-notifying all customs documents for import at shortsea and ferry terminals after Brexit. Please note! Existing customers of this service 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 existing service to pre-notify all customs documents for export at shortsea and ferry terminals as well

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. The service is available as both a web service and as a system link-up.


You may also choose to do this as a transporter

Step 1: Make sure your client is registered with Customs

Some transporters take their service provision to customers even further. On behalf of their client (the importer, exporter or forwarder), they also take care of the import and export declarations to Customs. Should you want to offer this customs service in your capacity as a transporter, then make sure your client first requests an EORI number with Customs (if this has not already been done). Every company in Europe that imports or exports requires such a unique identification number from Customs. Even if said company uses you to perform the import and export declarations.

Step 2: Arrange the import or export declarations for your customers

If you want to be able to submit import and export declarations to Customs as part of your service provision to customers, then separate software and licenses are required.

Read more on submitting import and export declarations on the website of Customs.
You may also need to take care of the following:


*NVWA is Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority

Read all the details in the Get Ready for Brexit handbook

These terminals and shipping companies are participating

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