Which SCAC-code do I have to include in Portbase prior to entering the booking number in the prenotification to the ferryterminal?

If you prenotify  to the ferry terminal in Portbase, the first 4 positions (SCAC code) of the booking number make sure that the notification is sent to the correct ferry operator. Read the full explanation for export and import at Portbase Support.

Which party in the chain usually pre-registers at the terminal?

For a smooth export and import process after Brexit, a digital pre-notification of customs documents to the terminal is required. For each logistic chain, you agree which party does this pre-notification. But who is the most suitable party to pre-notify the import document (the NID notification via the Portbase service Notification Import Documentation) and the export document (the NED notification via the service Notification Export Documentation)? This depends on who has the necessary data.

  • For the NID notification, these are: terminal, shipment ID, document type, document number and modality.
  • For the NED notification these are: document type, document number, booking number and means of transport identification.

An example:

In case of import (goods from United Kingdom to the Netherlands)
A Dutch trading company buys high-quality medical equipment from an English supplier. The Dutch trading company arranges the transport of the equipment via Everyday transport company and has the customs formalities handled by customs agent Declaration & Co. Everyday gives – after completing the booking in the booking system of the ferry operator – all booking and shipment details to Declaration & Co. After receipt of this, Declaration & Co will take care of the import declaration.

Advice: Declaration & Co chooses to pre-notify the import documents because they have all the necessary information for the NID notification: terminal, shipment ID, document type, document number and modality.

For exports (goods from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom)
The Dutch flower trader QualiFlower sells flowers to a large English supermarket chain. The flowers have to be delivered as early as possible every morning to distribution centres in the UK. QualiFlower has the transport of the flowers carried out by FerryFresh; a carrier specialised in accompanied transport with conditioned trailers. QualiFlower engages Janssen Customs forwarders to make the export declarations.

Every morning, QualiFlower receives the orders for delivery the day after. At noon, QualiFlower delivers all order details to Janssen Customs forwarders, who take care of the export declarations. FerryFresh loads all orders with QualiFlower at the end of the day. The FerryFresh planning department determines which orders are transported in which trailer. Due to last-minute orders and disruptions in the delivery process, this planning changes regularly.

Advice: the pre-notification of export documents in the NED service must include the booking number and the identification of the means of transport in addition to the export document type and document number. Because FerryFresh only knows shortly before departure which truck will transport the cargo, it has been decided that transporter FerryFresh will make the NED notification. Janssen Customs agents will forward the document number of the export declarations to FerryFresh in good time.

What types of documents can I pre-notify?

All types of customs documents can be pre-notified via Portbase (so export, TIR, ATA Carnets, Transit, etc.).

What if the customs declarations are not in order?

Before cargo can be imported or exported, an import or export declaration must be submitted to Customs. After this declaration has been submitted, the documents must be pre-notified at the ferry terminal or shortsea terminal via Portbase. If these formalities are not in order, the driver is not able to continue with the transport of his cargo.

There are two possibilities:
1. The driver contacts his own planner or client. He or she will have to ensure that all the required actions are performed.
2. Contact is sought with a company that is already affiliated with Portbase such as a forwarder or customs agent that can submit the notifications for them after all.

The import document that i pre-notify is not known at the terminal or is not in order. Why is that?

  • Check the status of your notification. If the status is ‘rejected’ (by Portbase or terminal) or ‘failed’, then the notification has not been accepted. Resolve the error message and resend the notification.
  • Check whether the correct document number, document type and container/shipment number have been entered. If this is not the case, then enter the correct information and resubmit the notification.
  • Check whether you have entered the correct terminal. It sometimes happens that cargo is shifted to a different terminal last-minute. This is not automatically changed in your Notification Import Documentation.
  • Check in the Portbase services Cargo Controller or Import Status whether your shipment or container has been unloaded. At some terminals, the import document only becomes available in the terminal system after the cargo has been included in the RTO (= Unloaded on the quay).
    If all information is correct, there may have been a (short-term) disruption at the terminal or Portbase. Resubmit your notification.

Tip: Prior to visiting the ferry and shortsea terminals, use the service Import Status to check the presence and status of the import document before contacting the terminal or Portbase.

I cannot use a certain document type for import. Why is that?

You are not authorised to use the document type in question at the relevant terminal. Check your terminal contract for the use of the service Notification Import Documentation and adjust this in consultation with the Sales Department of Portbase.

I have missed the departure. Do the customs documents for my shipment have to be pre-notified again via Portbase?

This depends on the applicable procedures at the ferry companies. As soon as your booking number changes, a correction will be required to the pre-notification of your customs documents via Portbase.

What do I have to do arrange with Customs and what with Portbase for each transport?

You submit a customs declaration at Customs to notify them of the goods that you are transporting. Before you can submit a customs declaration, you need an EORI number. This is an identification number that your company has to request from Customs once so that you are known there. After you have submitted a customs declaration, you will receive a unique number from them (e.g. Movement Reference Number (MRN)) for the submitted shipment.

You need this document number issued by Customs to pre-notify the customs documents at the terminal via Portbase. In Portbase, you link the customs data (MRN) to the required logistics data (which truck/container/trailer, terminal, times etc.). Through your pre-notification via Portbase, you ensure that all the required customs formalities are automatically arranged at the terminal. This way, your transport can be performed without delay.