How is Portbase dealing with the coronavirus?

Portbase is following the measures taken by the Cabinet to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. The most important priority is the health of our employees. That means Portbase is asking its employees to work from home as much as possible, that employees will not be attending any large gatherings and that Portbase will not be holding any meetings or external gatherings unless strictly necessary. Portbase is making sure that the continuity of its services is guaranteed.

Stable operation of the Port Community System is very important to all parties in the port. Portbase has taken measures to ensure this stability. In addition, Portbase is taking account of developments in society and the market.  When issuing new releases and implementations, Portbase will weigh up the potential impact on all parties involved on a case-by-case basis.

Portbase, the Service Desk and its employees will of course remain available by telephone and e-mail, and standby services will also remain unchanged.

Announcement regarding migration of electronic message exchange with the government

Dear customer,

You are currently using one or more Portbase service(s) to exchange messages with government agencies in the Netherlands. In order to receive these messages, the Dutch government makes use of a digital mailbox known as ‘Digipoort Trade & Transport (DTT)’. This is the official mailbox for exchanging information with Customs, The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, the Seaport Police and the Port Authorities.

Dutch Customs intends to end its contract with current provider Logius and assume in-house management of the Digipoort Trade & Transport and Single Window itself. To that end, Customs is working to develop a new digital mailbox facility called the ‘Trade & Transport Gateway’ (TTG). Companies may therefore encounter changes in the digital mailing addresses. The actual flow of messages, however, will remain unchanged.
Customs has sent a number of newsletters to inform you of the planned migration to HTG and has asked you to prepare for this step (together with your software supplier).

Good news: Portbase will ensure that all services you use to communicate with the Dutch government (via the Port Community System) are migrated to the TTG. This will require no action on your part. The migration of the Portbase services to the new TTG will be carried out in three phases, scheduled to last from February until June 2020. From July, all Portbase customers will be connected to the TTG. You will not notice when this migration takes place.

Please note: Besides the Portbase services, do you use other additional software to submit messages to the Dutch government? In that case, you will need to make arrangements with those software suppliers regarding the migration of your account.

More information
If you have questions in connection with this announcement, please contact our Service Desk via 088 625 2525 or servicedesk@portbase.com.

All of Portbase’s EDI and API specifications in a single location

Looking for the EDI and API specifications for our Portbase services?
Soon, they will all be available in a single developer portal. From 2 March 2020, developer.portbase.com will be your central gateway to this information. This will make it easier for you to find the specifications you need. In addition, you will no longer need to log in to access this portal and download specifications.

The current page, portbase.com/interfaces/message-specifications, will be deactivated on the aforementioned date as well. All EDI specifications found there will be migrated to developer.portbase.com, where the API specifications are already available. Starting 2 March, in other words, you will be able to view specifications for the entire range of Portbase services in the updated developer portal.

Important! Do you have API keys and secrets saved in the ‘App Keys’ section of developer.portbase.com? Be sure to save these in another secure location before it’s too late. Any API keys & secrets remaining in the developer portal on 2 March will be deleted at that time.

Further information
If you have questions about our developer portal, please email them to integration@portbase.com. We will respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

Brexit is a done deal, but with Portbase you’re well-prepared

Now that the Brexit has taken place, the European Union and the United Kingdom are negotiating the terms of their new trade relations. No matter the outcome of these talks, however, it is certain that you will encounter Customs obligations. Once the current transition period ends – i.e. from 1 January 2021 – it will no longer be possible to freely exchange goods with parties in the UK. This applies to both shortsea and ferry transport.

You have already subscribed to one or more Portbase services belonging to the chain-wide ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ solution: Notification Import Documentation, Notification Export Documentation (including Track & Trace Export) and/or Import Status. The use of these services will enable you to continue quickly transporting goods via the Dutch ports after 1 January 2021. A number of shortsea terminals are already using the services for transport to and from other countries outside the EU.

Portbase Support
We naturally provide assistance to help you make a quick, easy start with our Get Ready for Brexit services. For useful instructional videos, manuals, the answers to frequently asked questions and more, please refer to our Portbase Support pages.

More Portbase services post-Brexit
Portbase offers even more services that can considerably streamline your Customs formalities following the Brexit. For instance: the service Declaration Food and Consumer Products for declaring veterinary cargoes. Following the Brexit, it will be possible to use this service for cargoes transported both by container and trailer. Other options specifically for container transport are: the service Transit Declaration for follow-up declarations, Inspections Portal for comprehensive oversight of potential Customs inspections, Notification Local Clearance for making use of streamlined Customs procedures and Cargo information for direct access to your own Bills of Lading (B/L’s) on board the ships.

Further details on each service can be found on the service pages of our website.
You can sign up to participate straight away via the website as well.

Further information
Additional details on the current period of transition within the Brexit and what happens next are available on our website. For the most up-to-date information on the Dutch chain-wide solution, please visit the joint Get Ready for Brexit website or consult the Get Ready for Brexit handbook.

The solution for Brexit in Dutch ports

Pursuant to the decision by the British Parliament, the European Parliament has adopted the Brexit agreement and on 31 January 2020 (at midnight Central European Time), the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. The Brexit is now a reality. A transitional phase is now in effect and will continue through 31 December 2020. The UK will continue to be subject to all EU laws and regulations during this period. So far, nothing has changed for the Dutch ports and businesses in the logistical chains. They can continue to transport their goods just as they have done in past years. Please note that customs obligations will go into effect after the transitional period.

During the transitional period, the EU and UK will make agreements regarding how their relationship will proceed after 31 December 2020. Yet no matter the substance of these agreements, it is inevitable that customs formalities will be introduced for goods moving from the EU to the UK or vice versa. Businesses can use the period through 31 December to prepare themselves for this new reality. Please make sure you are ready in time. Only by working together can we avoid unnecessary delays.

July 1: possible extension of the transition phase
July 1 is an important date in the transition phase. If both the UK and the EU agree, the transition phase can be extended once for two years until December 31, 2022. This must then be agreed before July 1, 2020. However, British Prime Minister Johnson has said that he does not want an extension.

New relationship
The EU and the UK are therefore negotiating the details of their future relationship in the coming year. In those negotiations, the EU and the UK agree on the conditions under which entrepreneurs can do business in and with the UK after the transition period. They will also negotiate rights for citizens and cooperation in the field of security.
More clarity about the new relationship between the EU and the UK will only come after this phase of the negotiations has been completed. The new agreements must take effect after the transition phase, which ends on 31 December 2020. These new agreements must also be approved by the EU countries, the British parliament and the European parliament. If it is not possible to make agreements about the new relationship, a so-called no-deal Brexit will still take place at the end of the transition period. However, this does not affect the working methods in the ports, as there will be customs formalities anyway. Preparation for the correct handling of these formalities is of great importance for everyone.

All barge operators successfully migrated to HCN Barge

Along with all inland navigation container barge operators, your organisation was successfully migrated to Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge. From now on, your planners will use this new Portbase service to prenotify the inland navigation vessels and containers to the terminals in the port of Rotterdam. This applies to rotation, visit and loading details.

HCN Barge has been developed in partnership with barge operators. As a result, its operation is aligned with your planners’ daily working process.

Pilot participant Riny Boekelman of DPWorld Germersheim:
“Portbase involved barge operators in the development of HCN Barge at an early stage. Partly as a result, the service is well configured. It may take a little getting used to for planners, but the operation is largely self-explanatory.”

Rutger Bol of Barge Line Today:
“Our experiences with HCN Barge to date have been good. The service is very user-friendly. Compared to Barge Planning, you have a better overview and it is easy to edit details. We are definitely enthusiastic about it.”

System link with Portbase
HCN Barge utilises API links, the new IT standard for exchanging data. Portbase is temporarily offering an EDI converter (for 1 year). This converter automatically converts the loading information supplied in EDI to the new HCN format without you having to do anything. As long as no API link has been created, prenotification of visit and rotation information needs to take place via the HCN Barge web screens. Contact your software supplier in order to switch to an API system link as quickly as possible.

Input for Nextlogic too
HCN Barge will also supply the input for the future integrated planning of all container barge visits by Nextlogic. Nextlogic will be starting field trials shortly. This will take place in the background. During this pilot period, barge operators and terminals will continue working in the existing manner via HCN Barge. In order to stay up to date on the partnership between Portbase and Nextlogic, check our joint website regularly.

More information
On the Portbase support page, your planners will find a quick start guide, instruction videos, FAQs and more to ensure a smooth start with MCA Barge. Our Service Desk will also be pleased to answer any questions. You can reach them on 088 625 2525 and servicedesk@portbase.com.

The British people have spoken: Brexit on course

In yesterday’s elections in the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party of Boris Johnson won a landslide majority in parliament. The British Prime Minister is now expected to press ahead his Brexit deal and try to gain approval from the House of Commons as quickly as possible. The United Kingdom will then exit the European Union in an orderly manner by the 31st of January 2020 at the latest.

What does this mean for you?
If Brexit does indeed proceed as per the agreed deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union, nothing will change in terms of trade for the time being. A transition period will apply until the 31st of December 2020. After that, customs formalities for which you will still require the Portbase services will come into effect in the Dutch ports.

Crucial date: 1st of July
The 1st of July constitutes an important date in the transition period. Before this date, the British must state whether they think that they will be able to finalise the new trade relationship by the 31st of December 2020. The United Kingdom must then decide whether they want to extend the transition period by two years.

Please note! No-deal Brexit not ruled out
Recent history has shown that nothing is certain when it comes to Brexit. A no-deal Brexit remains possible, although the likelihood of this is diminished by the election results. Only after ratification by both parties can a no-deal Brexit be ruled out. By preparing now, you prevent the risk of coming to a standstill in the port after the 31st of January 2020. Your effort is never wasted. If a deal is reached, customs formalities will also be in effect in the ports after a transitional period.

Brexit: nothing is certain, but you’ll be prepared in any case!

As you probably know, the Brexit has been postponed once more. The new deadline for the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union is 31 January 2020. It is unclear at this time what will happen next. There are still multiple possible scenarios, i.e. deal and no-deal. Hopefully, the upcoming British elections will make provide greater clarity.

But never fear: you will be well prepared in any case!
Because you have already signed up to use the Portbase services, you will be properly prepared when the Brexit occurs. In both a deal or no-deal scenario, you will encounter new Customs formalities. In the case of a no-deal Brexit, these obligations will go into effect immediately the day after the Brexit; if there is a deal, they will take effect on 1 January 2021 following a transition period. Below, you will find a number of tips to help you use the Portbase services effectively from the very first moment they become necessary.

• Update your password right away
Did you register with us as a new client prior to one of the previous Brexit deadlines, but have not (yet) used the Portbase services since you signed up? In that case, your password for the Port Community System (PCS) has expired. The first time you log in, you will be asked to create a new password. Please take care of this today to avoid any surprises after 31 January.

• Set up your account properly
Have you created a Portbase account for every user at your company? Only then will your employees be able to work with the services. You can take care of this yourself in User Management by creating and managing an unlimited number of accounts. This will involve no additional charges to you. User Management can be found on your start page in the PCS.

• Adjust the notification settings
You can adjust the notification settings in every service you use. You can choose, for instance, to receive automatic notifications when the status of a cargo changes. Each service offers multiple options for this kind of automatic notification.
• Make sure the software is appropriate for Notification Import Documentation
At the start of 2019, changes were made to the service Notification Import Documentation in connection with submitting prenotifications to ferry terminals via EDI. Has your software supplier taken care of this for you yet?

In principle, prenotifying containers to container terminals (including shortsea container terminals) does not require any adjustments to Notification Import Documentation. You will, however, lack access to new functionalities such as receiving return messages sent by terminals and other future innovations. This is because the old message structure does not support these functionalities.

• Portbase Support can tell you more
Portbase Support is the new central location on the internet for all questions concerning working with the Portbase services following the Brexit. Here you will find essential training videos, quick guides, frequently asked questions and lots more that will help you to use the Portbase services correctly. Still encountering problems? On Portbase Support, you will also find all the options for contacting our Service Desk etc.

More information
You can find more information about Brexit services on our website.

Cooperation agreement between Portbase and LOGINK

Portbase has signed a cooperation agreement with LOGINK, China’s national public platform for transport and logistics information sharing. The goal of this agreement is to provide a basis for further cooperation in information exchange for cross-border logistics between China and the Netherlands, such as container status, vessel status information and other logistics information services. Next to this, Portbase and LOGINK will also work together on the research and promotion of relevant standards in close co-operation with the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA).

The cooperation was announced during a visit of LOGINK together with the China Transport Telecommunications & Information center to Rotterdam.

About LOGINK

LOGINK is a government owned entity established by the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China at 2011. LOGINK connects numerous logistics information platforms and enterprise systems in order to make full use of social resources by developing cross-embedded logistics information flow across regions and across industries. LOGINK plays an important role in the Belt and Road Initiatives and would like to cooperate with partners all over the world.

Back row:

  • Yizhou Wu, Director of LOGINK
  • Dirk Baayen – Business Consultant Strategy & Innovation, Portbase
  • Marten van der Velde – Manager Strategy & Innovation, Portbase
  • Lin Yin, Deputy Director General CTTIC, Ministry of Transport
  • Mees van der Wiel – Business Consultant Strategy & Innovation, Portbase
  • Huiting Yang, Engineer, CTTIC, Ministry of Transport / LOGINK

Front row:

  • Tengda Sun, Director of Data Application Unit, CTTIC, Ministry of Transport / Director General of LOGINK
  • Iwan van der Wolf, CEO Portbase