A no-deal Brexit is getting closer all the time. This will irrevocably lead to customs formalities for shortsea and ferry traffic to and from the United Kingdom. Together with a large number of other parties, Portbase are working on a chain-wide solution to enable the continuation of fast transportation of cargo via the Dutch ports after Brexit. An important element in this effort is updating our services Notification Import Documentation and Notification Export Documentation.

After Brexit, you will also be able to use both services to send customs documents to shortsea and ferry terminals. All ferry terminals in the Netherlands are making this compulsory; the majority of shortsea terminals have also embraced this approach.
Digital prenotification of customs documents via Portbase avoids unnecessary delays in Dutch ports and ensures correct handling of customs formalities.

Rapid action is required!
This flash gives Portbase web customers further information and explanation about the changes. Please note: Prenotification of import documents with shortsea and ferry terminals also requires that you re-register with Portbase. A no-deal Brexit from
29 March 2019 requires rapid action from everyone!

Notification Import Documentation
In late March 2019, we will be launching a new service, Notification Import Documentation 2.0. Important innovations are:
• You will also be able to prenotify import documents to ferry terminals. To do so,
you need to use the shipment number (consisting of the shipping company SCAC code, booking number and tracking number). At container terminals, that is now the container number.
• After you have sent a prenotification, terminals can send you a return message. That way, you can be sure that your notification has been received. For shortsea and ferry terminals, this return message will become a standard part of the service. For deepsea traffic, this will be dependent on the implementation by the terminals in question.
• The new Import Status service allows you and your haulier(s) to see the customs status at the terminal. You can see whether the import documentation is present and/or a customs embargo is in force. That way, you and your haulier(s) will know whether the cargo can be collected from the terminal.

Connection is automatic, but…
As a web customer, we will automatically transition you to Notification Import Documentation 2.0 at the end of March 2019. You do not need to do anything.
But please note!

Would you also like to pre-register at shortsea and ferry terminals? Sign up immediately!
For the pre-registration of import documents at the (newly participating) shortsea and ferry terminals due to Brexit, you have to fill in an application form again. This is necessary because you have to conclude a new supplementary terminal contract with the shortsea and ferry terminals. In consultation with the shortsea and ferry terminals, Portbase is working on a single umbrella contract. This will allow us to limit your administrative costs, now and in the future. Register today! Brexit is happening soon.

You can register directly here for the pre-registration of import documents to shortsea and ferry terminals after the Brexit. As soon as the umbrella contract is available, we will contact you about your final registration and the payment of your connection costs.

Connection costs for Brexit
As a subsidiary of the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Port of Amsterdam, Portbase is neutral and non-profit. Due to all the necessary Brexit modifications and work on the service Notification Import Documentation 2.0, there will be a one-off charge of € 249.50 for connection to the new shortsea and ferry terminals until 14 March 2019. On 15 March 2019, this will increase to € 499 (excluding VAT). The expected ‘scramble’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit is forcing us to hire in extra capacity. Our current subscription and usage charges will remain unchanged.

The new service Notification Import Documentation 2.0 will go live in late March.
Whether or not there is a no-deal Brexit on 29 March will have no influence on this. The service will go live regardless.

Notification Export Documentation
The changes required to the service Notification Export Documentation for Brexit are limited. Only the Container Number field (11 positions) will change, being replaced by Transport Equipment ID (17 positions). This will allow you to also prenotify export documents for trailer transport via ferry terminals in the future. This change has already been implemented in the web version of Notification Export Documentation. So you do not need to do anything else. As in the container sector, your haulier(s) and ours also automatically benefit from the extensive track & trace options included in the service Track & Trace Export.

As an existing user, you do not pay any connection charges for the service Notification Export Documentation and the service is free to use.

Get Ready for Brexit
You can read all the information about the Dutch approach to enable rapid transportation through
ports in the Netherlands after Brexit at



More information
If you have any questions or you would you like to know which other Portbase services may be relevant for you, our Sales department will be pleased to help. You can contact them on +31 (0)88 625 25 17 or

Chain solution for Brexit in the Dutch ports

Are you trading with the United Kingdom? Or are you responsible for
the transport? Then this message is of great importance to you!

Following the upcoming Brexit, the UK will become a third country. This will irrevocably result in the introduction of customs formalities for both shortsea and ferry traffic. In the case of a no-deal, even as soon as the 29th of March 2019.

Chain dependence and chain responsibility
Due to these customs formalities, the various links in the chain will have to share information. This is necessary for them to perform their own customs formalities, but also to enable the other links to do so. Failure to do this will result in logistical delays, additional administrative burdens and potential financial risks.

Swiftly through the Dutch ports
Together with the ferry operators, interest groups and the port authorities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Portbase is developing one single chain-wide solution that ensures that cargo can continue to be swiftly transported through the Dutch ports following Brexit. Comparable to container transport via the major container terminals, this solution comprises the 100% digital and automated handling of customs formalities, with optimum reuse of data. Both for shortsea and ferry traffic, one single approach and one window (via Portbase) is created for and at all terminals. In order for the chain solution to work, it is essential that every link in the logistics chain participates and prepares.

Please note: All ferry terminals in the Netherlands will make this joint solution mandatory following Brexit; most shortsea terminals have also embraced this approach.

Adjustments to your existing Portbase services
The services Notification Import Documentation and/or Notification Export Documentation which you use are an important part of the Dutch chain solution for Brexit in the Dutch ports. As a result of Brexit, we will have to make adjustments to these services. Updating Notification Import Documentation and adjusting Notification Export Documentation will make both services suitable for the pre-notification of customs documents to both container terminals and ferry terminals (new!).

We will keep you informed
From now on, you will regularly receive updates about the changes required for this.
If necessary, we will ask you to take immediate action. This particularly applies to companies that operate using a system link. The 29th of March 2019 is very close. Together, we can ensure that your cargo always swiftly travels through the Dutch ports after Brexit as well.

Get Ready for Brexit sets logistics chain in motion
‘Get Ready for Brexit’ is a joint campaign initiated by a large number of parties to particularly inform exporters, importers, forwarders, customs agents and transport companies about the steps they need to take right now to continue quickly transporting cargo via the Dutch ports after Brexit. You can read everything you need to know about the Dutch approach at

‘Get Ready for Brexit’ to speed businesses’ passage through Dutch ports

Today, together with Portbase, cooperating branch organisations in the Dutch ports are launching the website Here, exporters, importers and their logistic service providers will be able to see at a glance what they will need to do to maintain quick transport of their cargoes to and from the United Kingdom through the Dutch ports; even after the Brexit. The website’s launch marks the kick-off of an international campaign that is intended to guide the entire logistical chain through preparations for the Brexit.

The site is aimed at informing and activating parties in the logistical chain, including importers, exporters, carriers/hauliers and forwarders. A customer journey has been defined for each target group. These step-by-step journeys set out which action must be done, by whom and when, in order to be able to import and export goods swiftly through the Dutch ports after 29 March 2019. The cooperating parties are calling on the logistical chain to take part in the shared solution for Brexit in the Dutch ports. This uniform approach will ensure smooth, rapid handling of the Customs formalities that will result from the Brexit.

An approach for Dutch ports
The initiators of ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ are Portbase, port business association Deltalinqs, the interest groups FENEX, evofenedex, and Transport and Logistics Netherlands (TLN)/AFTO. Together with Dutch Customs, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Port of Amsterdam, the ferry operators and the shortsea terminals, they have been working since September of this year to realise a single Dutch chain solution for Brexit in the Dutch ports that complies with European legislation. The elements of this approach combine to enable 100% digital and automated handling of Customs formalities, including optimum reuse of data. All information precedes the cargo. A single entry point for all terminals will be created, for both shortsea and ferry traffic. This will open the door to clever Customs supervision with minimum detriment to the process. Following the Brexit, it will become even more attractive to transport goods to and from the United Kingdom via the Dutch ports. Portbase Director Iwan van der Wolf: “As a national Port Community System, Portbase has a coordinating role in establishing the necessary agreements within the community and developing the required IT process. Already, a great deal has been achieved in recent months, and all participating parties have embraced a central working method. But this is no time for us to sit back and relax – 29 March will be here before you know it. And at that point, we must be truly prepared.”

A new reality
The imminent Brexit will create a new reality for the logistical chains between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Whatever the outcome of the political negotiations, every conceivable form of Brexit will create Customs obligations for shortsea and ferry traffic. In the (likely) case of a ‘no deal’, these formalities will go into effect immediately after29 March 2019. And even if there is a ‘soft’ Brexit, Customs formalities will be an inevitable result in the near future – something many people do not seem to realise. “By preparing our logistical chain together – here and now – all cargoes can continue to move swiftly through the Dutch ports post-Brexit. If we don’t, we’ll all be standing still together following the Brexit instead,” according to Steven Lak from port business association Deltalinqs.

Mutual interdependence
If the Dutch port solution is to succeed, each and every link in the logistical chain must participate and make its own timely preparations. When one party fails to comply with Customs formalities in time, everyone in the chain will stand still. From exporters, importers and Customs agents to hauliers, terminals, shipping company, shipbrokers and ferry operators, every party has a duty and a responsibility. If everyone consistently acts in a timely fashion and passes on the correct information, including Customs details, all cargoes will continue to move to and from the United Kingdom via the Dutch ports after the Brexit. Director of evofenedex Bart Jan Koopman: “That’s why this international campaign is so incredibly important. The transport chain extends deep into the hinterland. Shippers and hauliers in Poland and Germany also need to know which steps to take to make sure that, after Brexit, they can transport their goods quickly – and with a minimum of hassle – to and from the United Kingdom via the Dutch ports.

Cost overview Notification Ship’s Stores and Notification Crew and Passengers per ship’s visit

As requested by many of our customers, we have made a separate cost overview for each ship’s visit (a Confirmation of Purchase) available for agents like yourself in two of our services. This makes the Portbase costs you’ve incurred transparent. The feature is available in Notification Ship’s Stores and Notification Crew and Passengers only. Within the ‘costs per ship’ working group, Portbase, VRC and agents are exploring whether a similar confirmation of purchase is possible in other services.

The Confirmation of Purchase is available for all parties who use Vessel Notification 2.0 to submit the Notification Ship’s Stores and/or Notification Crew and Passengers. Once the notification of the ship’s stores has been accepted by Customs and/or the crew and passengers list has been sent to the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, a download button will be activated on the left-hand side of your screen (see figure). With one click of the button, you will have a PDF file with a cost overview for each ship’s visit to add to your records.

This Confirmation of Purchase is intended purely as a proof of payment. Nothing will change with regard to how Portbase invoices you for its services.

Meer informatie
Questions? Our Service Desk will be happy to assist you. They can be reached at +31 (0)88 625 2525 or

Dutch port community to combine its strengths in handling Brexit

ROTTERDAM – 22 October 2018. Leading businesses in the Dutch ports are seeking out cooperation in order to prepare themselves for the Brexit. Together with business association Deltalinqs, Dutch Customs, interest groups FENEX, evofenedex, the Dutch Association for Transport and Logistics (TLN)/AFTO, ferry companies Stena Line, DFDS, CLdN and P&O Ferries, Port of Rotterdam and Port of Amsterdam, Port Community System Portbase is initiating a programme intended to ensure the continued smooth flow of goods to and from the United Kingdom.  

Working group

With the consequences of the Brexit as yet uncertain, companies in the Dutch ports are adopting a stance that’s anything but passive. A working group made up of stakeholders is currently exploring the adjustments that will need to be made for ferry transport. In the present situation, this logistical chain – from shipper to haulier – does not deal with any Customs obligations. As a result of the Brexit, however, they will need to thoroughly revise their processes. Arthur van Dijk, President of the Dutch Association for Transport and Logistics: “The virtual national border will radically alter the free movement of goods to and from the United Kingdom. Customs formalities create interdependencies in the logistical process, which in turn places pressure on speed and efficiency. This is something that negatively affects us all, which is why we’re eager to join together in looking for a solution.”

Automated solution for across the chain                  

In the Dutch ports, the administrative handling of incoming and outgoing container transport has been fully automated for some years now. Via Portbase’s Port Community System, for instance, participating organisations are already able to conduct all their processes quickly and efficiently. Portbase Director Iwan van der Wolf: “This solution has applications for the short-sea chain and we’re looking into its usability for ferry transport as well. Portbase has a coordinating role in these efforts to develop an IT process and a system of agreements. The restructuring of the Port Community System will ensure the entire chain is able provide and reuse automated data for the purpose of various notifications and declarations. Reuse of data reduces the number of mistakes, speeds up the logistical process and allows each party to minimise their respective liability and administrative burden.” Deltalinqs President Steven Lak says, “Only the most well-prepared ports will continue to enjoy preferred status in the European playing field. The Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis has estimated that, depending on whether a trade deal or a no-deal scenario emerges, the Dutch seaports will lose between 2.0 and 4.4% of their total transit volume. In concrete terms, this loss is equivalent to 9 to 20 million tons of cargo. By investing in an automated solution for across the chain, however, we can minimise this damage as much as possible.”


The major economic interests at stake necessitate a joint approach – and in a chain, no single party can solve all the problems on their own. It is also in the interest of the port community to prevent the stagnation of in and outgoing ferry transport and to prevent long queues and waiting times. Cooperation with Customs plays an important role in this regard. Dutch Customs enjoys a reputation as one of the best Customs authorities in the world, particularly due to its efficient handling processes. Nanette van Schelven, General Director – Customs Administration of the Netherlands: “Our guiding principle is to maintain smart oversight with minimal interference in the logistical chain. For years now, the automated handling process for container transport has been functioning to the full satisfaction of all involved. Efficient handling is of great value to both the government and the business community, and helps to strengthen the competitive position of the Dutch ports.”

Road hauliers will soon submit pre-notifications to Uniport via Portbase as well

From 07:00 on Monday 29 October 2018, road hauliers will be able to use Portbase to pre-notify all their visits and containers to Uniport. They will automatically receive a response once each pre-notification has been submitted. This will allow drivers to optimally plan each visit and finish their business at the terminal more quickly.

Pre-notification via Portbase is one component of Uniport’s implementation of a new Terminal Operating System. With the use of this new system and the realisation of a full transition to Portbase, Uniport hopes to provide its clients with even better service in the future. More information can be found on the Uniport website.

Submit Customs documents via Portbase as well
Pre-notifying Customs documents to Uniport will be done entirely via Portbase as well from 29 October 2018. This will take place via the services Notification Import Documentation and Notification Export Documentation. As of the end of October, it will no longer be possible to pre-notify Custom documents via the Uniport website.

Other Portbase services
Companies have had the option of using other Portbase services to streamline their logistical process at Uniport for some time, namely: Inspections Portal, Barge Planning (will eventually become Hinterland Container Notification – Barge), Discharge List and Loading List.

Cloud adoption ensures Portbase is ready for the future

Portbase has successfully migrated the entire Dutch Port Community System (PCS) to the public cloud hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). This migration signals the beginning of a new era in which the company will utilise the latest technology to optimally facilitate future developments in and around the Dutch ports.

Data hub

“The migration to the cloud is much more than simply ‘moving house’,” explains Portbase director Peter de Graaf. “Successive technological developments are emerging at breakneck speed and it’s absolutely vital that we respond in kind. With this step, Portbase has become one of the first port logistics companies to operate its services entirely from in the cloud. This further strengthens our role as a data hub for the Dutch ports.”
The Dutch Port Community System is recognised as one of the most advanced systems of any port, anywhere in the world. With some 15,000 active users, Portbase also has the largest port community in Europe. De Graaf: “We have the coverage, the data and now the technology we need to innovate, to grow and to further our efforts to create the smartest ports in Europe.”


De Graaf continues, “The additional possibilities we’ve created with this step are extremely valuable. And not only for us, but for the community as a whole. We’ll be able to respond to and meet the commercial needs much more flexibly. It will also be much easier to change or add something new and bring new releases to production. We will also be automating as many steps of the process as possible. Flexibility has always been a key priority, but a high degree of reliability is just as important. Thanks to the new cloud environment, any disruptions that occur will have much less impact on the overall PCS performance. De Graaf: “In terms of security, an extremely mature environment has been established with AWS. Security measures for the cloud meet a larger number of standards than those that apply to traditional environments.”

The future

“Many organisations are looking to make the switch from a traditional environment to a cloud-based one,” according to De Graaf. “We’ve done just that! It took a well-thought-out master plan, an effective training procedure and a great deal of practice, all together. And crucially, you have to stick to the plan. I’m incredibly proud of where we are at now. Thanks to the latest technology, our platform is ready to face the future. Now, there’s nothing holding us back from our goal: working with the port community to further develop the Dutch ports into the smartest ports in Europe.”

Notification Local Clearance now offers more possibilities

Shortly before the summer, we introduced the new service Notification Local Clearance 2.0 for your benefit. In doing so, our first priority was ensuring your ability to quickly and easily comply with the legal obligation to submit local clearance notification to the government checkpoint Single Window for maritime and air, with no further hassle. Now that this has been achieved for both web-based and EDI clients, we’ve turned our attention to providing you with additional user possibilities as quickly as possible.

You can expect to see the following in the very near future:

Multiple colleagues can now submit local clearance notifications simultaneously (already realised): as a result of changes to Customs processes, it was initially no longer possible for multiple people to work in Notification Local Clearance at the same time.
We have since identified a solution, meaning there is no longer any need for you and your colleagues to wait for one another to finish. Now you and multiple colleagues can submit your respective local clearance notifications to Customs simultaneously.

Download delivery orders as PDFs with barcodes: from mid-August, you will (once again) be able to download the delivery order for every local clearance notification as a PDF, including a barcode for easy reuse in any further processing within your organisation.

Linked B/Ls to be displayed automatically: this function is scheduled to become available in the second half of August. Any B/Ls you link in Cargo Information will immediately be displayed in the ‘New notification’ screen in Notification Local Clearance.
If you have provided a reference number of your own when creating the link, this will be shown as well. You can immediately select the B/L for which you would like to submit a local clearance notification.

Email notification of Customs approval: as soon as possible following the previously listed actions, we will once again make it possible to have the service send an email notification to yourself or your client the moment your local clearance notification has been approved by Customs.

We will inform you of the exact date on which this option will become available via
a pop-up in the service itself.

Working group formed to identify additional desires
In the short term, we plan to meet with an extensive working group composed of shipbrokers and forwarders. During this meeting, we want to explore whether any vital aspects will be left to address once we’ve taken the aforementioned actions in the service. We will naturally share additional details of the results with you later on.

More information
Questions? Our Service Desk will be happy to assist you. They can be reached at
+31 (0)88 625 25 25 or

RWG provides status information on your container up front

Hinterland Container Notification now offers a convenient new function to road hauliers who work via internet. Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) is the first terminal where you can use this function. Before submitting a pre-notification and requesting a time slot (TAR) for RWG, you can now conveniently view the status of the container in the service itself.

How it works
Once you have indicated in Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) that you wish to drop off or pick up a new container at RWG, a button marked ‘Request status information’ will appear at the lower left of the screen.

Click this button to immediately request the status of your container from RWG: is it present, are the documents in order, and so on. The relevant status will then be displayed in your overview screen in Hinterland Container Notification, allowing you to monitor any changes in real time. You can keep track of the container 24/7. Using this same information, you can continue to pre-notify your visit and request a TAR from RWG. There is no need to re-enter this information a second time.

Meer informatie
Questions? Our Service Desk will be happy to assist you. They can be reached at +31 (0)88 625 25 25 or

Portbase and Loodswezen Rotterdam-Rijnmond save you paperwork

From now on, the personal reference number you enter in Vessel Notification when creating a new vessel visit will automatically appear on the invoice for pilot services from Loodswezen Rotterdam-Rijnmond. You will no longer need to submit this ‘Client Reference Number’ to them separately. This is our way of saving you paperwork.

By doing so, we are responding to a desire frequently expressed within the community. Previously, shipping agents often manually submitted their own reference number to the pilot services for handling a vessel visit. Thanks to our smart solution, this is no longer necessary. Everyone is able to work more efficiently.

How it works
Simply enter your personal client reference number within the ‘Visit to Port Authority’ task in Vessel Notification. The ‘Client Reference’ field can be found under ‘Other’.

More information
Questions? Our Service Desk will be happy to assist you. They can be reached at +31 (0)88 625 25 25 or