Short postponement Brexit does not diminish urgency

Dutch ports: no transport to and from the United Kingdom without registration

ROTTERDAM 2 April 2019 – Cooperating organisations in the Dutch ports are concerned about the number of registrations by companies that aim to transport cargo through the Dutch ports after Brexit. Even with the short postponement until the 12th of April, preparation remains essential. The solution in the Dutch ports which ensures that cargo can continue to be swiftly transported via the Netherlands after Brexit is ready, but companies that defer their registration with Portbase run the risk of literally missing the boat.

Companies that transport cargo from and to the United Kingdom through the Dutch ports will be confronted with customs formalities after Brexit. Because these formalities are handled in an automated manner, time-consuming manual checks can be avoided. For this digital border to work, it however is imperative that all companies in the chain take their responsibility and share the necessary data. A crucial action in this process is the digital pre-notification of customs documents at the terminals via Portbase. Without the pre-notification of customs documents, trucks will not be granted access to the terminals and will be turned away. This directly affects the business operations of terminals, importers, exporters and logistics service providers. A spokesperson on behalf of the ferry operators: “Connecting to Portbase is a must if you want to transport goods via the Dutch ports. Failure to do so means you cannot access the terminal; the transporter and his cargo are referred to one of the provisional parking lots. That does not benefit anyone.”

Own responsibility
In recent months, Portbase, the ferry operators, interest groups FENEX, evofenedex and Transport en Logistiek Nederland, port entrepreneurs association Deltalinqs, the shortsea terminals, the port authorities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam and Dutch Customs have communicated nationally and internationally that companies should not wait until the last moment to take action regarding their preparations for Brexit. Mark Dijk, manager External Affairs of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “The risk of a no-deal Brexit is still present, also with the short postponement until the 12th of April. We call on companies that have not yet taken action at this time to contact Portbase. It is their own responsibility to turn up at the port well-prepared.

Portbase has seen an increase in the number of registrations, but the desired level has not yet been reached. Director Iwan van der Wolf: “The registrations by companies that are familiar with the logistics processes in the port, such as customs agents and forwarders, are on track. That is positive. We are mostly concerned about companies involved in transport and shipping in both the Netherlands and abroad.” Companies that have not yet registered are strongly urged to do so before the 12th of April 2019 in order to be able to use the digital border in the Dutch ports in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

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