15 July 2020
Customs formalities a fact as of 1 January 2021!
It is official: the current transition period after Brexit will not be extended. From the 1 January 2021, customs formalities will be in effect for all cargo traffic with the United Kingdom. Are you ready for this? A study by the Dutch government presented on the 1 July shows that Dutch companies are less aware of and less prepared for the impact of Brexit than they were in 2019.
However, it is important to take action right now. Otherwise, the terminal barrier will not open and your cargo will come to a standstill in the port on the 1 January 2021. The chain-wide Get Ready for Brexit solution prevents this. Participation in the chain solution is mandatory at all Dutch ferry terminals and most shortsea terminals. You will only be granted access to the terminal with a digitally pre-notified customs document. It may take a while to prepare, but it is more than worth it. Properly preparing means your cargo will continue to smoothly move through our ports after the 1st of January as well. Together, we can prevent delays. Get Ready for Brexit will help you get started!
View the Dutch solution in 3 minutes
In 3 minutes, this animation will show you the five simple steps of the Get Ready For Brexit solution.
Are your chain partners ready as well?
In the Dutch chain-wide solution for the upcoming customs formalities, every link in the logistics chain has a task. No matter how well-prepared you may be, your cargo will still come to a standstill in the port if other parties you work with fail to do so. Check how far your chain partners are with their preparations and make proper agreements about the five steps in order to be Ready for Brexit in time. Prepare right now!
The first step is arranging your customs formalities
An essential first step in the Get Ready for Brexit solution is the completion of customs formalities, such as submitting an import or export declaration to Customs. As an importer/exporter, you can do this yourself or you can use a customs broker. You may also require one or more customs licenses. In addition, you may have to deal with inspections for animal products or additional rules for the transport of waste, for example. Customs has clearly listed everything you need to know on its website. Start your preparations today and make proper agreements about the necessary steps with your chain partners.
As a haulier, prevent your trucks from coming to a standstill in the port
As a haulier, you also have an important task in the Get Ready for Brexit solution. You can perform several of the five required steps for your clients. There is one step you should always perform though! Before your driver departs for a shortsea terminal or ferry terminal, check the status of the cargo via the Portbase services Import Status and Track & Trace Export. Only dispatch a driver after you have been given the green light by the terminal.
You have made all the preparations, but how do things actually work in practice?
You have registered with Customs, made sure that customs declarations are submitted in time, subscribed to the various Portbase services and made careful agreements with your chain partners about the division of tasks. You are Ready for Brexit in every aspect. What matters now is that you are able to properly use this in practice as of the 1 January 2021. The various partners in Get Ready for Brexit will support you in this in the coming months:
- Ferry operators and shortsea shipping lines will each use their own channels to guide you through their renewed booking processes and booking portals for Brexit.
- Through an extensive support solution, Portbase will make sure that you can properly get started with the various services. At Portbase Support, you will among other things find instructional videos, quick guides and answers to frequently asked questions. Furthermore, the user is guided through a service step by step during a first visit.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union we have entered the Transition Period that will last until 31st December 2020. During this transition, EU rules and regulations will continue to apply to the UK and the UK will remain part of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union therefore there will be no immediate changes to Customs or Border Controls, which will continue to operate as before.
The UK Government can request an extension to the Transition Period by up to one or two years if made before 30th June 2020, which has been ruled out by the Prime Minister. Therefore, at present, new trading rules are due to apply from 1st January 2021 and we understand that these will involve submission of customs declarations and Safety and Security Declarations to both the UK and to the relevant EU member state. However, we hope that the flow of goods will be as frictionless as possible.
We are engaging with the UK government and EU member states in their negotiations on a future trade relationship. We will ensure that we keep our customers updated on any progress that is made.
In the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement, a customs border has effectively been drawn down the Irish Sea, meaning checks could be required for goods being moved between Great Britain and Northern Ireland as well as between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
So, we are advising our customers to start planning now for border and customs checks, including between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In order to help your business prepare for the end of the transition period, please see our ‘Five things you need to do to be ready by 31st December 2020’ below.
Should you have further questions regarding Stena Line’s policy and procedures, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager.
Our relationship with our customers is very important. We would like to give you some practical information how Brexit will affect you as a customer.
Five things you need to do to be ready by 31 December 2020 (End of transition period)
1. Get an EORI number
(Economic Operator Registration and Identification) EORI number. Without this you and/or your customers will not be able to import/export goods to/from the UK. More advice can be found here, EORI Mythbuster and this will be updated in due course.
2. Register with Portbase (North Sea Only)
By the end of the transition period, you will not have access to the Dutch ferry terminals without customs documents that have been correctly, digitally pre-notified via the Port Community System of Portbase after the 31 December 2020. Read more »
3. Decide who will make import & export declarations.
You and/or your customers can hire someone to deal with customs for you or you can do it yourself. You must have all necessary customs clearance arrangements in place and are ready to make all required declarations before you can import/export goods. If you have technical questions on customs regulations and procedures, please contact your customs clearance agent or forwarder. In case you do not have a customs clearance agent yet, please contact your national organisation for customs clearance. You can find details of the organisation for your country via the websites of the international or European parent forwarding bodies; FIATA (www.fiata.com ) and CLECAT
4. Ensure that you fully understand the customs requirements of the Authorities for all stages of your journey including deciding whether you want to use transit arrangements.
You and/your customer may be able to use the Common Transit Convention (CTC) to simplify how the goods pass through customs and when your importer pays custom duties. If you’re regularly moving goods using CTC, you and/or your customer can apply for authorised consignor or consignee status. This will allow transit to start or end at your own premises rather than at a customs office. Find out if you can use CTC, UK Government ´Get ready to move goods guidance »
5. Ensure that you and your drivers fully understand the process and declarations required for your chosen ferry crossing.
Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
Follow Steps 1 to 5 before trying to check-in!
Make sure you have lodged customs declarations (including transit declarations if transit is used) and safety and security declarations (as appropriate) that cover both the export from the country you are leaving and the import to the country you are entering. Important – If you have not done this you will not be able to check in and will have to leave the port area to complete formalities or correct mis-declarations.