During the night of 10 to 11 April, the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) agreed to extend Article 50 until no later than 31 October 2019. A condition is, however, that the UK participates in the next European Parliament elections from 23 to 26 May 2019. The UK may leave the EU before 31 October 2019 if the withdrawal agreement is accepted by the British House of Commons. Port Authority calls on logistics chain companies to register by 1 June.
A no-deal Brexit is still possible on 1 June 2019 if the UK does not participate in the European Elections. A no-deal Brexit is also possible on 31 October 2019. For this reason, the Port of Rotterdam Authority is continuing to make preparations to enable freight transport via the Port of Rotterdam to run as smoothly as possible, also after Brexit. For this transport to run smoothly, cooperation is required from all parties in the logistics chain. It is important that all parties continue to make preparations.
Companies that transport freight via Dutch ports from and to the United Kingdom will be confronted with customs formalities after Brexit. The processing of these formalities takes place automatically in PortBase, which prevents time-consuming manual checks.
This digital border, however, only works if all companies in the chain take their responsibility and share the necessary data. A crucial action in this process is the digital pre-announcement of customs documents at terminals via PortBase. Without pre-announcing the customs documents, trucks will be denied entry to the terminals and will be turned away. This applies in every Brexit scenario: Deal and No Deal.
In recent months PortBase, the ferry companies, interest organisations FENEX, evofenedex and Transport en Logistiek Nederland, port business association Deltalinqs, the short sea terminals, the port authorities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam and the Dutch Customs at home and abroad have communicated that companies should not wait until the last moment to make their Brexit preparations.
As stated, registering on PortBase is required in every Brexit scenario: Deal and No Deal. That is why the Port of Rotterdam Authority is continuing to ask companies to register in PortBase. Companies that have not yet registered should do this prior to 1 June 2019 to ensure that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, they can use the digital border in the Dutch ports. Arriving well prepared at the port is, after all, the responsibility of companies that import freight from or export freight to the UK.