Container Release Message - see how your import declaration is changing

From October 2021, Customs will be operating what is known as the Container Release Message. This will mean that you can only file an import declaration once a ship has arrived in a Dutch port. This applies not only to containers but to all cargo by sea.

European rules do not allow import declarations to be filed sooner.

How does the Container Release Message affect me?

The arrival of the Container Release Message has important implications for you.

  • You may only file an import declaration following the ship's arrival.
  • You can, however, file a preliminary declaration. Working with a pre-declaration is faster and more efficient: shipments will not be delayed. You will receive an MRN number immediately after your pre-declaration. Do you have an AEO licence? If so, we will immediately let you know if your shipment is being inspected.

We will check whether you have filed your declaration too early and compare the data with the declaration for temporary storage. If you file the declaration too soon or the weight or data on the bill of lading (B/L) differ from the declaration for temporary storage, you will receive an error message and your declaration will be rejected.

Once the declaration has been verified, you will receive a message from AGS, after which you can collect the shipment from the terminal.

A pre-declaration will prevent your shipment from being delayed

You file a declaration in advance before the ship arrives in a Dutch port. A pre-declaration speeds up the logistics chain.

This is how it works:

  1. pre-declaration in AGS
  2. confirm pre-declarationYou confirm your pre-declaration with a presentation notification
    You can also send your presentation notification automatically. Please get in touch with your software supplier for this purpose.

If you do not file a pre-declaration, you can only file a declaration once the ship is in port. You will not be able to pick up your shipment directly at the terminal.

Container Release Message in 4 steps

We are introducing the Container Release Message step by step. Level 1 begins on 4 October 2021: from then on, we will compare your import declaration with the declaration for temporary storage. You may only file an import declaration following the ship's arrival.

We plan to further extend the Container Release Message in 2022. At that point, we will also compare transit declarations, check gross weights even more accurately and inform declarants of our findings with the Goods Status Information Report.

We will inform you on this page when the next phase is about to begin.

More information?

Together with Portbase and the umbrella organisations, we have published the website 'Prepare for the CVB'. Here you can read all about the Container Release Message and view the frequently asked questions. You can also download our presentation on the Container Release Message.