Rotterdam Maasvlakte terminals will soon no longer require physical paperwork to transfer containers from one to another. The participating terminals (APMT, ECT and RWG) have made agreements to this end with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. This so-called ‘paperless transfer’ system considerably reduces the administrative workload, particularly for shipping lines, and aims to simplify the exchange of containers between terminals.
Maasvlakte currently has five deep-sea container terminals, and containers that arrive at the one terminal regularly needs to be shipped onward via a different terminal. This happens with tens of thousands of containers every year, and will only increase further in years to come. European customs legislation recently started offering the option of transferring containers from one terminal to the other, under specific conditions, without further paperwork. As of 1 July 2016, all five deep-sea terminals are said to be ready to implement this new system. In addition, the concept may in time be rolled out to other container terminals in the port of Rotterdam. The companies will start with the paperless transfer of transshipment containers. In due time, the parties also expect to be able to expand this procedure to the bundling of rail and inland shipping volumes.
Rob Bagchus, Chairman of the Rotterdam Terminal Operators’ Association (VRTO) said, “The paperless transfer of containers between the different Maasvlakte terminals is important for Rotterdam’s position as a port. That is why the terminals have worked to realize this system as quickly as possible.”
Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority said, “Paperless transfers simplify the transport of containers from one terminal to the other and improve Rotterdam’s competitive position. The next step will be the construction of the Container Exchange Route, which allows for the transport of containers between terminals via a closed system. According to our planning, this project will be rounded off within two years. The agreements presently entered into regarding paperless transfers will also apply to the Container Exchange Route.”