Container Release Message (CVB) and What it Means For Companies


The Netherlands is currently the only country in the European Union where the Customs Authority releases import declarations before unloading the goods off the ship. As this is in conflict with EU Customs legislation, Brussels has requested the Netherlands to take measures. The current procedure causes discrepancies between the declaration and the Bill of Lading and this needs to be resolved!

To make sure said discrepancies no longer appear, Dutch Customs is implementing a new procedure. With this new procedure, it is no longer possible to make an import declaration before the goods have been unloaded.

Container Release Message

The new import procedure is called Container Vrijgave Bericht (CVB), which translates into Container Release Message. Dutch Customs will implement this new procedure in phases. The first phase entails the following: declarations performed in AGS, the declaration system of the Customs Authority, will only release these declarations after being matched with the DMF/NFV system for incoming goods.

The number of boxes and the gross weight need specific attention. Differences in the number of boxes or gross weight between the Bill of Lading and the ATO are no longer allowed. The Aangifte Tijdelijke Opslag (ATO), which translates into the Declaration of Temporary Storage, is the declaration that is done by the carrier responsible when the goods are unloaded.

Moving forward, the Customs Authority will check if the import declaration matches the ATO. If there are discrepancies, the Customs Authority will refuse the import. They will also check if the goods are available, in other words, if the ship has already arrived at the port. If not, the import declaration will be denied.

What you need to do

In a moment, we will explain what we do to prepare for your import using the CVB, but first, we need to be clear on what you need to do. The most important thing you need to do is make sure that we have all the necessary data for your shipment on time and in full.

How We Make Sure Your Import Goes Smoothly

As soon as we have all the correct data, we make sure they are shared with all parties involved. Customs Support is connected to Portbase, the central information hub for handling CVB messages. Because Customs Support uses data from Portbase when handling import declarations and reports data back to Portbase, the number of error messages is reduced.

Customs Support operates based on pre-notifications. A pre-notification means that we notify customs of an incoming shipment. The Customs Authority uses this pre-notification to determine if the shipment needs inspection. If no inspection is required, we make a final declaration when the goods have arrived, and you or your logistics service provider can then pick up the goods at the terminal.

Portbase and Stream (our Customs Management Software) are working on an interface, so pre-notification can be processed automatically as soon as the goods arrive at the port. This means that your pre-notification can also be done outside of office hours. Your operation can then run 24/7 if necessary.

CVB Process to Go Live 4 October 2021

The Dutch Customs Authority will start the new CVB process as of October 4th of this year. The CVB process for NCTS declarations will begin in April 2022.

The Dutch Customs Authority has created a website with everything you need to know about the CVB process.

You can also contact one of our customs specialists if you have any questions. They are happy to help take the load off your mind!