Dataservice Discharge Confirmation

Implementation of the data service Discharge Confirmation allows you – immediately after a container is discharged and automatically from within your in-house system – to confirm the pre-announcement with Customs or submit a follow-up declaration.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between this service and Cargo Information; isn’t a discharge confirmation also sent as part of that service?

That's true: Cargo Information contains even more information but has the drawback that only one customer can be linked to a container. Data services are designed for multiple customers in the chain and can be linked to an infinite number of customers per container.

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What is the difference between this service and the existing service discharge confirmation report?

The discharge confirmation report is part of a broader service called 'cargo information'. The data service Discharge Confirmation is a standalone (API) service that is suitable for connection to the customer's in-house system, enabling a follow-up action to be automated as soon as a container is discharged on the quayside.

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Do you have to be registered as a customer in the PCS to use the service?

Yes, a customer of a data service must be a Portbase customer and be registered in the PCS so that a system user can be created.

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Is there a maximum number of requests per customer?


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What is a data owner?

The party that originally entered the data in PCS (in the case of Discharge Confirmation, this is a terminal).

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Can the customer see the Discharge Confirmation on a web screen?

No, the data service Discharge Confirmation is always offered via an API link. This ensures that 'applying' the declaration can be done automatically, without requiring any action to be performed. The discharge confirmation can be used as an  'automatic' trigger for the application message. Portbase supplies this service via an API, which enables a linkage with the customer's own system.

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Which key does the customer need to supply in order to request a discharge confirmation for a specific container? In other words: how can a customer ‘subscribe’ to a discharge confirmation message for a specific container?

The customer must be in possession of a container number + Bill of Lading number (B/L number) or container number + Call Reference Number (CRN). The CRN is a unique visit number for a ship to the port. Both combinations are valid for applying for a discharge confirmation. As soon as the container has been discharged at a terminal, the discharge confirmation is automatically received. In addition, a URL is needed to send the discharge confirmation to. In the connection process, this URL is used to establish an API connection with the ICT department/software supplier. The API link enables the automatic receipt and request of discharge confirmations.

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Process progress

How long after the container has been discharged can the customer request a discharge confirmation?

Up to 30 days after the container is discharged. After that, no more discharge confirmations are sent (after two months, the customer receives the closure message).

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What happens if the customer make a mistake in the request, for example a mistake in the CRN or Container Number?

When a CRN is entered, it is checked to ensure that the format is correct (e.g. the correct length, existing port code). If an incorrect CRN is entered based on the format criteria, the customer receives a message to this effect and no fee is charged. As yet, the software does not check whether the CRN actually exists, so if an invalid number is entered by mistake and no discharge confirmation is received in response to the request, after 2 months the customer will receive a notification that the request cannot be fulfilled.

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What happens if the service is down due to a fault and the Discharge Confirmation cannot be delivered as a result?

  • The customer will receive a fault report within 15 minutes and Portbase will ensure that the service becomes available again as soon as possible.
  • There is no backup procedure.

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How long does it take before the customer receives a Discharge Confirmation after the container has been discharged?

As soon as the terminal sends a notification that the container has been discharged, Portbase sends this discharge confirmation to the requester in real time.

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After how long does the request for a Discharge Confirmation expire?

If no discharge confirmation can be supplied after two months, the client receives a closure message (a transaction charge is nevertheless levied).

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What happens if a Discharge Confirmation cannot be sent because the container was not discharged during the ship’s visit to the port?

A message is always sent, even if a container is not discharged. In that case, 2 months after the request, a so-called closure message is sent. For every request, regardless of whether a discharge confirmation has been sent, a transaction charge of 0.18 euros is levied. This is because infrastructure costs are incurred by Portbase in order to process and link the request. Of course in this case the customer is not charged a kickback fee for the data owner.

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What happens if a request is submitted after the container has already been discharged?

Then the discharge confirmation is sent immediately. This is currently possible up to 30 days after the actual discharge of the container.

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From when can a discharge confirmation be requested?

From the moment the B/L + Container Number or CRN + Container Number are known to the customer

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What is a kickback fee?

A fee paid to the data owner for providing the data.

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How does billing take place?

Each month, a single summary invoice is sent out for the actual usage and the data services subscription. This invoice is separate from the regular monthly Portbase advance invoice. The invoice shows the cost of the monthly subscription and the number of discharge confirmations that the customer received in the past month (usage charges + kickback fee).

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