DEUTZ AG AND dbh Efficient use of interfaces for new customs procedures

High-quality, innovative diesel engines — that is what DEUTZ AG is all about. To make sure that it continues to meet the high standard in global competition, the company also sources a large amount of production material from countries outside of the EU.

THE CHALLENGE Saving import duties with bonded warehouses

In order to avoid always having to pay the import customs duties for stock material in full for certain shipments, logistics strategies are starting to focus increasingly on the set-up of bonded warehouses.

However, this set-up process generally involves a lot of time, effort and money. Drastic changes to operating procedures and the expansion of IT infrastructure to include additional functions are necessary consequences.

Deutz AG decided to replace the NCTS procedure previously used for customs processes with Advantage Customs. To do this, the SAP ERP system was connected to Advantage Customs via interfaces.


Third-country goods are products that have been manufactured outside of the EU and have not yet entered the territory of the European Union for free circulation. Maintaining a bonded warehouse has advantages for companies that import dutiable goods from third countries and export them to other third counties:

  • Exemption from paying customs duties and taxes for the duration that the imported third-party goods are in storage
  • Exemption from trade policy measures (e.g. no submission of import licences or certificates of origin)

THE SOLUTION Interfaces between SAP and Advantage Customs

Three bonded warehouses in Cologne, Herschbach and Ulm needed to be integrated into the DEUTZ AG SAP ERP system.

The fundamental requirement in this project was not to increase the manual work currently undertaken by customs handling employees, and ideally to even reduce this work.

In order to meet this requirement, DEUTZ AG decided to replace the NCTS procedure previously used for customs processes with Advantage Customs.

Benefits for Deutz AG

  • Direct control of the customs processes from the SAP system
  • Optimum connection to existing IT infrastructure
  • Minimal time spent recording data thanks to automated data exchange
  • Consulting, software, support, development and hosting from a single source
  • dbh on site as a point of contact

To do this, the DEUTZ AG SAP/ERP system needed to be connected to the dbh Advantage Customs system via interfaces. However, a large amount of customs-related data had already been logged in the current ERP system. It had to be ensured that all data was transferred safely to Advantage Customs without being lost.

dbh's first task was to define the customs-related processes in cooperation with the DEUTZ AG customs department. The technical implementation was developed in the project plan in conjunction with the IT department. Working together, a project was designed and implemented that, once complete, should provide an optimum solution to the task set, while at the same time incorporating the defined, customs-related requirements.

IMPLEMENTATION Direct connection, fully automated control and easy-to-use application

During the project, a solution was developed that involved Advantage Customs being optimally connected to the DEUTZ AG ERP system and being linked to the customs system. The ERP system was equipped with an additional module from the DEUTZ AG IT department that automatically allocates data from existing import processes to the required customs processes.

Seven interfaces between the systems

A total of seven interfaces form a communication platform between the three systems: the DEUTZ AG ERP system, the dbh Advantage Customs software and the ATLAS customs system. This platform manages incoming and outgoing information and enables the fast, loss-free communication and processing of data between the systems. DEUTZ AG employees get to keep the SAP/ERP application as the user interface that they are used to, while Advantage Customs takes care of all the other work, as well as the connection to the ATLAS customs system, in the background.


  • Establishment of a direct link between the existing DEUTZ AG ERP system and the dbh Advantage Customs software via web services. The time spent by employees recording data should be significantly reduced by means of a data interface between the two systems.
  • The set-up of specific customs interfaces in both systems, which can be used to compile and send, as well as receive and easily analyse data.
  • The option of managing and monitoring customs operations directly in the DEUTZ AG ERP system in the SAP/ERP application should be implemented by means of a special module developed internally.
  • Fully automated control and communication through Advantage Customs as an interface with the ATLAS system. At the same time, it should still be possible to continue using existing systems and interfaces as before.

THE RESULT 30% more orders are now processed in the same amount of time

All operations can now be processed and released for data transfer by the administrator directly in the new module. The processing status of each operation can be easily tracked by the administrator at any time.

Web service at dbh data centre

By providing a web service at the dbh data centre in Bremen and by integrating the seven different interfaces, DEUTZ AG's enterprise resource planning system has been linked to Advantage Customs. This allows all customs procedures and the connection to ATLAS to be controlled and monitored in the best-possible way. Advantage Customs functions as the main system for the implementation of customs-related tasks.

Figures confirm the success

A comparison with the previous year's figures shows just how effective working with the two systems connected now is: "As planned, the automated interface between the customs system and SAP has significantly reduced data recording and processing work. We are also now able to process 30% more orders than before," confirms the head of the central customs department at DEUTZ AG.


Founded in 1864 as N.A. Otto & Cie. in Cologne, today DEUTZ AG is the oldest engine factory in the world and one of the world's leading independent engine manufacturers.

The company's core competencies lie in the development, construction, production, sale and servicing of diesel engines for professional applications. The full-line engine specialist offers a wide range of liquid-cooled and air-cooled engines with power outputs ranging from 25 kW to 520 kW. The engines are used in construction machinery, power generation equipment, agricultural machinery, commercial vehicles, rail vehicles and ships.

DEUTZ customers are supported by 9 sales organisations, 9 sales offices, 16 service centres and over 800 sales and service partners in more than 130 countries around the world.

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