Electronic EU pre-registration in 11 countries

Client: Hamburg Süd
The obligation to submit summary entry declarations before goods are brought into the customs territory of the European Union, which has been in place since 2011, required significant adjustments to the company's own processes and thus also to the IT environment.

The challenge: summary entry and exit in the EU

Pre-registration: Hamburg Süd Container unloaded at the port

Shipping companies and other transport companies had to be able to address the EU member states in a system-technical way. The Hamburg Süd-American Steam Shipping Company KG (Hamburg Süd) has mastered this task together with dbh Logistics IT AG (dbh) as a consultant and software manufacturer.

Together, the implementation and processing of the EU pre-registration were implemented in a total of eleven countries. Advantage Pre-Declaration by dbh is used.

Project cover:

Interface between the documentation system at Hamburg Süd and Advantage Pre-Declaration. Processing of data for the customs systems of 11 selected countries of the European Union.

Software used: Advantage Pre-Declaration

Duration: 16 months

The solution: EU pre-registration. Connection of all countries with only one software

All 27 countries of the European Union have their own customs clearance systems. In Germany, for example, this is Atlas. Although a European specification defines the technical framework for procedures, all countries have individual options. The technical connection of these customs systems to the software of the carriers was therefore not feasible via a standard interface.

For shipowners such as Hamburg Süd and other carriers, it was important to find the most efficient, affordable and sustainable way to transmit the required information in a country-specific format.

Benefits for Hamburg Süd

  • A solution for all required customs systems in Europe
  • Timely implementation
  • Constant control of the flow of goods
  • Consulting, software, support, development and hosting from a single source
  • Development of only one interface
  • dbh contact person on site

“Efficient, flexible and efficient” – this is what the solution should look like

A “one to many” solution was desired: only one software that serves all customs systems. In addition, the program should be controllable via a dashboard – a user interface that allows for accelerated access and quick control.

One software for all countries

The decision was made in favor of dbh and Advantage Pre-Declaration. dbh had not only completed a first prototype early on, but was also able to convince with sound customs know-how. An advantage for both companies was that both dbh and Hamburg Süd were able to draw on important expert knowledge on site.


The IT procedure ICS/ECS (also known as the input or output SumA) has been mandatory since January 2011. For goods brought into the EU, an entry SumA must since be delivered to customs. The authority where the goods cross the EU’s customs borders for the first time is responsible.

Customs can carry out security and risk analyses and, if necessary, take security measures in good time.

As The European customs systems are not uniform, there have been delays in the changeover. The law was originally to be implemented as early as 1 July 2009. In the end, however, it did not enter into force until 2011 and allowed a transitional period until the end of June 2011 (for the notification of receipt) or End of December 2011 (for the exit notification).

Implementation: Time and costs in the frame – A success on the whole

Electronic EU pre-registration in 11 countries 1
Hamburg Süd’s “Santa Clara” with a Container capacity of 7,100 TEUs

Since the end of 2009, the managers of Hamburg Süd and dbh have held intensive discussions on the EU pre-registration project. The project was launched in August 2010. Within 16 months, all customs systems could be connected. The biggest hurdle was that the ICS specifications of the individual countries were not yet available at the beginning of the project, but were only gradually published.

IT and logistics specialists meet professional carriers

Thanks to the very good cooperation within the European partner network, the country-specific requirements could nevertheless be taken into account at an early stage. By the end of 2011, Hamburg Süd had displayed several hundred thousand incoming messages about the new system.

Strong partners

Paul Wenger, Senior Manager Marketing and eCommerce at Hamburg Süd, on the cooperation: “The professional competence and the proactive commitment were important reasons why we chose dbh Logistics IT AG as a project partner.”

The features: Only one product for all EU countries

Create the following messages:

  • Input and output SumA
  • Diversion Requests
  • Arrival Notifications

Included in the standard scope

  • Multilingual user interfaces
  • Customer and master data management
  • Copy function, individual views
  • Country-specific plausibility checks
  • Creation of reports
  • Criteria filters (e.g. travel and/or loading port)
  • Feedback via e-mail and/or interface

About Hamburg Süd

dbh customer Hamburg Süd
dbh customer Hamburg Süd

The Hamburg Süd Group combines numerous services for the perfect logistics chain under one roof. In container shipping, it is represented by two brands: Hamburg Süd as a German carrier and Aliana as a Brazilian shipping company with ships flying the Brazilian flag.

In addition, it is present in bulk cargo and product tanker shipping under the names Rudolf A.Oetker (RAO) and Aliana Bulk (Aliabulk) on the world’s oceans. In addition, Columbus Shipmanagement GmbH (CSG), whose complex areas of responsibility range from technical management to crewing and materials management. All upstream and downstream logistics services for maritime transport, including the necessary customs processing, are offered by Columbus Logistics Services GmbH (CLS).

The range of services offered by the shipping group is rounded off by the Hamburg Süd Travel Agency, which in more than three decades has become a specialist service provider for business trips, cruises, events. U. v. m.

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