Since the start of 2011, Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) Ships Agency has been successfully dealing with the needs of vessels calling in European ports with regard to Advanced Cargo Declarations. These regulations require all carriers to pre-alert customs authorities of goods going in and out of the EU, Switzerland and Norway by providing an Advance Cargo Declaration (ACD).
While the American ACD is made through a single electronic portal when entering U.S. waters, the EU ACD must be filed through the Import Control System (ICS) which is individually adopted by all EU member states. This requires all Shipping companies to set up computer systems connecting them with the computer systems of the multiple customs offices within EU. Carriers failing to comply will run the risk of being penalised by individual Member States in accordance with their national legislation.
WSS was the first company to provide a complete package to ship owners and operators faced with the new legislation. Initially, the company managed these declarations from a centralised location. Once it had become clear how to manage the challenges of this new Europe-wide requirement, a package was developed and distributed to all WSS offices in Europe. This enabled all WSS ships agents the ability to quickly and efficiently handle these customs declarations.
In addition WSS provided extensive FAQs to assist vessel operators during the initial roll-out period of the regulation. This has proved extremely popular with customers, who initially found the requirements of the Advanced Cargo Declaration legislation difficult to interpret. Although the process has now become more streamlined, many customers continue to rely on WSS to provide efficient solutions that reduce turnaround time in port.
“All our customers can rest assured that we have the systems and dedicated teams in place to make sure they are fully compliant with this regime,” explains Frederic Fontarosa, Business Director Ships Agency and Bunkers for Wilhelmsen Ships Service.
“With the new Ships Agency Re-Defined offer, our customers have learnt to expect premium agency services from us. We have the expertise and processes not only to ensure that our customers are compliant at all times, but we also help them improve their operational efficiency. Basically we offer peace of mind at a predictable price.”