As the captain of a professional or recreational vessel, you (and other persons on board) will be subjected to border surveillance controls. You are obliged to report your crew, passengers and stowaways prior to departure. When ships enter or leave the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and the Seaport Police will check the details of your crew members and passengers.
The Netherlands complies with the Schengen Borders Code at the external borders of the Schengen area. This Schengen Borders Code includes a reporting requirement for both commercial and recreational shipping. This requirement applies each time you cross the external border, except when you are transiting Dutch territorial waters without putting into a Dutch port.
Exceptions are unforeseen and exceptional circumstances or when the ship is less than 3 hours from a border crossing point. In that case, reporting must be done as soon as possible, so that an officer from the border crossing point can conduct an identity check.
Registering crew and passengers
Are you the captain of a:
- recreational ship of less than 45 metres in length?
- fishing boat of less than 45 metres in length?
- traditional ship of less than 45 metres in length?
- Seaport Police (for the Port of Rotterdam): firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (for the other ports): email@example.com.
If your ship is not one of the above-mentioned types, you must register your passenger and crew details via Single Window for Maritime and Aviation. Single Window uses the Trade and Transport Gateway (HTG). With HTG electronic messages are exchanged.
You can register your information for Customs, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee/Seaport Police digitally via Single Window. You only need to do this once. The port authority will make sure that your report is passed on to the National Competent Authority SafeSeaNet via Single Window. The various government organisations will subsequently all receive your report.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and the Seaport Police also use the Advanced Passenger Information System-3 (API-3). Information entered in Single Window will automatically be stored here. The data in the API-3 is compared to search lists and risk profiles.
Registering crew members or passengers with visa requirement
Crew members or passengers who require a visa must be registered:
- Use the Application for Schengen Visa form (in Dutch, English, Turkish, English/Chinese, English/Russian or French/Arabic).
- In many countries you can apply for a visa at the Dutch Embassy or the Dutch Consulate. Check the list of embassies in alphabetical order.
Additional rules for recreational shipping
In addition to the above-mentioned reporting requirement, a number of specific rules apply to recreational shipping.