First shipment with streamlined Customs arrives at Schiphol


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has welcomed its first shipment as part of a pilot programme to streamline and secure Customs procedures between China and the European Union (EU).

The shipment was from Shanghai and the World Customs Organization (WCO) Customs to Customs pilot project called Smart and Secure Trade Lanes (SSTL) aims to reduce lead times and Customs procedures, and increase security in the supply chain through data sharing.

Schiphol is the only European airport chosen to take part in the pilot, which makes use of an encrypted data exchange platform developed and maintained by the WCO.

The project has already reduced clearance times and increased predictability in the maritime supply chain through close cooperation between Customs in countries including China, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland.

The first import SSTL shipment arrived at Schiphol in December, and was flown by Air China Cargo and booked by Yusen Logistics, one of the participants in the SSTL programme.

Yusen Logistics regional managing director for Northern Europe, Piet Boogaard says: “This is an important pilot programme, which will help reduce lead times and further secure the supply chain, and we are pleased to be taking part.

As well as benefiting from faster release of goods and more predictable delivery times, we are proud to be supporting the development of standards that will strengthen and secure supply chains.”

The Customs authorities of countries participating in SSTL are working together to recognise and make use of each other’s inspection findings, share risk information, and develop secure communication channels to achieve this.

The first airfreight shipment under the SSTL project was delivered from Schiphol to Baiyun Airport in Guangzhou last May.

Schiphol cargo business development director, Saskia van Pelt says: “We are glad that Dutch Customs is participating in this pilot project as this strengthens our ties with Shanghai Pudong International airport, our largest cargo destination, as well as Baiyun airport, home base of China Southern airlines.

“The delivery of cockpit instruments in Baiyun was on its way to a nearby aircraft manufacturer within 21 minutes of landing on Chinese soil, and once there it immediately entered the production process.”

Until recently the project focused solely on maritime freight flows but the scope has now been extended to air transport and more SSTL flight routes are expected to follow between Schiphol and Baiyan.