Conformity Assessment in port Supply Chains

Valencia Port

The Supply Chain Service (SCS) in the transportation domain refers to the movement of products from one location to another as it makes its way from the supplier to the customer, and through all the intermediary stages. Several public and private companies are involved in the SCS such as manufacturers, freight forwarders, road hauliers, shipping lines, terminal operators, port authorities, customs, etc. in various ways.

Security of Supply Chains

The processes and services in the SCS rely upon an interconnected framework of ICT infrastructures and cyber networks to leverage the flows of products, services and information from a source to a customer. It includes the supply chain ecosystem, the ICT-based supply chains, the individual Critical Information Infrastructures, and ICT systems, equipment, and devices. Therefore, all these companies have a direct involvement in the security.

The basic concept of the SCS Conformity Assessment (CA) process is based on the general frame, within the scope of the conformity definition, which contains several abstract categories based on the EU Commission single market for goods regulation. In order for a product (software, hardware, or service) to be placed in the market, several conformity assessment steps need to be followed.

CYRENE pilot demonstration

During the first stage of the CYRENE project we are defining a scenario where the CYRENE CA process can be tested and demonstrated. This scenario is focused on the Vehicle Transport Service (VTS) SCS from Italy to Spain, which involves business partners belonging to different industries and sectors (e.g. automotive industry, transportation, government, etc.).

During the design phase, two different perspectives have been analysed. On the one hand, the business view, including all the SCS processes of the VTS and the business partners interacting to fulfill these processes. On the other hand, the technical view, the operating assets and systems that are involved and participate in the operation and provision of the SCS. This scenario will be deployed and demonstrated during the last stage of the CYRENE project.

Supply Chain disruptions

The Vehicle Transport SCS is considered as a massively complex system with numerous players for the manufacturing, shipment and delivery of various types of vehicles. It supports composite processes (i.e. domestic and international transportation, communications and information technology, warehouse management, order and inventory control etc.), which enfolds an aggregation of industry sectors, such as maritime transport and automobile industry. It includes several interactions and tasks among the various entities engaged (stakeholders and actors) having different goals and requirements entailing vehicles manufacturing and storage facilities to assembly plants, i.e. inbound logistics (automotive industry), vehicles distribution, i.e. vehicles transport via port origin and port destination (maritime transport industry) and the final delivery to the importer.

The VTS SCS is based upon the following 4 business phases:

  1. Vehicles Purchase Phase
  2. Shipment Phase
  3. Pre-arrival Phase
  4. Vehicles Unloading and Delivery Phase

Fundación Valenciaport is leading the definition of the last two phases of the VTS, which are described below.

Pre-arrival Phase

The Pre-Arrival Phase includes distribution chain procedures that have to be arranged by the importer through a corresponding representative (agent) and the port, engaging various formalities regarding the vessel docking and stevedoring of the vehicles at the designated port car terminal of the port and the agent’s interactions with other entities to accomplish these tasks, such as interactions with the Customs Authority. Click on each process to find out more.

The port calls process is a request from the Shipping Line or its Ship Agent to the Port Authority and the Harbourmaster’s office, requesting a berth, giving details of the call and the vessel.

Vehicles import/export in maritime transport is subject to local Customs’ audit. By sending the request of port call, automatically opens a Customs registry for the customs clearance of goods that must be loaded or unloaded from the vessel.

The port calls information is used by Port Authority and the Terminal Operators to manage their resources accordingly preparing equipment, personnel, etc.

The Standard Cargo Manifest is the document that includes all the information related to a ship and the cargo transported in a ship for a particular trip and which is intended to be discharged/loaded during its port call.

The Ship Agent, as the representative of the shipping Line, is the responsible for sending the Standard Cargo Manifest at least one day before the arrival of the ship. The message is received by the Port Authority, and forwarded it also to the Customs.

The ENS is a mandatory document which includes all the information related to the cargo transported in a ship. It is needed only when arriving to the first European port. The information in the document is quite similar to the Standard Cargo Manifest, although in this case contains all the cargo in the vessel and not only the cargo to be discharged in a specific port.

The Ship Agent, as the representative of the shipping Line, is the responsible for sending the Entry Summary Declaration at least one day before the arrival of the ship together with the Standard Cargo Manifest. The message is received by the Port Authority, and forwarded it also to the Customs.

The loading and discharge list is a document which contains all the vessel loading and discharge containers, cars, or goods. It is sent by the Ship Agent to the Terminal Operator at least 12 hours before the arrival.

The Terminal Operator needs this information to manage all the resources needed for the process. Otherwise the Ship Agent receives a confirmation from the Terminal Operator of the loading and discharge of these containers.

Vehicles Unloading and Delivery Phase

The last phase includes a set of processes in the VTS that lead to a specific goal which is delivery the vehicles to the end customer. This is instantiated by the completion of the vessel arrival procedures to the destination port and the vehicles unloading from the Car Carrier Vessel at the designated vehicle terminal. Click on each process to find out more.

Once the vessel is docked in the port, the discharge of vehicles begins. For that, dockers get on the vessel and discharge the vehicles driving towards the terminal yard.

Dockers have a mobile device connected to the TOS (Terminal Operating system) for receiving indications of the vehicles to be discharged and the area in the terminal yard to be parked.

With this information, terminal operator managers are aware of the situation of each vehicle and are able to manage the resources and the space.

The Customs declarations is a mandatory process when importing goods with the Tax Agency’s Custom. For that, the goods owner or its representative needs to submit the Single Administrative Document for goods from countries outside the European union or the corresponding document (e.g. Proof of Union Status). This is necessary before the goods can leave the customs compound, in this case the port.

Before the truck arrives the port to pick up the vehicles, the Freight Forwarder have to submit the Single Administrative Document. When Customs authorises the request, the response is sent to the Port Community System (PCS) in order to be available for involved stakeholders, including the automatic gate system in the port allows the trucks to leave the port. This process is done directly through the Customs system.

Road transportation is an important part of the logistics in the container transport chain, and several actors are involved such as Freight Forwarders, Haulier Companies, Terminals, or Ship Agents. In order to have a common understanding of the operations, there is a documentation flow parallel to the physical flow of goods. For road transportation it is needed a transport order, a document which determines the obligations between carrier and shipper. This document is local and therefore is regulated by national law.

The process starts when the importer or its Freight Forwarder request a transport. The Ship Agent provides the transport order documentation to the Freight Forwarder and the Terminal Operator. The Haulier Company completes the document assigning a truck. Finally, the Terminal Operator confirms the delivery.

During the road transport operation, the driver needs the documentation is case is required by the traffic police or other security forces.

Do you think there are other relevant processes where the Cyrene solution can be applied?

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This blog is signed by: The VPF team


Project Coordinator: Sofoklis Efremidis
Institution: Maggioli SPA
Email: info{at}
Start: 1-10-2020
Duration: 36 months
Participating organisations: 14
Number of countries: 10



EU flagThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under grant agreement No 952690. The website reflects only the view of the author(s) and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.