The European Union will release the third phase of its customs pre-arrival safety and security system Import Control System 2 (ICS2), with a new process for the entry of goods carried by sea, inland waterways, road and rail in the EU, on June 3, 2024.
With this third release, carriers will also need to provide data on goods sent to or through the EU before their arrival, by completing an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS). This obligation also applies to postal and express carriers who transport goods using these modes of transportation, as well as other parties such as logistics providers. In certain circumstances, final consignees established in the EU will also have to submit ENS data to ICS2.
Traders are strongly advised to prepare in advance for Release 3 to avoid the risk of delays and non-compliance. Affected businesses will be required to ensure they collect accurate and complete data from their clients, update their IT systems and operational processes and provide adequate training to their staff. Since December 11, 2023, traders have been required to complete a self-conformance test before connecting to ICS2, to verify their ability to access and exchange messages with customs authorities.
EU member states will grant authorization, upon request, to the affected traders to gradually connect to ICS2 within a time-limited deployment window. Member states can grant the deployment window anytime within the following timeframes: from June 3, 2024, to December 4, 2024 (maritime and inland waterway carriers); from December 4, 2024, to April 1, 2025 (maritime and inland waterway house level filers); and from April 1, 2025, to September 1, 2025 (road and rail carriers). If traders are not ready on time and do not provide the data required under ICS2, goods will be stopped at the EU borders and will not be cleared by the customs authorities.
By collecting safety and security data, EU customs authorities intend to detect risks earlier and intervene at the most appropriate point in the supply chain to keep trade safe for the EU and its citizens. ICS2 is expected to simplify the movement of goods between customs offices at the first point of entry and final destination in the EU. ICS2 will also provide a single access point to communicate with customs authorities in all EU member states for all EU operations, rather than 27 national interfaces. For traders, ICS2 is projected to streamline requests for additional information and pre-departure risk screening by customs authorities, thus reducing administrative burdens for businesses.
The European Commission, member states’ customs authorities and businesses have collaborated closely on the development of ICS2. The system is being implemented in three releases that will gradually replace the existing import control system.
Read more key cross-border updates from the parcel and postal technology industry, here.