The European Union Import Control System 2 (ICS2)

On March 1, 2023, the European Union (EU) will begin implementing its Import Control System 2 (ICS2) for goods transported by air to EU-27 destinations.

The European Union Import Control System 2 (ICS2)

The ICS2 is a new customs pre-arrival security and safety program part of a large-scale advanced cargo information system. The program is critical to establishing an integrated EU customs risk management reinforcement program under the standard risk management framework (CRMF). This program is to help ensure the security of its citizens and markets. Every year trillions of Euros of goods are imported into the EU, with the EU-27 now accounting for around 15 % of the world’s trade.  

ICS2 is required for all shipments transiting via any EU country, even if the final destination is not a part of the EU.  

This program will: 

  • Increase the protection of EU citizens and the market against security and safety threats. 
  • Allow EU customs authorities to identify high-risk consignments better and intervene at the most appropriate point in the supply chain. 
  • Support targeted customs measures at the borders in crisis response. 
  • Facilitate cross-border clearance for legal trade. 
  • Simplify the exchange of information between Economic Operators (EOs) and EU Customs Authorities. 

What is ICS2 and Its Requirements? 

The Import Control System 2 (ICS2) is the second phase of the electronic customs import system that will directly affect all air freight shipments for the EU. This program was created to collect data about all goods entering the EU before arrival.  

Economic Operators (EOs) must declare safety and security data to ICS2 through the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS). This obligation will not be the same for all EOs and will depend on the type of services as well as the international footprint of the goods.  

The first phase of ICS2 enforcement was on 15 March 2021, the second on March 1, 2023, and the third on March 1, 2024. 

All importers and logistic companies need to prepare to change their IT systems to submit the following information to the ICS2:  

  • Shipper name 
  • Shipper address 
  • Recipient name 
  • Recipient address 
  • Number of packages 
  • Gross weight 
  • Six-digit Harmonized System (HS) codes. 
  • The description of goods is based on the EU guidelines
  • The EORI number. 

The Customs authorities will stop any goods not complying with this regulation at the EU Customs border. 

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