The EU and other countries make it a priority to ensure the security of its citizens and market. In this regard, the customs pre-arrival security and safety programme ‘ICS2’ is implemented. Economic operators (EOs) will have to declare safety and security data prior to arrival.
ICS2 stands for Import Control System 2. ICS2 is a cargo pre-departure information system for the common European customs security area formed by the European Union (EU), Switzerland and Norway. With this system, an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) is mandatory for consignments from third countries, i.e. data must already be transmitted for all goods imported into the common security area before they reach the external border of the security area. With ICS2, customs authorities can carry out targeted risk analyses based on the pre-declaration data.
ICS2 is implemented in three stages (releases). The first stage began on 15 March 2021 and concerned postal traffic. The second stage from 1 March 2023 will include air freight traffic and the third stage will also cover rail, road and shipping traffic from 1 March 2024.
In principle, the carrier is responsible for the timely transmission of the pre-notification. This primarily affects courier companies, postal services, airlines, transport and logistics companies. However, these companies will also request corresponding data from their customers in order to be able to generate the declarations. All shipments of goods from third countries to the EU, Switzerland or Norway are affected. Shipments of goods within the common customs security area are not affected.
As a freight forwarder, express courier or economic operator, you need to decide if you will file the pre-loading and pre-arrival data yourselves, or make the necessary commercial documentation data available to your air carriers in advance for them to file the necessary information to ICS2 within the legal time limit.
As an importer or other business party in the cross-border transactions, you need to make the necessary contractual arrangements with your logistics service providers to carry out the ICS2 data reporting, and you need to provide them with the requested additional information in order for the shipments not to get stuck at the border.