News & Trends – ICS2

Ready for the new EU import control system ICS2?


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From March 2021, the European Union will introduce a new customs programme with goods pre-declaration for safety and security. This will be supported by a large-scale information system called ICS2. You can find out what this is all about in this article.

The EU plans to introduce a new import control system called ICS2 (Import Control System 2) that will start on 15 March 2021 and be rolled out in a three-year staggered transition period until March 2024. TAXUD, the department of the EU Commission that is responsible for EU policies on taxation and customs, writes: “Its implementation represents an essential EU customs instrument for the management of entry border controls for safety and security purposes. It constitutes the first line of defence for the protection of the internal market and EU citizens”.

Symbol image for the import control system ICS2The programme includes a complete overhaul and reform of the existing system in terms of IT, legal aspects, customs risk management / controls and commercial activities. As a result, the existing Import Control System (ICS) will be phased out and replaced by ICS2.

ICS2 is a freight advance information system. It is used to collect data on all goods imported into the EU before they reach the EU’s external borders. ICS2 will thus have a direct impact on all economic operators involved in the dispatch, transport and handling of freight, express or postal consignments.

These economic operators are directly affected by ICS2:

  • Manufacturers / Importers / Exporters
  • Postal operators inside and outside the EU
  • Express delivery services
  • Air cargo carriers
  • Freight forwarding and logistics companies
  • Final consignee established in the EU (for goods received by sea)
  • Sea, rail and road transport
  • Representatives of all the above mentioned areas

They will all have to provide safety data for ICS2.

In addition to these directly affected actors, ICS2 will also indirectly affect all manufacturers, exporters and individuals from outside the EU who wish to ship goods to or through the EU. This is because they will have to provide the necessary information to the actors directly concerned.

What is the threat if companies are unprepared?

If the various economic operators are not prepared in time and the necessary ICS2 data is not transmitted, consignments and freight will be stopped at the EU customs borders and the customs office will not clear the goods in question. It should also be noted that inadequate declarations are either rejected or subject to unnecessary intervention and may lead to penalties for non-compliance.

Contact us today so that we can work together to make your company fit for ICS2.

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