In a bid to bolster safety and security measures for incoming cargo, the European Union (EU) has unveiled plans to roll out an advanced customs pre-arrival system targeting shipments arriving via sea, rail, and road. Aligned with its Import Control System 2, the initiative is scheduled to launch on June 3, 2024, marking the third phase of the system’s implementation.
The new policy mandates traders to submit crucial data on goods destined for or passing through the EU before their actual arrival. This requirement applies not only to maritime and inland waterways but also to road and rail transport within the region. Importers will be obligated to furnish a complete Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) as part of the pre-arrival process.
The EU’s Import Control System 2 aims to extend safety and security data reporting obligations to all modes of transport. While similar requirements are already in place for air transportation of goods, the latest phase broadens the scope, covering maritime and inland waterways, road, and rail carriers.
The statement from the EU highlights, “With this third release, maritime and inland waterways, road and rail carriers will also need to provide data on goods sent to or through the EU before their arrival, through a complete Entry Summary Declaration (ENS).”
The directive includes postal and express carriers employing these modes of transport, along with other stakeholders such as logistics providers. Under specific circumstances, final consignees established in the EU may also need to submit ENS data to ICS2.
To ensure a smooth transition and minimize the risk of delays and non-compliance, affected businesses are urged to prepare adequately. This involves collecting accurate and comprehensive data from clients, updating IT systems and operational processes, and providing necessary training to staff.
Traders are required to complete a self-conformance test by December 11, 2023, before connecting to ICS2. This test aims to verify their ability to access and exchange messages with customs authorities. EU Member States will grant authorization, upon request, for affected traders to gradually connect to ICS2 within specific time-limited deployment windows. These deployment windows are slated as follows: from June 3, 2024, to December 4, 2024 (for maritime and inland waterway carriers); from December 4, 2024, to April 1, 2025 (for maritime and inland waterway house level filers); and from April 1, 2025, to September 1, 2025 (for road and rail carriers).