March 30, 2023

New rules for inbound air shipments to EU commences

air traffic

By Prince Okafor

The European Union, EU, has commenced the second phase of its Import Control System 2 (ICS2), for inbound air shipments.

The new advanced cargo information and risk management platform, according to the global body, protect countries against security and safety threats from inbound goods.

The ICS2 programme, prepared in collaboration with the European Commission, Member States’ customs authorities, and business, enhances customs supervision of goods prior to their transport in a third country and arrival at EU external borders.

According to a circular made available to Vanguard, it stated that from 1 March 2023, all air carriers, freight forwarders, express couriers, and postal operators involved in the transportation of goods by air to or through the EU must provide a complete set of Entry Summary Declaration data on the goods, prior to their arrival at the EU external border.

“They must do this through the ICS2 system, which is gradually replacing the EU’s existing Import Control System (ICS) between 2021 and 2024. Air carriers currently filing advance cargo information into the Import Control System (ICS) will fully phase out from that system as soon as they start filing this data into ICS2.

“The second phase of ICS2 introduces new data requirements and processes to be complied with, prior to transporting the goods from a third country and before their arrival at the European Union’s external border.

“Failure by affected economic operators to obtain the necessary data from their clients and to provide it to ICS2 will lead to actions by customs authorities to enforce compliance prior to and on arrival at the external border. Please consult our website for additional information on these important changes.  

“While ICS2 Release 2 will be launched on 1 March 2023, economic operators can make a request to start filing into ICS2 at a later date during the time-limited deployment window. 

“They should do this through the Member State where the Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number of the economic operator which will be used for the advance cargo information filing is registered. The deployment window, if granted, allows the economic operators to become operationally ready for ICS2 Release 2 after 1 March 2023.

“However, to ensure a smooth transition from Release 1 to Release 2, and to facilitate trade operations, the deployment window for each business model and the order in which different types of economic operators connect to ICS2 Release 2 will be aligned across all Member States, as defined in the relevant transition strategy. Member States can grant the deployment window up until 2 October 2023.

“If economic operators are not ready by the set deadline, and do not provide the data required under the ICS2 system, consignments and freight will be stopped at the EU borders and the goods in question will not be cleared by the customs authorities,” the document added.