On Tighter Ropes: EU Implements Third Phase of Import Control System 2 (ICS2)

The European Union (EU) is set to implement the third phase of the Import Control System 2 (ICS2) on June 3, 2024. This new customs pre-arrival safety and security system aims to enhance safety and security data reporting requirements for all modes of transport – maritime, inland waterways, road, and rail within the EU, including Member States, Norway, Switzerland, and Northern Ireland.

Under Release 3, carriers utilizing these transport modes must furnish a complete Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) for goods destined to or transiting the EU prior to their arrival. This extends the compliance obligation to postal and express carriers and involves entities like logistics providers and, in specific cases, EU-based final consignees, requiring them to submit ENS data to ICS2.

Traders are urged to prep in advance for Release 3 to circumvent delays and non-compliance risks. They must ensure accurate data collection, update IT systems, provide staff training, and pass a self-conformance test by December 11, 2023, to connect with ICS2. EU Member States will allow phased connection to ICS2 within specified timeframes, varying for different transport carriers.

Non-compliance will result in goods being held at EU borders, obstructing customs clearance. ICS2 aims to bolster EU trade safety by facilitating early risk detection and interventions in the supply chain. It centralizes communication between customs authorities, streamlining data exchange and reducing administrative burdens for traders.

This system is developed through collaborative efforts between the European Commission, customs authorities, and businesses, marking a significant shift in customs control to ensure seamless and secure goods movement within the EU.

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