New EU import declarations

Monday, May 20th, 2024

Leading global and European trade associations have issued an urgent alert to all businesses involved in the movement of goods by sea, road or rail into or through the European Union, Norway, Switzerland or Northern Ireland. This alert concerns the new Import Control System (ICS2), which will be implemented from June 2024.

Key points of ICS2 implementation:

Enhanced safety and security regime:

  • ICS2 is an advanced safety and security measure introduced by EU Customs authorities. It requires detailed information about imported goods before they are loaded or arrive at the EU border.
  • The system, already in effect for air cargo since 2023, will be extended to maritime and inland waterway transport in June 2024 and to road and rail imports in 2025.

Detailed data requirements:

  • Companies will have to provide extensive new data, including 6-digit HS codes for each item in a shipment, an “acceptable description” and detailed information about buyers and sellers.
  • Understanding how these requirements impact different entities in the supply chain at various times is crucial for compliance.

Preparation and awareness:

  • Trade bodies stress the importance of preparations for ICS2. Businesses should seek detailed information on how they will be affected by the new requirements.
  • The European Commission’s website is recommended as the primary resource for guidance on these changes.

Consequences of non-compliance:

  • Failure to comply with ICS2 requirements could lead to significant delays and disruptions to exports and imports. Non-compliance may also result in fines and penalties in accordance with EU Member State practices.
  • Cooperative efforts between shippers, forwarders, and vessel operators are essential to ensure smooth compliance and the continuous movement of goods.

This call to action comes from a coalition of trade associations, including CLECAT, ECSABA, ECSA, European Shippers Council, IRU, World Shipping Council, International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, and Global Shippers Forum. These organisations collectively represent various stakeholders in the supply chain and emphasise the need for collaborative working to mitigate the impact of these new controls.

ALICE encourages all members to take immediate action to prepare for the implementation of ICS2. By staying informed and working with all stakeholders, companies can ensure compliance and minimise disruption to their operations.

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