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Taxation and Customs Union

Who is affected by ICS2?

ICS2 is the EU customs advance cargo information system. It will be implemented to gather data on all goods destined to enter or to transit via the EU before they reach the EU’s external borders. This means it will have a direct impact on all economic operators involved in the dispatch, transport and handling of international freight, express or postal consignments.

The following economic actors are directly affected by ICS2 and will each have to provide safety data for ICS2:

  • Postal operators inside and outside the EU;
  • Express carriers;
  • Air cargo carriers;
  • Freight forwarding and logistics companies;
  • Final consignee established in the EU (for goods received by sea);
  • Sea, rail and road transport carriers;
  • Representatives of all the above-mentioned actors.
Illustration with those who are affected by ICS2

In addition to these operators who will be directly affected, ICS2 will also indirectly affect all manufacturers, exporters and individuals from outside the EU who send goods to or through the EU. They will have to provide the necessary information to directly affected economic operators.

How to get ready for ICS2?

Every economic operator directly affected needs to align its business processes with the regulatory requirements implemented via the new system.

As a first step, it is suggested to get informed and to gain understanding of the new requirements and eventually start preparing the update of your IT system and adapt your business processes. Then, make sure you provide training support to your staff, so you are able to provide all the precise and necessary high-quality data required by ICS2 and support required actions in case of customs referrals. Adequate descriptions of goods is very important, in particular where a commodity code is not provided by the declarant. Please consult the ‘Unacceptable goods descriptions guidance’ which contains the list of generic, unacceptable terms and the suggested alternatives that would be acceptable by customs.

What will happen if economic operators are not ready on time?

If economic operators are not ready on time and do not provide the necessary ICS2 data, consignments and freight will be stopped at the EU customs borders and the goods in question will not be cleared by the customs authorities.

Furthermore, inadequate declarations will either be rejected or subject to intervention, with penalties imposed for non-compliance.