Important: New information is available regarding the organisation of transition to ICS2 Release 2! Please find the details below (under "When?").
Postal operators, express and air carriers and freight forwarders.
The second release becomes effective on 1 March 2023.
Learn more about the ICS2 Release 2 go-live procedure for Economic Operators here.
You can also find further details about the transition from ICS2 Release 1 to Release 2 here.
To make sure that the security and safety of the EU is maintained across the EU external border it is necessary to make an adjustment in the coordinated and gradual approach for deployment of the ICS2 Release 2, described in the "Transition from ICS2 Release 1 to Release 2 strategy". The change affects the air carriers operating direct flights from third countries into Member States which have been granted the derogation to connect to ICS2 Release 2 central system until 30 June 2023 (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Croatia, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden). Please find the details below.
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ICS2 Release 2 will be launched on 1 March 2023 and by this date EU Member States (including in this respect Norway and Switzerland) are expected to be ready with the implementation of their relevant ICS2 National Entry Systems (NES). However, some EU Member States will not be able to connect to ICS2 Release 2 on 1 March 2023 and requested legal derogation from this requirement. The EU Commission granted derogation to twelve EU Member States until 30 June 2023.
EU Member States may allow the affected operators to gradually connect to ICS2 Release 2 system until the end of a deployment window, as defined in the Annex of the UCC Work Programme. This means that, if requested by the economic operator and allowed by the competent EU Member State (where the EORI number of the economic operator is registered), the economic operator can connect to ICS2 and become operationally ready at a later date after 1 March 2023. To ensure EU level coordination for a smooth transition from ICS2 Release 1 to Release 2, and to facilitate trade operations, the deployment window per different type of EOs is aligned across all Member States through the relevant transition strategy. It is important to note, that at the moment when the economic operator is ready with its ICS2 Release 2 deployment, at the date agreed with the customs authority of the competent EU Member State, the start of ICS2 Release 2 operation of that economic operator also applies in all other EU Member States (and Norway and Switzerland).
However, the delays in the implementation of the EU Member States can lead to the situation when an economic operator (air carrier) would connect to the ICS2 Release 2 sooner than the customs administration of the EU Member State to which the aircraft arrives from a third country. This situation presents operational challenge to that customs administration in terms of performing the necessary security and safety risk analysis and related controls due to absence of the necessary ICS2 data.
To make sure that the security and safety of the EU is maintained across the EU external border it is necessary to have an additional element of the coordinated and gradual approach for deployment of the ICS2 Release 2 described in the relevant transition strategy. It is strongly recommended that EU and non-EU established air carriers and the Member States customs authorities implement transition to ICS2 Release 2 applying the following coordinated approach, depending on the specific scenario:
- Air carriers operating their direct flights from non-EU countries only in the Member State where their EORI number is registered, if ready, they can connect to ICS2 Release 2 and start ENS filing on 1 March 2023. Otherwise, they must request a deployment window in that Member State to connect to ICS2 Release 2 anytime between 1 March 2023 and 1 July 2023.
- Air carriers operating their direct flights from non-EU countries to one or several Member States that are connected to ICS2 Release 2, if ready, they can connect to ICS2 Release 2 and start ENS filing on 1 March 2023. Otherwise, they must request a deployment window in that Member State to connect to ICS2 Release 2 anytime between 1 March 2023 and 1 July 2023.
- Air carriers operating direct flights from non-EU countries to several Member States of which one, more or all Member States are subject to derogation, should request for a deployment window from the Member State of EORI registration, until the date when all affected Member States are connected to ICS2 Release 2, but at the latest until 1 July 2023.
The updated information about the plans of start of operation of the Member States can be consulted here.
The air carriers that are granted with a deployment window, continue applying the current procedures of submitting Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to ICS1 during the granted deployment window period.
Each air carrier should assess their own situation of how they operate direct flights from third countries into the EU airports of entry and proceed depending on the scenario valid for it accordingly. Even if the air carrier is in a position to connect to ICS2 Release 2 between 1 March 2023 and 30 June 2023, it should make this careful assessment and it is recommended to adjust its plan of deployment based on the above scenarios.
This approach enables the customs authorities to target and control the shipments at the border at the most efficient method available, using smooth and efficient procedures that will not hamper the fluidity of trade in airports.
Operators have to complete the ENS dataset for all goods in air transport.
All goods transported by air in postal, express and general cargo consignments will be subject, in addition to pre-loading filing requirements, to complete pre-arrival ENS data requirements.
Further ICS2 project documentation for Release 2 can be consulted here.
Important to note that new data requirements will enter into force on 1 March 2023, with the launch of ICS2 Release 2, as set by the Annex B of the Union Customs Code Implementing Act & Delegating Act. Declarants should pay particular attention to certain new data requirements. Notably, they will have a legal obligation to provide in the ENS particulars:
- the HS commodity code (6 digit) of the goods of a commercial nature (i.e. B2B and B2C): The Combined Nomenclature
- the EORI of the consignee established in the EU, if such number was assigned to this party. Parties need to make their EORI number available to the ENS declarant. The EORI number can be validated at the following webservice of the EU Commission, in order to be sure that the data is correct: EOS What's new (europa.eu).
Adequate descriptions of goods in a plain language and precise enough for the customs authorities to be able to identify the goods, is also very important. Please consult the ‘Unacceptable goods descriptions guidance’ available at Import Control System 2 - Release 1 (europa.eu).
It is thus very important that declarants ensure that all required information is obtained from their customers.
The EU customs authorities may reject ENS declarations in the case of lack of complete data or issue risk mitigating referrals in the pre-arrival phase requesting the declarant to provide the necessary data, for example in the case data will not be accurate. This may create delays in processing of the ENS upon the arrival of the consignments and in the entry process, as the risk mitigating referrals must be answered and requested information must be provided before the risk assessment can resume. Customs may also decide to impose administrative sanctions for non-compliance with data requirements.
The factsheets are also available in Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Turkish and Chinese. Please click on "Download" and you'll be directed to our website where you can choose the preferred language (“download and languages”).
Economic Operators involved in handling, shipping and transporting of cargo, express or postal consignments to or via the EU by air need to take several steps to get their IT systems ready in time.
New data reporting requirements for pre-loading and pre-arrival customs risk assessments will apply as of 1 March 2023.
In addition to filing pre-loading advance cargo information (PLACI) about the goods being transported to or via the EU by air, Economic Operators will need to file pre-arrival data in the ICS2 system through a complete electronic Entry Summary Declaration.
- eLearning course for Economic Operators and Customs officers: ICS2 End-To-End Testing for EOs
- ICS2 Release 2 training material on CIRCABC