Are you ready for Import Control System 2 (ICS2)?

The EU is in the process of rolling out a new import system called Import Control System 2 (ICS2). The system focuses on cargo information by collecting data for goods entering the EU, Norway, Switzerland and Northern Ireland before arrival. The purpose is to increase the protection of the EU’s single market and citizens. The system has been rolling out in three releases and as of March 2023, we’re in release two, affecting air general cargo, air express and postal by air.

ICS2 rollout diagram
Caption: ICS2 Rollout Schedule

How are online retailers affected?

eCommerce businesses need to check that all of their product descriptions and HS codes are of good quality. Any product data that is too broad or inaccurate will no longer be accepted and will cause delays or incorrect taxation for the customer.

Businesses will need to comply with the ICS2 changes to prevent shipments from getting stopped at the EU customs border, ensure that the goods are cleared with the customs authorities and avoid declaration rejections, interventions or possible penalties.

What we advise

To adapt to the new system we advise the following steps:

- Get informed about the new ICS2 requirements at the EU Taxation and Customs website

- Assign team member(s) to comb through your product data and improve the descriptions to ICS2 standards.

- Global HS nomenclature is updated every 5 years and country-specific nomenclatures including the EU’s have biannual updates. So depending on the number of products you have, you may want to set up a schedule for re-checking your HS Codes for the latest versions.