Import Control System (ICS2)

What is ICS2?

Customs action at external border/s plays an essential role in protecting citizens against safety and security threats.

The European Union together with Switzerland and Norway have implemented a safety and security programme to help underpin this; the Import Control System 2 (ICS2). As a consequence of this, the item data and content information required for export and import must be entered electronically by the sender and sent to the country of destination in advance (electronic advance data – ‘EAD’). It allows customs authorities to identify items which may require control earlier in the supply chain and take the appropriate action.

Given the growth of global cross-border e-commerce, the new regulations are intended to provide greater security and quicker customs processes.

 

What is ICS2 not?

ICS2 is not an import system and it is not used to process the customs declarations for release into free circulation.

 

Who is effected by ICS2?

Anyone who is exporting an item that requires a customs declaration (including gifts, samples, goods and other categories) to The European Union, Switzerland or Norway.

 

What is the ENS (Entry Summary Declaration?

The ENS or “Entry Summary Declaration” is an electronic safety and security declaration from the carrier to the customs authorities.

 

What type of electronic data will I need to supply as part of this?

A minimum electronic dataset must be provided including Tariff Code/s. This dataset will be included in the Electronic Advance Data (EAD). You can use an approved Royal Mail or Third-Party Shipping Solution where this is captured automatically so you can continue exporting with the required and compliant electronic data. 

 

What is EAD and what are the benefits?

Electronic Advance Data (EAD) refers to the electronic transmission of parcel data, including sender and recipient details, the consignment content/s and shipment information. With the international trading landscape changing significantly over the past few years, transmitting accurate data to us electronically is more important than ever. Since January 2021, the transmission of electronic data is now mandatory when sending items/goods abroad* (excluding personal correspondence). Since June 1st 2021 all Royal Mail shipping systems have required mandatory electronic customs data in order to use our services. If you currently process your items via this method or a Third Party Shipping Solution no action is required and you can continue to export as you would normally today.

*Except when sending items from NI to the EU where no customs declarations are required currently.

Customers currently providing electronic customs data ensure compliance with future legislative changes, experience fewer delays, returned or destroyed items and fewer recipient complaints as a result.

 

What happens if an advance declaration is missing, incomplete or incorrect?

Any items containing goods that do not have mandatory data fields completed will be at risk of being delayed or returned.

 

Where can I find out more information about ICS2?

All details on ICS2 and the timelines can be found on the European Commission’s page here

ICS2 FAQ's

 

No action is required and you can continue to export as you would do normally.

 

Tariff codes are an internationally recognised standard allowing your item/s to be easily identified and assessed by customs systems worldwide regardless of language barriers.

 

Providing a tariff code is always recommended (where known) when exporting internationally. It helps to confirm the specific goods which are being sent. You will also be required to send all other electronic data and the easiest way to do this is via a Royal Mail or Third Party shipping system.

 

Yes, this is correct. The Import Control System (ICS2) program only effects goods that are carried by air currently. In phase 3 (1st March 2024) goods which are carried by other mediums, maritime, road and rail will also be in scope.

 

Customers sending items requiring a customs declaration (such as goods or gifts) internationally should purchase postage online, through shipping solutions or over the counter at Post Office branches rather than using Postage Stamps or Meters.

 

Customers sending items requiring a customs declaration (such as goods or gifts) internationally should purchase postage online, through shipping solutions or over the counter at Post Office branches rather than using Postage Stamps or Meters.