Understanding ICS2

Additional upcoming data requirements will be needed for EU imports to strengthen security at EU borders.

If you ship goods into the EU via rail, road or sea transport, then you will be affected by the up and coming ICS2 deployment.

From some time in 2025, hauliers will need to provide additional information when submitting their entry summary declaration (ENS).

Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for ICS2.

What is ICS2?

ICS2, or Import Control System 2, is the new & updated version of the EU ‘Import Control System’.

The security pre-arrival IT system is designed to improve safety and security at EU borders by providing the EU with additional information for risk assessment and allow the seamless processing of cargo information by hauliers.

What do hauliers need to know?

If you are transporting goods into the EU, you will need to provide additional data in your ENS declaration via ICS2 before your goods arrive at the border.

Once your ENS has been assessed, the relevant port authorities will determine: whether your goods can be cleared for entry, if further information is required, or if your goods should be denied entry into the EU.

What additional data is required for ICS2?

As above, ICS2 will bring about additional information requirements for ENS declarations.

The most important changes include:

  1. 6-digit HS commodity code

The biggest change brought on by the deployment of ICS2 is the HS commodity code, which will need to be provided as 6 digits instead of 4. 

Learn more about commodity codes here

  1. EORI number

Another big change for your ENS declaration is the requirement of the EORI number of the EU buyer (consignee).

The EU consignee will need to make their assigned EORI number known to the ENS declarant.

  1. Countries of routing

Where appropriate, EU importers will also be required to include countries of routing for their consignments. This means that you will need to list which other country or countries the goods will travel through before arriving at their destination.

For example, if you are importing goods into Germany from the UK, you might list France as a country of routing.

(Please note, the above is not an exhaustive list and may be subject to change as more official guidance is released.)

The ICS2 rollout

How much time do you have?

ICS2 will be rolled out gradually, with regulations taking effect upon its integration with the system -

  • Maritime carriers will be required to connect with ICS2 between 3 Jun and 4 Dec 2024
  • Maritime house-level filers (freight forwarders filing at house bill of lading level) must connect between 4 Dec 2024 and 1 Apr 2025
  • Hauliers (road and rail carriers) must connect between 1 Apr and 1 Sep 2025

You are responsible for remaining customs compliant. If you have not correctly filled your ENS and submitted to ICS2 before your goods have arrived at the port, they may be denied entry into the EU.

How can we help?

The new data requirements will result in hauliers devoting additional time and resources to complete their ENS declarations. This extra time can quickly add up, especially with multiple and regular EU imports.

But that’s where we come in. As a leading UK customs broker, our experts can help you streamline your customs processes whilst also helping you to remain compliant - saving your business both time and money.

If you want to know more about ICS2 and how your business can prepare, get in touch with us.

Did you find this article useful? Subscribe to our mailing list and get monthly customs news round-ups.