Are You Ready for the European Customs Mandate (ICS2)?

Material transported to the customs territory of the European Union (EU) requires specific details. These details must be submitted via the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), which then allows European customs authorities to perform risk analyses on the data provided and decide if the shipment requires inspection.

In the current situation, carriers bear full responsibility for the ENS submission. But in ICS2–scheduled for rollout effective March 1, 2024 –importers and other stakeholders potentially must add related data themselves

If you’re responsible for securing international shipment services, you may already be aware that this ICS2 3-phase rollout is as follows:

  • Release 1 – March 15, 2021: Mail/express shipments (pre-loading)
  • Release 2 – March 1, 2023: Air general cargo and Mail/express shipments (full)
  • Release 3 – March 1, 2024: Maritime, Road, and Rail

What is the European Customs Mandate ICS2?

ICS2 is an automated entry process that applies to all cargo to and transiting through the 27 EU member states, Northern Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland. This ICS2 process monitors the security of the EU’s external border. Automating this process ensures more efficient data exchange between the carrier and EU member states.

Please note: ICS2 applies to all cargo and mail with a destination within or in transit via the ICS2 mandate region, even if the final destination is not. (For example, a shipment from Asia to the UK, where the goods are transiting via any EU country.)

The larger goal for ICS2 is to improve safety and security measures against threats by better identifying high-risk shipments and taking action before they are shipped.

Why good descriptions are important under ICS2

By writing clear, precise, and comprehensive goods descriptions, you’ll facilitate the new ICS2 process, saving time and energy and speeding compliant goods to their final destination.

Shipments with vague goods descriptions, such as ‘clothing,’ ‘medical equipment,’ and ‘sporting goods,’ can and will be held by customs.

To avoid this problem, as you write goods descriptions, keep in mind that you will need to answer the following questions:

  • What is the type of item in the shipment?
  • What materials is it made of?
  • What is the item used for? Please note that in the case of clothing articles, you must indicate gender or alternate if the item is for baby/child/unisex.
  • What is the item’s serial or part number if applicable?

Ready to address ICS2? Need more information on how Nexterus 3PL services can help you address ICS2?

Shippers must be ICS2 compliant for shipments originating from outside the European Union. Nexterus 3PL Services can help you with compliance. We provide international services for import, export, and Customs clearance. Contact Nexterus for all your international shipments.

Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience. Learn more by reading our Privacy Policy.