‘Businesses should brace ahead of new Import Control System’

Image: Shutterstock. Grigvovan.

The EU’s new Import Control System (ICS2), designed to streamline and strengthen customs control procedures for the European single market, is rapidly approaching. For rail freight transport, the system will be enforced by 2025. Road operators, however, will need to adapt as early as June 2024. Despite its noble intentions, ICS2 is anticipated to introduce new rules and processes that are perceived as complex and challenging.

Several transport industry organisations have warned against those processes. In fact, they include a wide range of representative bodies like the World Shipping Council, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders, the Global Shippers Forum, the European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations, the European Associations for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services, the European Shippers Council and the International Road Transport Union.

Good preparation is paramount

ICS2 was introduced to Air Freight operations back in 2023, so logisticians already have experience with its complex implementation. All the organisations mentioned above reached the same conclusion. In their words, companies involved in logistics of any type of mode should be aware that the migration to the new system will not be a piece of cake.

That is mainly due to the increased data-sharing requirements companies will need to comply with. “The extensive new data requirements include six-digit HS codes for each item in a consignment, an ‘acceptable description’ and detailed buyer and seller information,” explain the grouped parties.

They also highlight the consequences of failing to comply with the new rules: “Failure to comply with ICS2 requirements will result in delays and disruptions to imports into the EU, and, potentially, in accordance with Member State practice, fines and penalties for persons liable for submitting the safety and security data to ICS2.”

Consequently, the key message considering this new reality is that “awareness of the implementation of the new requirements is critical,” and “businesses involved in moving goods into the EU should begin their preparations and seek further information on how they will be affected.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Chief Editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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