The European Commission (EC) is urging the air cargo industry to prepare for new rules that from March next year will require the submission of advanced shipment information before air cargo is loaded.
The EC said that the new rules mean that all freight forwarders, air carriers, express couriers, and postal operators transporting goods to or through the European Union (EU), including Norway and Switzerland, will be required to submit advance cargo information in the form of a complete entry summary declaration (ENS) as part of the second phase of the new customs pre-arrival security and safety programme – Import Control System 2 (ICS2) Release 2.
The EC said that companies are strongly advised to prepare in advance for Release 2, in order to avoid the risk of delays and non-compliance. The information previously needed be submitted four hours before arrival, but will now need to be input before shipments are loaded onto an aircraft.
“By collecting data about all goods entering the EU prior to their loading and arrival, ICS2 supports effective risk-based customs controls while facilitating free flow of legitimate trade across the EU’s external borders,” the EC said. The new system means that freight forwarders, express couriers and postal operators will be legally responsible for providing the data. Those companies can either submit the data themselves or share it with the airlines that will then complete the ENS filing requirement.
“Postal operators and express couriers, who have previously been declaring partial information regarding inbound shipments (under ICS2 Phase 1), will now also be required to coordinate with their air carrier to submit all required data,” the EC added. To help prepare for the introduction of ICS2 Release 2, the European Commission will make available a conformance testing environment from July 2022 until February 2023, to be able to verify the economic operator’s ability to access and exchange messages with customs authorities through the intended ICS2 trader interface.