Import Control System (ICS)

EU security system enters second phase

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the ICS procedure for risk assessment/preparedness for the declaration of goods prior to entry into the EU was introduced. With ICS2, the EU is centralizing declarations with a cargo pre-loading information system for transport operators: as of March 2023 for airlines and as of March 2024 for shipping companies.

We are currently in the process of adapting the ICS2 processes and interfaces to our customs applications and platforms for all modes of transport.

Since October, we regularly provide information on the current status of development and implementation in free webinars.


The ICS2 process at a glance

Importing goods into the EU is a 5-stage process, with the ICS2 process comprising the first three stages: Submission of the ENS, notification of arrival and mode of transport, and the presentation of goods.

ICS2, Stage1

Submission of the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS)


Notification of arrival and type of transport (sea and air transport only)


Presentation of goods


Temporary custody of goods


Assignment of goods to a customs procedure

Sectors and operators to be affected:

  • Express delivery services
  • Postal operators within and outside the EU
  • Air freight carriers
  • Freight forwarders and logistics companies
  • Maritime, rail and road transport operators
  • Destination consignees located in the EU for goods received via maritime transport
  • Representatives of all affected economic operators


Well prepared for ICS2

The most important questions and answers for getting yourself prepared

What is the impact of ICS2 on economic operators?

All economic operators who conduct business internationally or deal with third countries worldwide are affected. In the future, as additional security data will be required for import customs procedures, operators will have to submit the ENS "Entry Summary Declaration" to ICS2 for all goods entering the common security area of the EU, Switzerland and Norway.

What does ”Multiple Filing“ mean?

Maritime and air freight carriers only need to submit basic information to the EU Cargo Advance Information System. Any supplementary information is reported directly to the ICS system by freight forwarders or logistics providers themselves. This principle, known as "Multiple Filing," provides competitive protection for the participants, as freight forwarders and logistics providers no longer have to disclose their customers and related sensitive data to the carriers in the course of the procedure.

Does the data have to be provided in a different format than previously?

ICS2 is based on a uniform format called Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), which does not allow any deviations. This increases the required accuracy of the information, for example for the HS code. Previously, either the goods description or at least four digits of the HS code had to be provided on an entry summary declaration; in the future, all six digits of the HS code will have to be transmitted. As a result, substandard or incomplete declarations may be rejected or prompt EU customs authorities to conduct further security checks or implement other measures. In the worst case, authorities will issue a loading ban or stop shipments at EU customs borders.