Interview • 13.12.2022

Customs viewpoint on ICS2

"We expect significantly better data quality"

Foto: Customs

Improved risk analysis of goods prior to their entry into the EU is the key objective of the introduction of the ICS2 procedure. Monika Prosten from the Customs Criminal Investigation Office explains which components contribute to making the system more effective.

How much will the new procedure reduce the workload of German customs?

The new procedure offers the possibility of real-time cooperation with the risk analysis divisions of other member states, as well as with Switzerland and Norway. Of course, this represents an immense added value from a technical point of view, especially since Germany is very often merely a transit country, while the actual consignee of the goods is located in another member state. With ICS2, we at customs now have the opportunity to exchange information we may already have about known participants on a shipment-related and purely IT-controlled basis. This will lead to improved risk analysis and will also aid our colleagues in performing more efficient inspections.

Why is ICS2 being introduced and what are the benefits?

The main reason is the cooperation of EU member states in the area of risk management mentioned above. In addition, ICS2 also offers the option of Multiple Filings, which we hope will bring a significant improvement in data quality. Moreover, the processes in ICS2 are designed with future expansion in mind and offer great potential for improving communication and operations. In particular, the new central components will enable better evaluations and the use of components with artificial intelligence in the context of risk analysis.

The economy will benefit above all from the implementation of the Shared Trader Interface (STI) developed by the EU Commission. This central connection to a communication interface will eliminate the need for separate system-based connections to individual EU member states. And the more harmonized processes of the EU customs administrations will also bring benefits to economic operators.

How prepared is German customs?

We have thoroughly prepared ourselves in a comprehensive project with all the departments involved - i.e., IT project management, functional management, and risk management - and could work out both the required IT components and the necessary changes in the operational processes in risk analysis and monitoring. As a result, the German customs administration will be ready to go with ICS2 on March 1, 2023.

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