Launch of New EU Import Control System – ICS2
On 15 March 2021, the Commission launched a new import control system to improve the protection of the Customs Union against security threats posed by the illegal movement of goods at the EU’s external borders. The new system is a core project intended to implement customs risk assessment mechanisms. The Import Control System 2 (ICS2) supports the EU’s new “pre-arrival security and safety programme,” which will remodel the existing process in terms of IT, legal, and customs risk management/controls as well as trade operational perspectives. The ICS2 will collect data on all goods entering the EU prior to their arrival. Economic operators must declare the security and safety data of consignments to ICS2, which will enable customs authorities to carry out high-risk assessments and intervene, when appropriate. ICS2 is being introduced in three release phases, each covering different economic operators.
The first phase of ICS2, launched now, will mainly cover mail and express shipments entering or transiting the EU by air. It will gradually improve the collection of supply chain data by customs authorities and introduce new processes and tools. The aim of this first phase is to curb unsafe traffic in the context of massive and growing flows of e-commerce. Subsequently, in phase 2, the new functions will be extended to general air freight in March 2023 and, from 2024 on, will also cover maritime, rail, and road transport modes in phase 3.