The European Union (EU) has announced its intention to enforce a robust Customs pre-arrival safety and security system targeting incoming cargoes via sea, rail, and road, aligning with its Import Control System 2 (ICS2). The implementation of this initiative is scheduled to commence on June 3, 2024.

Under the new policy, traders will be required to furnish data on goods destined for or passing through the EU before their arrival. This comprehensive Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) mandate will be applicable to maritime and inland waterways, as well as road and rail transportation within the region.

This marks the third phase of the new system’s implementation, extending safety and security data reporting requirements to encompass all modes of transport. In its statement, the EU emphasized that carriers using maritime and inland waterways, road, and rail, including postal and express carriers, must submit complete ENS data for goods sent to or through the EU before arrival.

Additionally, the EU advised traders to adequately prepare for the third release to mitigate the risk of delays and ensure compliance. Businesses affected by this policy shift were urged to collect accurate and complete data from clients, update IT systems and operational processes, and provide training to staff.

To facilitate a smooth transition, traders were required to conduct a self-conformance test by December 11, 2023, before connecting to ICS2 to verify their ability to access and exchange messages with customs authorities. EU Member States will grant authorization, upon request, for affected traders to gradually connect to ICS2 within specified time-limited deployment windows.

The deployment windows are as follows: from June 3, 2024, to December 4, 2024, for maritime and inland waterway carriers; from December 4, 2024, to April 1, 2025, for maritime and inland waterway house level filers; and from April 1, 2025, to September 1, 2025, for road and rail carriers. Failure to comply with the ICS2 data requirements will result in goods being stopped at EU borders and denied clearance by customs authorities.

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