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Shipping to the EU? Here’s What You Need To Know About ICS2

Shipping to the EU? Here’s What You Need To Know About ICS2

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The European Union (EU) has recently implemented a new customs pre-arrival cargo information system, referred to as the Import Control System (ICS2). ICS2 allows for the collection of data—prior to loading on EU-bound planes—for all goods entering the EU (as well as Switzerland and Norway) as of March 1, 2023. Exact implementation timelines may vary by EU country.

"In order to prepare for ICS2 and mitigate risk to cargo delays, it's important that shippers are educating their suppliers on the requirements of ICS2"

  • Zeid Houssami, VP & Global Head of Air Freight, Flexport

What does ICS2 mean for shippers?

In addition to the usual information listed on the House Airway Bill and Master Airway Bill, shippers with air cargo destined for, or transiting through, impacted countries will now be required to submit:

  • The EORI number for the European consignee
  • The six-digit HS codes for every product being shipped
  • An accurate description of the goods*

"Most large manufacturers will likely be very prepared, but I'd caution shippers to pay more attention to their smaller manufacturer base who may be less in tune with trade compliance changes"

  • Zeid Houssami

If you work with Flexport, ensure your dedicated team has all the required information for your consignees and partners entered. If not, ensure that the party placing air bookings can provide all ICS2 required data elements as accurately as possible. Inaccurate or missing data may delay your shipment or even trigger exams, penalties, or additional costs upon arrival.

Your dedicated Flexport Account Manager or operations associate may also proactively reach out if they find missing information in the Flexport platform for products you ship into the EU.

*What is it? What material is it made from? Avoid using generic descriptions. Unacceptable description: apparel, appliances, furniture. Acceptable description: men's cotton pants, bread toaster, leather sofa

About the Author

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Key Takeaways


The EU recently implemented ICS2 beginning March 1, 2023. This regulation impacts data collection prior to departure for all cargo entering EU countries (along with Switzerland and Norway).


Shippers will now need to submit EORI numbers, six-digit HS codes, and detailed product descriptions.


Implementation details will vary by country, so it’s important to work with your customs teams to ensure you remain compliant.

Über den Autor