April/May 2021

First phase of new EU import control system comes into operation

The European Commission has launched its new import control system (ICS2), a major reinforcement of the Customs Union’s ‘first line of defence’ against security and safety threats posed by illicit traffic in goods across the EU’s external borders. In its first phase, ICS2 will focus on postal and express consignments coming to or through the EU by air, before eventually being applied to all modes of cargo transport. ICS2 is the new advance cargo risk management platform at the heart of the reform of the EU’s Customs Pre-arrival Safety and Security programme. It will gradually replace the existing import control system in three releases between 15 March 2021 and 1 March 2024.

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy said: “The launch of this new import control system will bring a step-change in the capacity of customs to protect our citizens and the EU’s internal market from threats posed by the traffic of dangerous and illicit goods. It will help deliver a more efficient and effective risk-based approach to customs controls in our rapidly evolving supply chains, while supporting a level-playing field and facilitating legitimate trade across our external borders.”

Starting this year with Release 1, the programme will progressively introduce improved supply-chain data collected by customs and new tools and processes in order to enable, for the first time, real-time collaborative risk analysis while goods are still moving through their supply chains to or through the EU.