The European Union launched March 15 the first phase of its new import control system, which will gradually replace the existing system in three releases between now and March 2024. A European Commission press release states that the new ICS2 system “involves a complete overhaul of the existing regime from the perspectives of IT, customs risk management and trade operations” and will, for the first time, enable “real-time collaborative risk analysis while goods are still moving through their supply chains to or through the EU.”

The press release states that in Release 1, express carriers and designated postal operators established in the EU will begin providing a subset of their entry summary declaration data before goods are loaded on aircraft bound for the EU. This data will be analyzed by customs officials with a view to detecting immediate threats to aviation security. The Commission notes that this release will require advance cargo information for postal consignments for the first time, which “will be crucial in enabling customs to address a wide range of unsafe traffic in the context of massive and growing flows of e-commerce.”

Release 2 is scheduled to extend these new capabilities to general air cargo on March 1, 2023, and Release 3 will include maritime, rail, and road modes of transport beginning March 1, 2024.

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