Postal operators and carriers preparing for new EU import data rules

Postal operators and carriers are stepping up their preparations for the Import Control System 2 – ICS2 – second release, which will affect all parties involved in handling, shipping and transporting cargo, express or postal consignments to or via the European Union by air.
As of March 2023, postal operators and carriers will have to comply with new data reporting requirements for pre-loading and pre-arrival customs risk assessments. The data requirements will include a complete and accurate product description as well as a minimum number of data elements.

A number of companies are looking to go above the minimal data elements, while organisations like Lufthansa Cargo are asking customers to “provide the mandatory data for the ICS2 reporting as of January 1st 2023 so we can ensure an effortless introduction of the regulation“. Lufthansa Cargo is also requiring customers to provide 6-digit Harmonized Commodity Codes (HS6) of the inbound goods on HAWB level which has been provided to the carrier.

Hurricane Commerce, a provider of cross-border data to enable seamless ecommerce trade, is supporting many posts and carriers in ensuring their data is ready for the second release.

David Spottiswood, co-founder of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We have seen a noticeable increase in enquiries from forward-thinking postal operators and carriers in the last few weeks as they recognise the need to gear up for the second release of ICS2 and build it into their development roadmaps.

“As of March 2023, and earlier in the case of organisations like Lufthansa, it is essential that the data sets provided contain complete and accurate product descriptions and HS6 codes.

“Those posts which start their planning now are the ones which will be best-placed to ensure a seamless transition to the new data requirements that are integral to ICS2.”

ICS2 is the new EU customs advance cargo information system that facilitates the free flow of trade through improved data-driven customs security processes. It collects data about all goods entering the EU prior to their arrival and is used by EU customs authorities to ensure the security of people living in the EU.

Spottiswood added: “With cross-border eCommerce the number one growth area for most posts, being prepared for events such as ICS2 is business critical.

“Failure to provide the required data set will impact hugely on transit times, operational efficiency and customer experience and also certainly result in customers looking elsewhere for their preferred delivery partner.”

Hurricane’s data enhancement solution Zephyr ensures that shipments have the right data – including HS6 codes, product descriptions and 8- and 10- digit import and export codes – to pass smoothly through customs. The company’s Aura solution covers the critical cross-border areas of duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

Hurricane’s customers include Emirates Post, Royal Mail, An Post, Australia Post, SEKO, EVRi and DG International.

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