Over the next four years, new rules will be introduced for advance electronic information regarding cargo that is transported into the EU, Norway and Switzerland from a third country. Here is an overview of what you need to know.
What is ICS2?
In the period 2021–2024, the EU’s new customs pre-notification security and safety programme will take effect. This entails that anyone transporting goods from a third country and into the EU, Norway or Switzerland, must submit advance information regarding the cargo. The objective is to give the EU and customs authorities in affected countries the opportunity to conduct a risk assessment of the cargo both pre-loading and pre-arrival. Enhanced transport security will ensure increased protection against threats relating to health, the environment and terrorism.
In this connection, the EU has created a new security system called Import Control System 2 – or ICS2. All member states and associated parties must establish a connection to this system. Norway is participating based on an existing security agreement between Norway and the EU – an agreement that entails that Norway is within the EU’s security zone. The introduction of ICS2 will provide Norwegian Customs with earlier and additional information in the supply chain and an increased exchange of information with both the EU and other customs authorities.
How does ICS2 affect you as a cargo carrier from countries outside of the EU, Norway and Switzerland?
All parties transporting cargo from a third country must submit pre-loading and pre-arrival advance information to the first country of arrival within the security zone. Furthermore, there is a duty to report and present the cargo for a possible inspection. If there is a documented suspicion of threats relating to transport security and/or health, the environment and terrorism, the cargo may be refused loading or entry into the security zone.
Advance information entails more comprehensive requirements for information, and in different data formats than previously. For carriers, this necessitates the implementation of new and adapted software with accompanying integrations. During the first release, only postal operators and express carriers transporting cargo by air will be affected. These are carriers with which Norwegian Customs enjoys good dialogue. Norwegian Customs will inform of requirements and necessary adaptations well in advance of the implementation of subsequent releases, so that affected parties are able to plan properly.
What will happen when?
ICS2 will be implemented in three releases (phases). The first release becomes effective on 15 March 2021 and covers pre-loading advance cargo information for air cargo in third countries. This affects postal operators and express carriers by air. The advance information must be submitted via the EU’s submission portal and will be processed in cooperation between the first country of entry and the country of destination.
From 2023, ICS2 will be expanded to apply to all air cargo from third countries and also pre-notification advance information. In March 2024, all modes of transport from third countries will be subject to advance information pursuant to the new regulatory framework.
What will happen during the releases?
Postal operators and express carriers shipping cargo by air from third countries into the EU, Norway or Switzerland.
ICS2 release 1 becomes effective on 15 March 2021.
Norwegian Post and express carriers will be required to provide advance electronic information for all cargo in consignments shipped into the security zone by air. This information is referred to as Pre-loading advance cargo information (PLACI) and is submitted via pre-loading advance information.
The objective of ICS2 release 1 is to protect residents in the EU, Norway and Switzerland by contributing to enhanced civil aviation security. PLACI data will be used by customs authorities to conduct risk assessments for cargo consignments from third countries. The objective is to prevent explosives or other materials involving a risk of explosion from being loaded on air transport entering the security zone.
All carriers transporting cargo by air from third countries into the EU, Norway or Switzerland.
ICS2 release 2 becomes effective on 1 March 2023.
Carriers must submit advance information for all cargo transported by air. This covers postal, express and general cargo consignments, and requires both pre-loading and pre-arrival advance information.
All carriers that are to ship cargo from third countries into the security zone are required to submit advance information in accordance with the new regulatory framework, regardless of the mode of transport.
ICS2 release 3 becomes effective on 1 March 2024 and completes the implementation of ICS2.
All carriers must submit advance information for all cargo that will be entering the security zone. This covers maritime, road and rail carriers. This also includes postal and express carriers who transport cargo using these modes of transport, as well as other parties, such as logistic providers, freight forwarders and agents.
Should advance information still be provided in NCTS?
- Norwegian actors who currently have a duty to submit advance information in NCTS shall continue to do so. ICS2 release 1 does not alter this duty.
- When ICS2 release 2 becomes effective in March 2023, there will no longer be a requirement of advance information in NCTS for inbound air cargo from third countries. Instead, advance notice for inbound air cargo shall be reported via the EU’s submission portal for advance information.
- When ICS2 release 3 becomes effective in March 2024, there will no longer be a requirement of advance information in NCTS for inbound maritime and road transport. Instead, advance information for inbound maritime and road transport shall be reported via the EU’s submission portal for advance information.
- Advance information for outbound cargo shall continue to be submitted in NCTS for cargo being transported directly to third countries. Here, there is also an option of submitting advance information in combination with a transit declaration in NCTS.
- For all cargo transported to third countries via the EU or which are transported from the EU via Norway to a third country, advance information may be submitted in combination with a transit declaration in NCTS.
Read more about the current arrangement for advance information
Norwegian Customs will publish more information regarding ICS2 as this work progresses. We encourage international carriers to regularly follow news and information here at toll.no.