The air cargo industry should prepare for new ICS2 security regulations

Currently, the European Commission is urging the air cargo industry to prepare for the new ICS2 security regulations. These will come into effect in March of 2023 and require the submission of advanced shipment information before air cargo is loaded on a plane. This means that air cargo carriers have to adhere to an extra set of rules and regulations on top of the existing regulatory frameworks. 

What do the new rules entail? What do they mean for the air cargo industry? And what are the tools that air cargo carriers can use to boost air cargo security and comply with the new rules? Read all about it in this article.

The new ICS2 security regulations explained

According to the European Commission (EC), the new rules mean that all freight forwarders, air carriers, express couriers, and postal operators transporting goods to or through the European Union (EU), including the non-EU countries Norway and Switzerland, will be required to submit advance cargo information in the form of a complete entry summary declaration (ENS). The ENS is part of the second phase of the new customs pre-arrival security and safety program “Import Control System 2 (ICS2) Release 2.”

The information previously needed to be submitted four hours before arrival, but it will now have to be input before shipments are loaded onto an aircraft. The main goal of the new regulatory framework according to the EC? “By collecting data about all goods entering the EU prior to their loading and arrival, ICS2 supports effective risk-based customs controls while at the same time facilitating free flow of legitimate trade across the European Union’s external borders.”

What do they mean to the air cargo industry?

From 1 March 2023 onward, economic operators involved in the handling, shipping and transporting of cargo, as well as express or postal consignments to or via the EU by air, have to comply with new data reporting requirements for pre-loading and pre-arrival customs risk assessments. The ENS does not permit any deviations. The required accuracy of the data that needs to be provided will also be considerably stricter. Previously, either the goods description or at least four digits of the HS code had to be provided for the entry summary declaration. In the future, all six digits of the HS code have to be transmitted. 

Another change allows airlines to submit only the basic information. The forwarders and logistics providers can add the more sensitive details to the shared trader interface at a later date. This provides competitive protection for forwarders as they are not sharing customer details with the carriers.

new ICS2 regulations

How to prepare for ICS2

Air cargo carriers would be well advised to check far in advance if and to what extent business processes need to be updated to fully comply with the new import control system rules. Also be sure to investigate whether your employees need to be trained to properly handle the new rules. 

Increased digitalization and automation also allow you to deal with the new ICS2 regulations in a more professional and less error-prone manner. The Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) system in the UAE is a striking and useful example of a digitalization project that boosts air cargo security. It serves as an extra security layer that complies with principles set jointly by the International Civil Aviation Organization and World Customs Organization. The result? The harmonization of important standards across the air cargo industry and a format that effectively helps you deal with ICS2 rules and challenges.

How Be Informed helps

Be Informed can act as your guide in the constantly evolving cargo industry. Our solution helps you ensure compliance throughout the whole transport chain and allows you to interpret new and existing rules and regulations correctly. Have the right information at the right time and in the right place with our cargo compliance solutions.

Would you like to know more about our solution? Then don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to make your acquaintance!  

Request a 1-on-1 consultation 

And speak to one of our experts about international trade and transport compliance.

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