Postal operators and carriers are stepping up their preparations for the second version of the Import Control System 2 – ICS2, which will affect all parties involved in handling, shipping and transporting freight, express or postal shipments to or via the European Union by air.

From March 2023, postal operators and carriers will need to comply with new data reporting requirements for pre-load and pre-arrival customs risk assessments. Data requirements will include a complete and accurate product description and a minimum number of data elements.

A number of companies are looking to go beyond the minimum data elements, while organizations like Lufthansa Cargo are asking customers to “provide the mandatory data for ICS2 reporting from 1 January 2023 so that we can ensure a effortless introduction of regulation”. Lufthansa Cargo also asks customers to provide harmonized 6-digit goods codes (HS6) of incoming goods at HAWB level that have been provided to the carrier.

Hurricane Commerce, a cross-border data provider to enable seamless e-commerce, is helping many Posts and carriers ensure their data is ready for the second release.

David Spottiswood, co-founder of Hurricane Commerce, said, “We’ve seen a noticeable increase in inquiries from forward-thinking postal operators and carriers over the past few weeks as they recognize the need to prepare for Release 2. of ICS2 and build into their development roadmaps.

“Since March 2023, and earlier in the case of organizations like Lufthansa, it is essential that the datasets provided contain complete and accurate product descriptions and HS6 codes.

“Posts beginning their planning now are those who will be best positioned to ensure a seamless transition to the new data requirements that are an integral part of ICS2.”

ICS2 is the new EU Customs Advance Cargo Information System that facilitates the free flow of trade through enhanced data-driven customs security processes. It collects data on all goods entering the EU before they arrive and is used by EU customs authorities to ensure the safety of people living in the EU.

Spottiswood added: “With cross-border e-commerce being the number one growth area for most positions, it is critical for the business to be prepared for events such as ICS2.

“Failure to provide the required data set will have a significant impact on transit times, operational efficiency and customer experience and will also certainly lead customers to look elsewhere for their preferred delivery partner.”

Zephyr, Hurricane’s data enhancement solution, ensures shipments have the correct 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 party screening.

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

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