ICS2: new process for Entry by Sea

Are you importing goods from outside the EU to the European Customs Union by sea? By 4 December 2024 at the latest, you should submit your entry declaration using the Import Control System 2 (ICS2), release 3. Until then, continue submitting your ENS declaration through ICS1.

What is Import Control System 2 (ICS2)?

ICS2 is the automated process for the Entry of Goods that applies to the entire EU. This process ensures the security of the external border. The European Commission aims to improve the quality of data for better risk analysis beforehand. Automation of the process also facilitates better data exchange among EU member states.

Learn more about the ICS2 project on the following European Commission pages:

How does this affect you?

  • Soon you must submit the Notification of Arrival (NA) and Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) in the Shared Trader Interface (STI). New system specifications are available for both declarations.
  • To be able to file the ENS more data is needed  than before. For more information, also read the 'Memo Informatie over HS-codes en EORI-nummers', only available in Dutch, attached to the meeting documents of the Focus Group ODB ICS2 (Import Control System 2) of 9 February 2023.
  • You need to submit part of the ENS data earlier than usual. These are the pre-load data. Ask your software suppliers how to prepare for this. Or read 'What do I have to do to connect to the STI?'
  • The process for Temporary Storage for sea cargo is also changing. Read about it in 'New process for Temporary Storage of sea cargo'.

The 'Dutch Customs National Helpdesk' remains your point of contact for questions about and support for the automated processes.

Why this change?

These changes are the result of the Union Customs Code (UCC). The aim is to gradually harmonise the customs entry process throughout the EU. The first process to be aligned is the one for bringing in goods at the 1st EU airport of entry.

More information can be found on 'UCC - Work Programme', the website of the European Commission.

Timetable for moving to the new ICS2 system specifications

See 'ICS2 Entry by Sea: what is the planning?' for details on the timetable.

Technical information

The new system specifications for the ENS and the NA at the 1st STI entry point are part of the new ICS2 Harmonised Trader Interface (ICS2-HTI).

The system specifications for ICS2-HTI for the declaration of Entry by Sea have been published in the public online community 'ICS2 Release 3: maritime, road, rail and postal and express goods'.

Visit the website of the 'Dutch Customs National Helpdesk' for the latest updates and availability .

Do you have any questions?

Read more under 'ICS2 Entry of Goods: where can I go with questions?'

Or watch our webinar 'Binnenbrengen en Tijdelijke Opslag Maritiem' (only available in Dutch).

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