Import Control System (ICS)

Regulations for transhipments/deliveries in/to Europe, Switzerland, and Norway

New EU regulations for risk analysis and control of cross-border movements of goods have been in effect since 1 January 2011.

The EU regulations are being introduced in the respective electronic customs systems of all EU member states as well as in Switzerland and Norway. While there will be differences in the practical implementation of such, a central European database for risk analysis is working in the background so that differing results will be avoided.

Changes for imports

Data from the preregistration are currently not used or brought in for other state customs procedures. This may change with the amendment to the Community Customs Code (CC – in German: UZK), presumably as of 01.07.2015.

As soon as your goods have arrived in the EU and the risk analysis has been completed, we conduct the customs procedures as usual and according to your instructions. Our own customs procedures such as the ‘simplified procedures’ or other local customs clearance procedures are not affected by the changes due to ICS.´

In addition to the existing data that is already required for the preparation of transport documentation, the following information must be provided to airlines and shipping companies that will be forwarded to the customs authorities:

  • The recipient’s EORI identification number (according to OBL/MAWB, either Logwin or the recipient)
  • 6-digit HS (HTS) code number
  • Exact description of the goods, no collective description; English will be accepted for all EU member states for the time being (Download .pdf)
  • Packaging code according to UN/ECE Recommendation No. 21/Rev. 4; (Download .pdf)

The statutory deadlines for the preregistration depend on the transport (Article 184a CC-IP):

  • Ocean freight: 24 hours before lading at the port of departure
  • Ocean freight: Bulk and piece goods at least 4 hours before arrival in the first EU port
  • Ocean freight: At least 2 hours before entering the first EU port for transport between Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Ceuta, Melilla, Iceland plus ports on the North Sea and Baltic, Mediterranean, Black Sea, and EU territories
  • Inland waterway shipping: at least 2 hours before arrival at the entry customs location
  • Airfreight: when the plane takes off at the latest for a flight time of less than 4 hours
  • Airfreight: for longer flight times at least 4 hours before reaching the first EU airport
  • Railway transport: 2 hours before arrival at the entry customs location
  • Truck – road transport: at least 1 hour before arrival at the entry customs location
  • Combined transport: at least 1 hour before reaching the outer border of the EU

In order to meet the delivery announcement deadlines, some shipping companies have individual deadlines for documentation of ocean freight. The deadline with some shipping companies is 72 hours before the estimated time of departure.

With your assistance, our branches at the various points of departure supply the airlines and shipping companies the necessary information in a timely manner so that the above listed deadlines can be met. Not meeting the statutory deadlines for preregistration can result in serious consequences and to delays in goods delivery or to importation being refused. We thus ask for your assistance in the prompt and complete provision of the necessary information.

Please note that both airlines as well as shipping companies will charge an ICS fee in order to cover their expenses.

More information:

Goods Description
Packaging Codes

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