FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions | Import Control System

7. Import Control System

Frequently asked questions on the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS)
  1. Basic principles
  2. Different scenarios
  3. Alternative 3rd party ENS filing
  4. Diversion
  5. Amendments to ENS
  6. Do not load (DNL) messages
  7. Import Control System
  8. Economic Operator Registration & Information (EORI)
  9. Miscellaneous ENS matters

Frequently asked questions on the lodgement of Exit Summary Declarations (EXS) (Article 182 b CC)
  1. Basic principles
  2. Lodging of EXS: Different scenarios
  3. Amendments to ENS
  4. Release messages
  5. Shipsupply

Frequently asked questions on the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS)
7. Import Control System

Q7.1 - What is the ICS?Top

The ICS is systems architecture developed by the Community for the lodging and processing of ENS, and for the exchange of messages between national customs administrations and between them and economic operators and with the European Commission. In certain circumstances in accordance with Article 183a CCIP the NCTS can be used instead for lodging the ENS.
ICS is made up of three “domains”:
  • The “common domain” for exchanges between the EU Member States and the European Commission;
  • The “national domain” made up of the national customs computer systems and the associated risk management processes; and
  • The “external domain” being the interface between economic operators and the national customs administrations for the lodging of ENS, issuance of MRNs as receipt for the ENS filing, any Do Not Load (DNL) messages etc.
It is through this latter “domain” that the ENS must be filed according to nationally determined technical specifications, message formats and structures etc.

Q7.2 - Is there a web site available where carriers can find latest news, updates, etc. from national customs administrations regarding ICS or do we have to contact every customs administration separately for information?Top

A website per se has not been created. However, the European Commission has provided the Trade Contact Group (TCG) with a summary of the individual Member States’ message formats and structures, communication protocols, connections etc. to be used in their external and national domains.
Also, the European Commission has made available to the TCG a list of the Internet addresses where the national customs administrations will provide the national technical specifications, message implementation guides (MIGs) etc. for their national computer systems, and other updates and news of relevance for ICS and the advance cargo security requirements. A list of the national ICS project managers has also been made available to the TCG.
The European Commission has a webpage regarding the Safety and Security Amendment of the Community Customs Code; it can be accessed at:
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/ customs/ security_amendment/ general_overview/index_en.htm

Q7.3 - Is there any kind of pilot project planned with one or more Member States?Top

No. Each EU Member State is responsible for establishing a test period for the connections in their national computer systems to the economic operators’ computer systems for the lodging of ENS, receipt of MRNs, and any DNL messages etc.

Q7.4 - Is it possible to have further information on the various message formats in ICS?Top

See reply to Q7.2.

Q7.5 - How is the ocean carrier’s computer system to be connected to the customs system - through the internet or any other special connection? Is it necessary for the carrier’s system to be connected to all customs offices in EU ports? Or will there be a single receiver for all EU ENS filings?Top

A single pan-European repository for the lodging of ENS does not exist.Instead, the ENS must be lodged electronically to the customs office of first entry in accordance with the national technical specifications, formats, connections etc. established by the individual EU Member States. Consequently, ocean carriers would need to establish the necessary IT interfaces with those national customs administrations that will be acting as the customs office of first port of entry on their vessel rotations to which the ENS must be sent no later than 24 hours before vessel loading (deep sea containerised shipments) or 4 hours before arrival for other deep sea maritime sectors; for all short sea shipping sectors the time limit is 2 hours before arrival.

Q7.6 - Does ICS cover the act of presenting the goods to customs and customs’ release of the goods?Top

Presentation of goods and the release of goods are national customs matters pursuant to national customs legislation. These activities are not covered by ICS-Phase 1. Nor are lodging of manifests and arrival notifications covered by ICS-Phase 1; also these activities will be pursuant to national customs legislation.