Essentials of Import Control System (ICS2) and Its Impact on International Trade

An import control system is a comprehensive framework of policies, procedures, and regulations employed by a government or any other entity to administer importing commodities into a particular country or region effectively. 


Adherence to international trade agreements, protection of domestic industries, and assurance of the quality and safety of imported products are the fundamental aims of this initiative.

Significance of ICS

An import control system is a framework of laws, procedures, and legislation that a government or other organisation applies to manage and verify the importation of commodities for a specific country or region.


An import control system may also be called an import administrative program. Its main goals are to protect domestic industries, ensure import quality, and comply with international trade agreements.


This system helps oversee and control the flow of goods entering a particular area, to balance commercial interests and compliance with regulatory requirements.


ICS2 stands for Import Control System Release 2 (ICS release 2). iCustoms has introduced its AI Customs Software Solution for businesses to comply with ICS2, ensuring ease of cross-border trade effectively.

what is Import Control System Release 2

What you need to know about the Import Control System (ICS2)?

If you are going to trade with the EU, you must comply with the ICS2 requirements. Economic Operators (EOs) must submit Entry Summary Declarations to ICS2 with safety and security data (ENS). 


Not all EOs will be required to begin filing these declarations simultaneously. It is related to the three release dates of ICS2 and will depend on the services they offer in the global movement of goods (15 March 2021, 1 March 2023, and 1 March 2024). 


In addition to pre-loading filing requirements, all goods transported by air in postal, express, and general cargo consignments will be subject to full pre-arrival ENS data requirements.


Businesses trading with the EU must now comply with the ICS2 requirements. Economic Operators (EOs) must submit Entry Summary Declarations to ICS2 with safety and security data (ENS).


As of the 1st March 2023, all economic operators outside the EU that move goods to or via the European Union by air must comply with Import Control System 2 (ICS2). On March 1, 2024, this will be expanded to include trade via sea, road, and rail transportation.

Compliance factors & requirements of Import Control System Release 2

Before using ICS2, some essential factors should be considered, such as:


Goods classification: 

The Harmonised System (HS) code used to classify imported goods must be used precisely. Tariffs and taxes specific to these goods are identified using this code. 

Compliance with rules: 

Health, safety, and environmental issues are only a few of the many areas European Union legislation covers when importing goods. In some cases, this may necessitate completing a certification program or achieving a set level of performance.


Conditions for confinement:

The European Union may impose quarantine laws on imported products to protect European agriculture and the environment.


Restricted goods: It is against the law to bring some things into Europe, such as illegal narcotics, weapons, and certain risky chemicals.

Tariffs and taxes: 

Before customs release, imported goods may incur customs duties and taxes.  Goods are subject to customs duties and taxes, and one needs to pay it before releasing them.


Documentation is an essential component in customs clearance. Import documentation, if not done correctly, causes delays, rejections and other problems.


Necessary Authorisations and licenses:

Some goods, such as pharmaceuticals, weapons, and hazardous materials, require a license or permit for import into Europe.

What controls apply to the Import Control System?

Tariffs, quotas, licenses, and bans are just some ways to control imports. Tariffs, in particular, are taxes that are put on goods that are brought into the country. 


This protects domestic businesses by making imported goods more expensive. Import quotas limit product quantities. This policy can protect domestic industry or ensure product availability to fulfil demand.


Importers are required to obtain government authorisation before bringing certain items into the country, as this is a requirement of licensing. However, bans limit the importation of specific products for safety or other legitimate reasons.


The EU ICS2 has brought requirements to be fulfilled to make trade safe and secure. The world of customs clearance is now in a fast-paced revolution phase, that’s why release two of the import control system is also known as ICS2 customs.

The implementation of Import Control System (ICS2)

Depending on the nature of the import commodities and the importing country or region, Import control systems apply at the national, regional, or local levels. Notably, ICS2 released on March 1, 2023.


Import controls also regulate the export of goods from a country or region. Due to its continuous trade with Europe, the UK is known for implementing ICS2. Traders also check it out as ICS2 UK requirements.


Overall, ensuring that all imported goods comply with the relevant laws and regulations is essential to avoid delays, fines, or other penalties.


If you want to know more about ICS2 launched by iCustoms, read here.


So get your journey started and book a demo.


And your questions are welcomed at

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About iCustoms

iCustoms is an all-in-one solution helping businesses automate customs processes more efficiently. With AI-powered and machine-learning capabilities, iCustoms is designed to streamline your all customs procedures in a few minutes, cut additional costs and save time.


Master Imports with iCustoms CDS

Intelligent Document Automation

Seamlessly Conquer Import Control System Release 2,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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